The Creative Ports project (2019-2021) was developed to foster the internationalisation of the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI)1 in the Baltic Sea Region.
The partnership comprised 14 partner organisations from the countries around the Baltic Sea – funding agencies, municipalities, international cultural institutes, and universities – who joined forces in a consortium led by the Goethe-Institut (DE). The Baltic Sea Region includes Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and the northern parts of Germany as well as partner countries Norway and the northwest regions of Russia.
The partner organisations all work with local cultural and creative actors and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and ensure the facilitation of transnational cooperation with peers from other regions. Companies and other players in the CCIs thereby unveiled opportunities for internationalisation and initiated joint value creation.
Creative Ports was funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme of the European Union. It was a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) and its Policy Area Culture.
The project’s goal was to increase the capacity of CCI intermediaries (including incubators, cultural institutes, public authorities as well as business development agencies) to better support and facilitate the internationalisation of CCI enterprises.
The overall aims of internationalisation activities for CCI enterprises were – inter alia – the following:
- Inspiration for new ideas, methods, technologies
- Networks and contacts
- Information about new markets / soft landing
- Cooperation partnerships / B2B
- Brand visibility / showcasing of products and services
- Capacity building / peer learning
To achieve increased capacity for internationalisation, the 14 Creative Ports project partners piloted so-called “internationalisation tools”. They included CCI enterprises from the entire Baltic Sea Region in the implementation of these tools.
Since there are various definitions of Cultural and Creative Industries, the project followed an inclusive and pragmatic approach and covered multiple CCI sub-sectors such as film, design, gaming and music industries.
Tool development process
First, the project partners filled in a survey and exchanged about possible internationalisation tools directed at CCI companies to get an overview of potential formats, events and so on. This was based on the partner organisations’ experiences of their own or other potential internationalisation activities. The results were then compiled in a list of 91 internationalisation tools, which is a source of inspiration for working with CCI companies and testing new formats.
The internationalisation tools include joint showcases, fair visits, festivals, acceleration programs and much more and are categorised into three different strands:
- Internationalisation support activities during international fairs/exhibitions/festivals or networking events
- Tools for building internationalisation capacity of CCI companies
- Formerly locally restricted tools, e.g. an acceleration, incubation or residence programme for CCI companies, are opened for CCI companies from other partner regions
Secondly, the partners prioritised and selected tools from the list and prepared the piloting of the ten internationalisation tools that are described in-depth in this catalogue.
Lastly, the partners developed online learning modules from the piloting activities to allow target groups beyond the partnership to learn how to foster the internationalisation of the CCIs from the processes and experiences.
Since there are various definitions of Cultural and Creative Industries, the project followed an inclusive and pragmatic approach and covered multiple CCI sub-sectors such as film, design, gaming and music industries. ↩︎