Areas of focus: cultural and creative industries

Cultural and creative industries refer to a range of economic activities that transform cultural and creative inputs into goods and services that embody both cultural and economic values. Cultural and creative industries include several sub-sectors and industries related to advertising, architecture, archives and libraries, artistic crafts, audiovisual media (including film, radio, television, video games and multimedia), design, heritage, festivals, music, performing arts, publishing, visual arts and textiles and clothing. When accompanied by appropriate policies and strategies, cultural and creative industries offer potential for income generation and job creation.

What makes cultural and creative industries unique is that they rely on an unlimited resource: creativity. However, while no nation can be short of creativity, not all societies are able to organize creativity productively. Innovation tends to emerge where the value of creativity is favourably perceived and sustained, where the creative talents can find the necessary support to turn their ideas into products and services. It is through the valorization of creativity into value chains that some nations achieve progress, while others lag behind in spite of abundant creativity and a rich culture.

Within this context, the European Union, the Italian Development Cooperation and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have launched a technical assistance project that recognizes the integral role of culture for inclusive and sustainable industrial development and the importance of combining culture with innovation and opportunity-driven entrepreneurship. The project specializes in identifying traditional cultural products and services, which cannot be outsourced, and which require creativity and innovation in order to access local or international markets.