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Fact sheet


ORGANZA - Network of Medium Sized Creative Cities

Type of intervention

Regional Initiative Project


Innovation and the knowledge economy


Entrepreneurship and SMEs


January 2010 - December 2012


ERDF Funding: € 1,493,066.33
National Public Co-financing: € 466,814.92
Total budget eligible to ERDF: € 1,959,881.25

Project components

Component 1: Management and coordination
Component 2: Communication and dissemination
Component 3: Exchange of experiences dedicated to the identification and analysis of good practices
Component 4: Transfer of good practices in policy inception, instruments and integration


Organza's objective is to systematically collect and exchange policy experiences of local and regional authorities regarding creative industries. Organza focuses on medium size regions and cities that lack critical mass and face brain drain of creative talent. A key element in the lack of critical mass is an incomplete production structure and environment. Often either creative entrepreneurship or industrial entrepreneurship dominates. The challenge is to dynamize entrepreneurship but also to foster industrial change. Synergies between creativity and industry is an objective sought after, in line with the Lisbon agenda, but often not attained at a regional level. A European dimension may enable synergies and attainment of critical mass. Cities and regions have struggled in defining policies for creative industries. Organza brings together cities and regions with different profiles of creative sectors, which enables capitalisation from the project results.

Partners in Organza may be at the stage of policy inception, at the stage of studies or stakeholder consultations, they may have developed instruments (promotion actions, incubators, training programs etc.) or they may have integrated several instruments in a coherent framework or extended policies for creative industries to other areas. Organza brings together partners at different stages of policy making and with different models of policy development in terms of competences and means, in terms of articulation between local and national policies and in form of implementation. Organza enables regions to understand the relevance of policies with regard to their specific competences. Results also enable structured understanding by non-partner regions. The involvement of public authorities in Organza will enable to understand how to leverage results from past, current and future ERDF funded projects for creative industries.

The Organza project is structured around a strong methodological core. This is required since it is a new policy area, hence a taxonomy of collecting regional profiles and experiences is an important element. A structured database with search engine enables systematic access, customized to the profile of the interested region. Organza then entails a collection and validation of experiences including stakeholder assessment. From this systematic collection, a limited set of inspiring practices is selected for transfer. Limited pilot actions will focus on the three stages of the policy process: inception, instrumentation and integration. Organza includes capacity building in the form of seminars as well as dissemination actions with a focus on stakeholders. The project is set up in order to prepare for regional action plans and possibly a Interreg IVC Capitalisation project.


Organza emerged from a survey on the competitiveness of design industries for DG Enterprise as well as from a range of bottom up initiatives. This study showed that many local/regional initiatives were developed to foster restructuring or development of creative industries. However, each of these initiatives lacked critical mass, access to good practices and coherence with the specific context. The city-region of Arnhem-Nijmegen has identified creative industries as a key regional cluster in 2005, following a national study on creative industries and the inception of national policies. Creative industries have been identified as a key part of the Dutch economy. An exploratory mission was started in spring 2007 and in cities such as Arnhem, Iasi, Varese and Bremen, support for a project to identify practices and exchange good practices was gained. A first project concept was presented at the Interreg IVc conference in Lisbon (2007) as well as during the 2007 Open Days.

A kickoff meeting between key partners was held in December 2007, the first of three meetings to be held over the year 2008 as well as six bilateral meetings between the coordinator and key partners. These partners were committed to take up leading roles in the design of Organza. In 2008 the partnership expanded, reflecting a wider range of situations within the EU. The partnership reflects different regional embeddings of creative industries situations. Some regions have a strong artistic background but little industry, others have a strong but restructuring industrial background. The project combines more advanced and less advanced regions and the project's architecture reflects different levels and competences of authorities. Organza also combines regions with a long term experience with creative industries and regions that are at the inception stage of policy design. Finally, Organza combines different forms of implementation of policy, with very centralised and very fragmented approaches as well as forms of delegation to public agencies or funding of universities or chambers of commerce to initiate actions.