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Cultural and creative industries can have a strong effect on local communities and provide both aesthetic and economic value. An international consortium led by the University of Amsterdam (UvA) will explore the role these industries play in local contexts and their connection to global networks, and translate these findings into policy.

Bimhuis in Amsterdam
Bimhuis (concerthall for jazz and improvised music) in Amsterdam

The international consortium CICERONE (Creative Industries Cultural Economy Production Network) contributes to European policy by developing a better understanding of the European cultural and creative ecosystem. How do creative and cultural industries facilitate local and widespread economic development, sustainability, social cohesion and the formation of identity? CICERONE has been awarded a €3 million grant as part of the Horizon 2020 programme, which will have a four-year term.

A rich European tradition

Europe is home to a rich and diverse past with regard to the cultural and creative industries (CCI). These industries product a wide range of goods and services, encompass large, medium and small businesses and have major significance in connection with local heritage. Europe is often referred to as a cultural powerhouse due to its unique concentration of cultural heritage and art institutions. In addition to their symbolic and aesthetic value, however, cultural industries also have a vital economic impact on both employment and economic growth.

A fresh perspective

UvA researcher Robert Kloosterman (lead partner in the project): ‘An increasing number of products are using aesthetic or symbolic aspects to set themselves apart, whether you’re talking about a pair of sunglasses, a shopping tote or a concert hall. As a result, cultural and creative industries are gaining in importance. This European research project brings together renowned researchers in the field, from eight European countries, in order to gain a fresh perspective on how these activities are being integrated at a local, national and international level.’

Focus of the research

The CICERONE team will identify connections between local contexts and global networks. The production process of goods and services no longer takes place – start to finish – at a single location. Instead, it has been ‘unbundled’, meaning the production chain typically includes multiple locations that are frequently in different countries and together form a global network. At the same time, each location is home to a unique combination of jobs, ideas, cultures and institutions. Its unique combination and role in the global network determines a location’s ability to respond to global forces and delivers valuable knowledge concerning the potential of CCIs.

Research methods

The research will consist of a quantitative and qualitative analysis of existing sources, along with cases studies at locations yet to be determined.

Policy recommendations

Through this research, CICERONE hopes to explain why and how CCIs can have varying impacts and the manner in which policy can influence this impact. The academic knowledge yielded by the study will be shared with the professional field, including via a network of major stakeholders. In doing so, CICERONE intends to contribute to our knowledge of the intrinsic logic, organisation and mechanisms of the cultural and creative industries and to inspire effective strategies for healthy CCIs. 

Research partners

CICERONE will be coordinated by Prof. Robert Kloosterman of the University of Amsterdam.The further membership of the consortium includes the universities of Vienna, Stockholm, Bari and Barcelona, as well as the City University London, SWPS University, KEA European Affairs and the Sofia-based Observatory of Cultural Economics.