Why & How

The cultural and creative (CC) sectors are some of Europe’s most dynamic sectors, with a 4.2% of total EU GDP generated. These sectors, often clusters suffer the lack of conjunctions between their CC components, making the cultural core still unable to fully express its potential in terms of fertilization of creative industries. In this conditions these sectors remain undervalued and unrecognised, especially in terms of their ability to access start-up capital and financing. One of the main challenges in these clusters is improving the connections between the cultural core engines and creativity in order to make the best of the synergies between the wealth of heritage traditions, values and symbols and the business environment that can add to them economic value and fully exploit their economic potential.

SMATH will generate innovative clusters ideally “Smart Atmospheres” where cultural engines (the cultural core of heritage, values, traditions and cultural processes) and the value enhancing services (incubators, financial services, territorial services and public policies) interact together for the enhancement of business oriented and product oriented creative industries. The conjunction between cultural and creative sectors is much more announced then actually proclaimed. Culture and creativity are in need of improved connections in order to exploit their synergies and fully achieve their economic potential. Improved connection can be obtained via innovative forms of clustering that can be boosted by three basic factors contributing to the development of smart and sustainable growth in the MED area: the frequency and accessibility of cultural processes, cultural artefacts and cultural heritage (“culture factories” of CCI), the entrepreneurial orientation and financial support specific to creative processes (value enhancing services for CCI), and the creative capacity of individuals and organizations to innovatively combine the two above resources (i.e. social innovation processes of CCI). SMATH will elaborate a common model, a transferable methodology and toolsets generating and strengthening “Smart Atmospheres” based on capitalized materials and benchmarking with success stories, for the design and implementation of regional/local "Creative Nests", new flexible outputs of social innovation equipped with the capability of assisting CIs in sourcing and engineering innovative ideas from the cultural engines.

At EU and MED level, there are strong networks (CIs Alliance) able to connect Creative Industries, exploit their potential in terms of employment and turnover. CIs have been addressed by several multi-level initiatives (cross-innovation and spill-over effects). A testing project focused on the MED Area can be of added value for the following reasons:

a) there isthe need to aggregate and systemize tools, instruments and services that have been tested separately: their aggregation in the frame of an overall methodology and a strong link to the territory can have a multiplier impact;

b) there is the need to go a step ahead (SMATH innovative approach) linking Creative Industries to Cultural factories(Cultural engines: like performing arts, museums, cultural events, etc: this collaboration is the core of SMATH project and the MED areas are the ideal place for a piloting phase;

c) infact SMATH areas are different for cultural traditions, creative industries sectors and experiences: we have Metropoles (Barcellona, Venice, Zagreb and Marseille) with high density of Cultural and Creativity even connected with Social Innovation, strong Clusters (Pole de Competitivite) addressed both to Cultural and Creative sectors (France), middle-sized urban areas with well defined cultural and creative traditions (Maribor), Regions with strong policies addressed to the Sectors (Veneto and FVG Regions and their S3) and connection of technology with CCIs (Athens - Technopolis); many location are addressed by a lot of tourists and some of them have been selected to be European Cultural Destinations.

SMATH project will assemble, organize and modelize past experiences for a new approach to Cultural and Creative Industries address to the sustainable growth and the social innovation of MED Area