The Creative State North West launched a major new business support programme for the North West at IT Sligo’s Enterprise and Innovation Week 2012. Supported by the EC, the fund is part of a new business support programme called 4CNW (which stands for Creative Challenge Celtic Crescent North West), which will focus on harnessing creativity in the North West, and developing the natural creative assets of the region to foster innovation and lead to economic growth.
Speaking at the launch, head of Head of Innovation at IT Sligo, Niall McEvoy, commented;
“We were delighted to collaborate with Creative State North West during our third annual Enterprise & Innovation Week at IT Sligo. The announcement of the ‘talent vouchers’ is very exciting for people who are working or aspiring to work in the creative industry. Our role in the Innovation Centre is to help impart skills that entrepreneurs need to move business ideas from concept to reality, and this initiative is a fine example of this type of support. Creativity is a distinct asset of the North West and this is a very welcome and innovative development for the industry in this region.”
Europe sees the direct correlation between creativity and innovation and the need for both to foster economic growth. It is positioning itself as a global centre of innovation and has established the European Creative Industries Alliance (ECIA) to test bed supports to fast track the strengthening and development of the Creative Industries; one of the highest growth sectors in world trade.
The Creative State has leveraged the natural creative assets of the North West to become one of only nine projects from 12 countries across Europe that have successfully applied for, and received, funding from the EC Directorate General of Industry and Enterprise to become test cases for how best to harness creativity for economic growth and contribute to EU policy in this area.
4CNW will drive new linkages between the creative sector and four key industry sectors; tourism, technology, agri-food and life sciences, demonstrating the role of creative industries in the wider eco-system of innovation and providing a new model for measuring their impact as a catalyst for economic growth.
Led by Sligo County Council, the voucher scheme will use €100,000 of talent vouchers to motivate and incentivise practical collaboration between these diverse sectors; and will leverage up to a further €100,000 in matched funds. The overall initiative forms part of a wider strategic initiative of the Western Development Commission (WDC) with the capacity to create 17,000 jobs, €100m growth in exports, and to create a platform to leverage private sector investment with spill-over impacts by 2020.
For more details see http://www.lookwest.ie/4cnw