The plan is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), who on 23 June announced the winning consortium in the field of culture and creativity – Innovation by Creative Economy.
The consortium of the EIT Culture & Creativity innovation community was founded by 50 institutions, including the University of Tartu. Over two seven-year periods, the new pan-European partnership can expect to split approximately EUR 300 million of EIT funding under Horizon Europe (dedicated funding for two new EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities to be launched during the 2021-2027 EU funding period) with the possibility to leverage more funds from the private and public sector.
Viljandi Culture Academy has placed special emphasis on developing the field of creative entrepreneurship in the last two years. All Culture Academy students must complete the Basic Course for Creative Entrepreneur and Entrepreneurship Practice during their studies, while continuing education learners can take the Creative Entrepreneur micro-credentials programme as of last autumn. Both degree students and successful graduates of the micro-credentials programme can apply for the Creative Entrepreneurship incubation-acceleration programme, which takes place in the summer months and where the selected teams are offered mentoring and funding. This year in May, the Culture Academy organised the first hackathon combining cultural heritage, research and business, with nearly one hundred participants from Estonian universities and national heritage organisations. Membership in the EIT Culture & Creativity provides an excellent network and additional funding opportunities to the academy to develop the ongoing as well as new activities.
EIT is a European Union initiative that drives innovation across Europe to find solutions to pressing global challenges. To achieve this, it brings together organisations from business, education and research. Through nine knowledge and innovation communities, the EIT supports university-business cooperation in launching innovative products and services, as well as in entrepreneurship education and the setting up and funding of start-ups. The communities’ areas of activity range from climate change and sustainable energy to healthy lifestyle and food. The University of Tartu has by now joined four EIT knowledge and innovation communities.
The aim of the EIT Culture & Creativity is to support growth in the competitiveness of the sector. The European cultural and creative sector is based on small and medium-sized enterprises but they account for 5.5% of the gross domestic product and employ 6.2% of employees.
The EIT Culture & Creativity will become operational in 2024.