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Creative Industries

Creative Industries


Dr. J.A.A. Simons (Associate Professor New Media)

Members of the research group

prof.dr. J.F.T.M. van Dijck prof.dr. E.A. Kuitert prof.dr. C.P. Lindner prof.dr. M. Deuze dr. C.M. Lord dr. G.W. Lovink dr. D.B. Nieborg dr. T. Poell dr. J.A.A. Simons dr. J.A. Teurlings dr. M.L. Wilders drs. C.H. Wilschut External Members: B. Cnossen (CIRCA) O. Paraskevopoulou (University of Athens) S. Olma (The Think Tank)

Description of the research programme of the research group

Since the Labour government of Tony Blair placed the creative industries in the heart of its politics of economic politics of revival and innovation (‘cool Britain’), the creative industries came to be considered as the engine of innovation and revitalization of the economy also outside the UK. Creativity was considered the most important ingredient for reinforcing flexibility, adaptivity and inventiveness in the economic sphere and the image of the artist became an example for the post-industrial entrepreneur. In the Netherlands the Rutte-1 government has selected the creative industries the as one of the nine ‘top domains’ of its economic policies. Moreover, many old industrial cities tried to reinvent themselves as cultural centres and to make themselves attractive for the ‘creative class’ and so reboot their post-industrial economies. Leaving definitional and semantic issues aside for a moment, one could argue that the creative industries are often the first to explore and develop the possibilities of new technologies and new ways of collaboration to develop - often but not always and necessarily - innovative products and services. However, the sheer size and funds of many companies and institutions in the creative industries are remarkably at odds with the powers of innovation and revitalization that are attributed to them in many policy papers. Moreover, since many of the independent workers in the creative industries are rooted in counter-cultural practices and ideologies, it is often hard for them to find access to the prevailing markets and corporations as potentially interesting partners or clients. The often much romanticized creative workers largely work under conditions or precariousness in a highly competitive and crisis ridden market place. The very terms ‘creative industries’ and ‘creative workers’ are prone to give rise to a number of myths and misunderstandings with regard to the actual role and position of the ‘creatives’ in the economy. The research group addresses a number of questions such as: what actually is the role of culture and creativity in the contemporary economy? What effects do government policies and interventions with respect to the creative industries have on arts and culture? What are the implications and effects of the notions ‘creative class’ and ‘creative city’ on urban policies and planning? What are the ‘values’ that are created in the creative industries, monetary as well as non-monetary? Is ‘creativity’ evenly distributed socially as well as globally, and what are the implications for education and research? What is the relationship between ‘creative work’ and new media and information and communication technologies? Why are the arts mostly excluded from creative industries policies, and what does this mean for the arts?

Envisaged results

The group envisages to organize at least one international conference on creative industries, workshops and expert meetings the proceedings of which will be published in books or special issues of international, peer reviewed journals. Five of six PhD theses are expected to be defended by 2017; each year an edited book or monograph will be published, as well as a number of articles in peer reviewed international journals and papers will be presented at international conferences. Each year grant applications will ben submitted to NWO, KNAW and other funding bodies.

Work plan and time schedule

See above; the group will organize a monthly PhD seminar, and arrange ‘embedded research’ projects in situ. We will seek collaboration with other parties in education, research, and expertise in the creative industries and the so-called ‘triple helix’ of research, administration and commerce.

Societal relevance

Creative industries are at the centre of the economic policies of many governments and city administrations. Although it is a much debated issue, there is still a surprisingly unclear what the creative industries are, how they work, and what their contribution to the economy at large may be. By researching the practices and discourses of and around the creative industries, a greater understanding of the creative industries might help policy makers and ‘creative workers’ to maximize the results of their efforts, and may lead to a better understanding of the role of creativity and culture in post-industrial societies.

This research group is act in the following constellations:



Globalization adn Migration