Innovation in creative industries

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2009

28 Pages, Grade: 1.5



Innovation is defined as the ‘introduction of new things or methods’ (, 2009). It is also used by creative industries to create novel and exciting product and it is also a technique employed by creative sectors to improve interaction with audiences, consumers as well as each other sectors across all industries.

The ways in which innovation enhance and sometimes limit the creative industries were discussed at length at the Creative Capital Conference, held in Amsterdam in 2005. This event was organised by an initiative known as Knowledgeland, a ‘network of government, private sector, knowledge institutions and civil society to think about the consequences of the knowledge economy and how to respond to it as a society’ (Kennisland, n.d). Four main thematic areas were analysed at length, each representing focus points on how aspects of creative industry operations contribute to Creative Capital: Creative Crossovers, Creative Clusters, Creative Cities and Creative Public Domain. Using these four areas as a basis of analysis, it is the objective of this paper to demonstrate through examples how innovation is used to advance Creative Capital across the globe.

Firstly, it is fundamental to clearly define what innovation means to the creative industries and what exactly Creative Capital is.


Innovation does not only mean the introduction of new methods, it is the application of creativity in the creative industries with the means of profitability and development. It is ‘central to the creative industry and innovation is critical to productivity growth’. (New South Wales Government, 2008, p.5) More specifically, ‘the development of improved products, services, and processes, the creation of new markets, and the use of new products’ (West, n.d.) is crucial to the advancement of productivity. This, in turn, is the basis for any economy, where increasing efficiency is not to the detriment of business and the sale of goods and services (West, n.d.).

(Miles and Green, 2008)

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Figure 1 depicts the interplay of technology, production and cultural amenability, whilst illustrating the balance between the end product and the emerging phenomenon of user-amalgamation.

The rise of information and communication technologies has fundamentally changed the way we work and live. Innovation – defined as a permanent process of developing and applying new knowledge to work, life, products and services – has become the driving force in our society. This is becoming a more and more open process where citizens act as both users and producers, creating their own goods, services and environment. The challenge is to make sure this creative power is distributed throughout society. (Van den Steenhoven et al, 2005, p.11)

The currency in which this creative power is distributed among societies is what has become known as Creative Capital – that precious and not always tangible commodity that allows creative businesses to thrive in a global marketplace and gives individual cities their cultural idiosyncrasies.

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At the 2005 Creative Capital Conference held in Amsterdam, over 300 people (such as innovation experts, economists, creatives and speakers) from over 20 countries around the world collaborated on the future of Creative Capital in Europe (Van den Steenhoven et al, 2005, p.32). Creative Capital was defined as the ‘combined assets of society that enable and stimulate its people and organisations to be innovative and creative’. (Van den Steenhoven et al, 2005, p.7)

The focus point of the conference was to ‘bring together people that are actively connecting culture and economy, but in their own domain’ (Van den Steenhoven et al, 2005, p.8). To firstly define exactly what domains the creative industries comprise of, the following sectors are cited by the New South Wales Government (2008, p.4):

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All of which ‘have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent, and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property’ (New South Wales Government, 2008, p.4).

This somewhat succinct definition of the creative industries appears to be standard worldwide and on a national level, the Government of Western Australia (2007, p. 6) claims that these industries are made up of

...those businesses that turn creative ideas into commercial outcomes. The economic, social, industrial and cultural contributions of these industries are increasingly being recognised as essential elements of an advanced and thriving regional economy. They are vital in determining the image of a region, retaining talent to that region and providing positive, substantial benefits to other industry sectors.

To refer to other industry sectors, it appears that the acknowledgement of the value of Creative Capital is unilateral. Based on a speech at the 2008 World Economic Forum where Bill Gates introduced the concept of “Creative Capitalism”, My Perfect Economy (2009) defines Creative Capital as:

the resources available to each and every one of us as we strive daily to provide for our families, build our legacy and enjoy our lives. If the current economic meltdown is teaching us anything, it’s that cash money is not the only type of useful capital available to us in our quest to reach our maximum potential, while also making a positive impact in the world.

This indicates that Creative Capital is a valuable resource for communities to be nurtured and developed. Communities capture creative and cultural value when they effectively manage innovation risk in the appropriation of business and local policy-making pertaining to the creative sectors. West (n.d.) believes that the ‘[d]evelopment of a vibrant financial sector should thus be viewed not merely as desirable to support the innovation activities of other firms, but as an end in itself’, where firms can be institutions set in place by governing bodies in the pursuit of innovation and the culmination of Creative Capital.


Innovation has become an ‘open process where new combinations are constantly in development. New players like intermediary institutions, small companies and creative individuals have become involved [and] [s]eparate domains become networked’ (Van den Steenhoven et al, 2005, p.8).

Novel combinations of existing technologies and processes, is also common, with creative industries often using existing content for new purposes. TV programmes are repackaged for DVD, mobile phone or online downloads; music is repackaged in a new compilation or made available for MP3 players. (Miles and Green, 2008, p.6)


Excerpt out of 28 pages


Innovation in creative industries
Creative Industries
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Grade has been converted from Australian (33/40) to German (1.5)
Nick Birch, Creative Industries, Innovation, Creative Enterprise
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Nick Birch (Author), 2009, Innovation in creative industries, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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