"Creative Industries and the Digital Economy as Drivers of EU Integration and Innovation" Monnet Project Completed

The Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Project 2017-2019 – ‘Creative Industries and the Digital Economy as Drivers of EU Integration and Innovation’ (CIDEII), has concluded. CIDEII was led by Susan Luckman, Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries in the School of Creative Industries, Director of the CP3: Creative People, Products and Places Research Group, and Research Director of the Creative Work Mobilities Research Node, Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. She was also Cheney Fellow at the University of Leeds, 2017-2018.


Project Summary

Economic participation is central to European integration. Europe’s cultural and creative industries (CCIs) build upon strong foundations to be world leading, though these same histories of strength give rise to local obstacles that lead to uneven participation patterns and thus differential levels of cultural and economic integration across the EU despite the opportunities afforded by the Digital Single Market. Drawing upon leading empirical research by European, Australian and Russian researchers, Creative Industries and the Digital Economy as Drivers of EU Integration and Innovation (CIDEII) has explored what challenges and opportunities face those seeking to be employed in Europe’s cultural and creative industries, and how this research can contribute to best practice informed educational materials designed specifically to prepare creative graduates in the EU, Australia, Russia and beyond to engage with the European CCI market and participate in the Digital Single Market.

The CIDEII Work Programme consisted of a series of iterative inter-linked activities which, through ongoing evaluation, reflection and international team review, built into a series of research- and EDP (Entrepreneurial Discovery Process)-informed academic outputs and innovations in Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) education, better equipping students with the entrepreneurial skills to engage in the Digital Economy. CIDEII arose out of cross-fertilization collaborations seeded by the Hawke EU Centre in Australia, in particular with colleagues then at the Copenhagen Business School, now with the University of Copenhagen and Six – Social innovation Exchange).

The Project has worked to co-develop cutting edge EU-relevant pedagogical tools for cultural and creative industries teaching. It consisted of two interlinked teaching and research programs: Action 1, an academic workshop which brought together leading European, Australian and Russian scholars to focus upon developing research-informed dialogue with EU policy and practice around CCIs and the digital economy. A key focus was the development of a set of research-informed findings to inform how EU-relevant business skills and personal competencies can be better embedded into university creative industries courses and programs within the EU, Australia and Russia. This then informed Action 2, Stage 1 – the Match Tournament in Adelaide, Australia where teams of undergraduate students, guided by academic and industry advisors, applied Entrepreneurial Discovery Process (EDP) and design thinking to address ‘real world’ governmental challenges, including those around enhanced cultural and economic integration. Stage 2 of Action 2 took the winning team from Match- Tournament, Adelaide to Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden to work with students, academics and civil society partners to explore ways to implement the  MatchTournament model in the EU context.

Linking academic experts in the Jean Monnet Activities subject areas of EU Economic
Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies and Communication and Information Studies, the
CIDEII Work Programme was informed by the following JM and Erasmus+ priorities:

• Foster dialogue between the academic world and policy-makers with the aim of
enhancing EU cultural and economic integration;

• Mentor, train and involve into EU teaching and research young scholars;

• Promote excellence in EU content teaching and research in the EU and 3rd countries; and

• Create a cohesive strategy to effectively engage key target groups and academics into policy debate.

Europe’s digital agenda aims to help its citizens and businesses get the most out of
digital technologies: “The digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the
rest of the economy, but this potential is currently held back by a patchy pan-European
policy framework ... This is harmful for every citizen, business and innovator in
Europe” (EU 2014, Digital Agenda for Europe). So too citizens face differential access
to knowledge of the entrepreneurial business and networking ‘soft’ skills required to
access and compete effectively in the Digital Single Market. This is especially the case
in the cultural and creative industries sector where tertiary training is still largely
conceptual and practice focused and not business skills-based. In response to these
issues, through the cross-fertilization of ideas and co-working between researchers
and teachers, government and universities, students and industry arising out of the
Project Actions, CIDEII has:

• Boosted discussion and existing knowledge on European Union issues concerned
with growing the CCI sector and enabling greater participation in the creative Digital Single Market;

• Applied EDP (Entrepreneurial Discovery Processes) in collaboration with government,
industry and civil society, to the development of new teaching models to promote innovation in European teaching and research;

• Grown the existing knowledge of EU digital and creative policies in CCI student
training and facilitation of graduate job-ready preparation, leading to lifelong
engagement and citizenship;

• Designed, produced and implemented educational tools which promote ongoing
active citizenship in the EU through economic inclusion and subsequent transnational
community building;

• Built networks of transnational co-operation between the EU and Australia to share teaching strategies and tools to help the EU further become a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy, enabling greater economic integration and the advancement of the aims of Creative Europe;

• Promoted excellence in EU research skills and expertise in 3rd nation countries Australia and Russia.

Susan Luckman, Leader of the CIDEII ERASMUS+ Monnet Project