Creativity has had a crucial impact on today's inter-connected world. Co-creation and open sources have transformed today's innovation and production processes.
Innovation must be allowed through bottom-up processes, creative hubs and maker- spaces, fab labs and incubators, where freelancers and creatives co-work and co-create. Clusters of enterprises in creative sectors have also shown they can generate high employment growth1, and already around 6% of all 1,300 regional smart specialisation priorities refer to culture2.
The proliferation of maker-spaces (600 set up in Europe in 17 years) as well as creative hubs, fab labs and similar structures have proven how these new models of co-creation have not only had an impact on production processes, but on society at large. High rates of youth unemployment in some European countries and regions have led to high popularity of such "3rd spaces", which also have an important role to play in terms of social inclusion and integration.
The crossovers between the cultural and creative sectors and other sectors are of crucial importance. As specified by the 2015 Council conclusion, they are "a process of combining knowledge and skills specific to the cultural and creative sector together with those of other sectors in order to generate innovative and intelligent solutions for today’s societal challenges".
The maker movement, creative hubs and fab-labs are at the centre of these developments and are rapidly spreading, but their development has not been paralleled by full interconnection between the centres concerned.
Several relevant initiatives are being funded under different EU programmes:
Erasmus+: in particular under the key action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices3
Creative Europe/Culture: Pilot Mobility scheme for artists/and or cultural professionals4
European Cluster Panorama 2014.
Creative Europe/ Cross-sectoral strand: the European Network of Creative Hubs5
ERDF, ESF, Interreg: different actions, in particular focussing on infrastructure, training or youth employment
H2020: coordination and support activities for Digital Innovation Hub network6 and related calls, also linked to the Smart Specialisation Platform7
COSME: the European incubation network(s) for creativity-driven innovation8
the EU Policy Labs9
Mobility is an ideal way to strengthen networks and encourage innovation and co- creation among them. Meeting other innovators and creatives working in other hubs and maker-spaces is an important factor in making collaboration a success.
The 2018 OMC Report on "the role of public policies in developing entrepreneurial and innovation potential of the cultural and creative sectors"10 also recommends to "better integrate creative hubs and networks into social and economic innovation challenges at all governance levels" and to "support the development of creative hubs and other support structures" including also clusters, fab labs and makerspaces. The report also recommends to cultural and creative sector support schemes for international mobility and cooperation.
The European Commission has been working to facilitating the mobility of artists and cultural professionals in different ways, via expert groups and the Open Method of Coordination: An Expert Group convened by the European Commission issued a set of guidelines11 in 2011 on common content and quality standards for establishing or further developing information and advisory services for artists and culture professionals. The 2012 OMC report on "Building a strong framework for artists' mobility: Five key principles"12 and the 2014 OMC "Policy Handbook on Artists' Residencies"13 both deal with mobility of cultural and creative professionals and include good practices from across the EU. The European Commission also examined administrative practices creating obstacles to the mobility of artists and culture professionals, such as visas issues, social security or cross-border taxation.
The Commission is currently carrying out a pilot mobility scheme for artists and culture professionals, funded by the Creative Europe programme, "i-Portunus"14. It will prepare and implement short-term mobility for artists and culture professionals in the visual arts (except audio-visual) and performing arts sectors. In addition, a Preparatory Action for a Mobility Scheme for Artists and Creative People15 is launched to select three more projects to continue this type of mobility in more cultural and creative sectors.
The recently adopted New European Agenda for Culture and the EU Work Plan for Culture 2019-2022 and the Council conclusions on the Work Plan for Culture of 15.11.201816 acknowledge the importance of "boosting jobs and growth in the cultural and creative sectors by fostering arts and culture in education, promoting the relevant skills, and encouraging innovation in culture". The European Year of Cultural Heritage 201817, has considerably raised public and political awareness about culture and heritage in Europe, and the importance of taking this momentum forward to tap the full potential of the social and economic value of culture for Europe". One of the objectives of the Year was "to support the development of specialised skills and improve knowledge management and knowledge transfer in the cultural heritage sector, taking into account the implications of the digital shift".
The 2019 Annual Work Programme18 for the implementation of the Pilot Project19 "A first step towards a European framework for the mobility of makers" foresees the launch of a call for proposals funded under Budget Line 15 02 77 24, with a maximum amount of EUR 350.000 allocated to the development of an action addressing this specific objective.
2. OBJECTIVES –ACTIVITIES – RESULTS
2.1. OBJECTIVES General objective
The general objective of this pilot project is to define and test policies and actions supporting the mobility and exchanges of experience between the cultural and creative industries, creative hubs, maker-spaces, fab-labs and formal and non-formal learning and skills development systems in a cross-sectoral way. The pilot project is intended as first steps of developing a European Framework aimed at boosting mobility of makers as well as exchange of good practices.
The specific objectives of this call for proposals are listed and described in point 2.4 below.
The grant agreement resulting from this call for proposals will be allocated to one single project.
Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 (OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p.1).
The purpose of this call is to select an organisation or European network that will co- ordinate and organise different activities with makers, creative hubs, fab-labs, incubators and the like, with their direct involvement in the project.
Proposals should contain information as to the planned beneficiaries of the action, which must be cultural and creative professionals and entrepreneurs as well as other stakeholders active in the cultural and creative sectors.
Applicants should describe how they plan to engage with the relevant actors and describe how they will mitigate the risk of lack of incentives for relevant actors, CCIs (Cultural and Creative Industries) and other stakeholders to engage.
2.4. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES Geographical and sector focus:
Proposals should specify how they are going to achieve a wide geographical scope, involving a wide range of European and neighbouring countries.20
Proposals should also specify how they are going to achieve a wide sectoral and cross- sectoral21 coverage.
The proposal should as a minimum include the following activities:
2.4.1. Specific objective n°1: Mapping of existing and proposed initiatives
Starting from existing mappings that have been carried out, in particular the new mapping carried out under the Creative Europe/Culture Pilot Mobility scheme for artists/and or cultural professionals, applicants will describe how they intend to carry out a mapping of mobility schemes for the maker, creative hubs and fab-lab community.
Applicants will explain how they intend to look at the mobility schemes of different EU funding programmes, in particular Erasmus+, Creative Europe, FLIP for CCIs, Erasmus, H2020/Horizon, ERDF/ESF, Interreg, Cosme, as well as planned new initiatives such as the proposed KICS, the Pan-European network of Digital Innovation Hubs and other. The mapping will describe in detail the working methods and financing amounts of the mobility components of each programme and draw conclusions.
Applicants will also describe how they intend to briefly map relevant initiatives at international level (Impact Hubs Network, Fab Lab Foundation at MIT, etc.).
2.4.2. Specific objective n°2: Needs assessment
This pilot project foresees to examine the appropriateness and feasibility of short, medium- and long-term stays for makers outside their countries of origin, involving support from Erasmus. The pilot project will transpose best practices that have already been consolidated in the other mobility schemes under the Erasmus+ programme, such as mobility for apprentices (Erasmus Pro) and for students (Erasmus).
Applicants should describe how they will examine in detail the extent to which makers, hubs and fab-labs are already well covered by Erasmus+ and other mobility programmes and to what extent a separate fully fledged mobility programme for makers would or would not be feasible.
Applicants will describe how they intend to carry out a survey and needs assessment among the European makers, creative hubs and fab-lab community through the existing networks (in particular the European Creative Hubs Network), as well as other wider networks such as the European Creative Business Network. A representative sample of European neighbouring countries should also be included in the survey.
Following the recommendations of the 2012 OMC Report "Building a strong Framework for Artists' Mobility"22, the 2014 OMC Report "Policy Handbook on Artists' Residencies"23, and the 2018 OMC Report on "the role of public policies in developing entrepreneurial and innovation potential of the cultural and creative sectors"24, applicants should describe how the project will build on the findings of the reports as well as other relevant EU policy documents.
2.4.3. Specific objective n°3: Involvement of existing European networks
In order to draw up the mapping, needs assessment and recommendations, applicants will describe how the pilot project will closely involve and consult with existing European maker/creative hubs/fablab networks, in particular the following:
the European Network of Creative Hubs
the European incubation networks for creativity-driven innovation (COSME)
the network of Digital Innovation Hubs DIH (H2020)
2.4.4. Specific objective n°4: Policy Recommendations concerning a European Framework for makers' mobility
Applicants will describe how they will assess opportunities and obstacles for a possible establishment of a European framework for makers' mobility.
Applicants will explain their approach of looking at a possible makers' mobility scheme, as well as additional actions. Applicants will also look at how obstacles to mobility should be eliminated and for soft skills to be recognised, which would enhance the employability and creativity of the young people involved. Applicants will describe how they intend to build on the experience of the pilot project FLIP for CCIs (Finance, Learning, Patenting and Innovation in CCIs), in particular concerning CCI skills classification and enhancement, as well as the different OMC reports, and working groups at EU-level that have looked at mobility in the past.
Based on the needs assessment, applicants will explain how they intend to achieve meaningful Policy Recommendations concerning a European Framework for makers' mobility.
2.4.5. Specific objective n°5: A small-scale makers' mobility scheme testing
Applicants will describe how they intend to carry out a small-scale sample Europe-wide mobility scheme testing through an already existing network, building upon ongoing and previous mobility scheme experiences. Of particular relevance for makers-mobility is the peer-to-peer mobility scheme of the European Creative Hubs Network, previously developed under the Creative Europe Programme. Feedback from participants will help with the assessment of the mapping, evaluation and recommendation part of the project and allow first-hand access to information, contact and also help with the communication of the project. European neighbouring countries as defined in the specific objectives under geographical focus should also be included in the peer-to-peer exchanges.
2.4.6. Specific objective n°6: Inclusion and skills development via maker spaces, creative hubs, fab-labs and similar
Maker spaces have shown how to make intergenerational inclusion a reality, f.ex. elderly people co-creating with younger people using forgotten skills, handicraft and needlework skills and the like, similar results also exist for inclusion of migrants despite of language barriers, handicapped people or people with health problems.
Applicants will describe how they intend to contribute to an increased recognition of the maker movement, creative hubs and fablabs in Europe and their contribution to skills development and social inclusion via this pilot project.
Applicants will also describe how they intend to arrive at good practice examples on inclusion and skills development via European maker spaces, creative hubs, fab-labs and the like, building on already existing evidence in particular the one gathered by the European Creative Hubs Network or via relevant OMC reports or other and how they will arrive at recommendations for further policy making. Applicants will describe how, via specifically targeted peer exchanges and workshops, they intend to arrive at meaningful examples all over Europe. A representative sample of European neighbouring countries should also be included.
Applicants will describe how they will focus in particular on young people from disadvantaged social groups, the elderly, migrants, handicapped and other disadvantaged groups. In addition, applicants will describe how they intend to collect good practice to make fab-labs and tech hubs more open and inclusive and with a better gender balance.
2.5. EXPECTED RESULTS
The expected results of the proposal are:
- Strengthened trans-national and cross-sectoral cooperation between the cultural and creative industries, fab labs, creative hubs and maker-spaces and formal and non-formal learning and skills development systems
- Enhanced mobility and exchanges of experience, skills development and practical testing and cooperation opportunities
- Increased experience through small-scale mobility scheme testing within already existing relevant European networks, in particular the European Creative Hubs Network, building upon previous experience25
- Increased recognition of the maker movement, creative hubs and fablabs and their contribution to skills development and social inclusion
The proposal should explain in detail how swift coordination with other relevant projects, in particular FLIP for CCIs and the Creative Europe/Culture Pilot Mobility scheme for artists/and or cultural professionals will be ensured. In addition, the proposal should also explain how it intends to coordinate with similar actions under Erasmus and other relevant programmes.
The proposal should explain how the expected results will be achieved through the following expected outputs.
2.6. EXPECTED OUTPUTS 2.6.1. Short paper at the beginning
At the beginning of the project, a short paper (2-5 pages) concerning the planned activities should be provided, together with an indicative timetable (with indicative dates) for the upcoming activities of the first 6 months.
The paper should also include a short description of how the project will coordinate its upcoming activities and exploit synergies with relevant similar projects, in particular with the Creative Europe/Culture: Pilot Mobility scheme for artists/and or cultural professionals and with the mobility-relevant parts of FLIP for CCIs-1 and FLIP for CCIs- 2.
2.6.2. Survey and needs assessment
In order to implement specific objective n°2, applicants should describe how they intend to carry out a survey and needs assessment among the European makers, creative hubs and fab-lab community through the existing European networks (in particular the European Creative Hubs Network), as well as other networks such as the European Creative Business Network or other. The survey should also cover a representative sample of different European neighbourhood countries as defined under 2.4. geographical focus of this project.
2.6.3. Organisation of peer-to-peer mobility
In order to implement specific objectives n°1-6, applicants should describe how they intend to put in place peer-to-peer exchanges, involving the European Creative Hubs Network and other relevant networks and make a proposal concerning the number of rounds needed, total number of exchanges, timing, resources needed, final outputs required from the participants and other relevant information.
Applicants should also elaborate on the topics of the different calls for peer-to-peer mobility rounds in order to make sure to cover the subjects mentioned in the objectives of this call (inclusion, enhancement of gender balance, skills development, disadvantaged social groups) and with a view of collecting meaningful information for the good practice cases, policy recommendations, evaluation, communication, etc. A special emphasis will be put on a wide geographical balance of the exchanges across Europe.
2.6.4. Organisation of thematic workshops and networking meetings
In order to implement specific objectives n°1-6, applicants should describe how they intend to put in place thematic workshops and networking meetings and make a proposal concerning their number, timing, tentative places, resources needed and other relevant information.
2.6.5. Organisation of a closing conference
Proposals would need to contain information on the following:
A closing conference in Brussels of up to 150-200 participants should take place towards the end of the project. The event should give maximum visibility to the project and to the participating cultural and creative networks and their community in order to present their activities, project results and study reports. The conference should also provide cultural and creative sectors networking opportunities, including through interaction between the participants.
For the closing conference, the active involvement of the European Parliament (EP) as well as other relevant institutions (Commission, research and business organisations, cultural and creative sectors and networks etc.) should actively be strived for. The participation of representatives from a maximum number of countries should be sought in order to achieve a sufficient degree of geographical balance. The Commission will give its approval on the event details, including location, programme, list of speakers and invitees before final arrangements are made.
2.6.6. Enhancing web and social media presence
The proposal should explain in detail how the project will get visibility through enhanced online presence, for example on the website(s) and social media account(s) and page(s) (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) of the applicants, the partner(s) and the EU institutions. In addition, the proposal will also explain how the project's website will showcase interesting relevant resources elaborated by other relevant EU-projects.
The website or section(s) of the website(s) dedicated to the project should also include, inter alia, useful links to EU funding for cultural and creative sectors and its relevant national/local contact points as well as national and other relevant funding opportunities and contacts for the cultural and creative sector.
The applicant should describe what actions will be undertaken to maintain and update over time, also after the end of the project, the web and social media presence with a view to enhance the core aspects of the project.
2.6.7. Other written outputs and final study (including concept papers, best practice catalogues/papers and other visual material, support actions, mappings, assessments, guidelines, lessons to be learnt, recommendations)
Proposals should contain information on the following:
- Mapping report of European mobility schemes for the maker, creative hubs and fab-lab community, taking into account the input received by the community and networks, describing in detail the working methods and financing amounts of the mobility components of each programme, plus conclusions
- Report on the results of the survey and needs assessment among the European makers, creative hubs and fab-lab communities through the existing networks (in particular the European Creative Hubs Network)
- Policy recommendations concerning opportunities and obstacles for a possible establishment of a European framework for makers' mobility building on previous EU-wide experiences
- Good practice cases: Fiches of 1-2 pages each, including visuals per good practice example26, in particular on inclusion and skills development via European maker spaces, creative hubs, fab-labs and the like, building on already existing evidence in particular the one gathered by the European Creative Hubs Network or via relevant OMC reports or other
- Content of the final study, including best practices, conclusions and recommendations
The final study is in addition to the administrative operational reports, and will be shared in advance and discussed with participants during the final conference.
Scheduled start-up date for the action is planned to be as soon as possible upon signature of grant agreement but no later than 1 March 2020. The intention is to inform applicants of the outcome of the award procedure no later than the month of November 2019.
The duration of the project shall be 18 months.
The period of eligibility of costs will start on the day the grant agreement is signed by the last party.
The Procedural timeline for the call for proposals is:
(a) Publication of the call
(b) Deadline for submitting applications
12 August 2019
(c) Evaluation period
August - October 2019
(d) Information to applicants
(e) Signature of grant agreement