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4 Nov 14 | Dundee, Scotland

The InCompass project was promoted to over 300 Creative Industries professionals at the 10th Creative Dundee Pecha Kucha event on 4 November 2014 at the Bonar Hall in Dundee. The key findings of InCompass which have applicability in a Dundee context were presented by Matt Peacock on behalf of the Dundee Regional partners. Dundee City Council and Dundee and Angus (D&A) College have been collaborating within InCompass to engage Regional partners to develop a Regional Implementation Plan which will take some of the key financially sustainable incubation models and apply these in the Dundee and Angus Region.

Gillian Easson, Director Creative Dundee who hosted the InCompass event said, “I am delighted to be part of the Dundee Regional Implementation Group for InCompass and to identify how we can apply the good practice incubation approaches from across Europe in our own region.”

Being able to showcase this within our 10th Pecha Kucha event was a fantastic way to get these messages across to regional and national policy makers and the creative community in the city.

The Dundee Regional Implementation Group (RIG) have created a Regional Implementation Plan which will act as a legacy of the InCompass project and will be utilised to further cement relationships in Dundee and Angus which are already strong but will enhance engagement and lead to tangible collaborations between D&A College and the 2 city universities, between Dundee City Council and incubator operators and with entrepreneurs across the creative, digital and cultural industries community.

A culmination of this regional partnership activity was the announcement on 1 December of the city of Dundee’s status as the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design.

The title, which is given to cities described as having a rich cultural heritage, giving opportunities to designers and planners who utilise local materials under local conditions, recognises the city’s  contribution to both old and new creative industries.

Dundee’s design heritage ranges from research in medicine and biomedical science to children’s favourites such as the Dandy and the Beano comics and the world-famous computer game Grand Theft Auto, all of which contributed to the city gaining City of Design Status.

In the same announcement were Bilbao in Spain, Curitiba in Brazil, Helsinki in Finland and Turin in Italy, these cities along with Dundee, now join the exclusive list of recipients which includes Beijing, Berlin and Montreal.

According to representatives of the museum, V&A Dundee, which will be at the centre of Dundee's waterfront development, will become the home of Scotland's design heritage to build on the Unesco title.

Congratulations were widely reported in The Courier, Dundee (December 1):

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "Warm congratulations must go to everyone who has played a part in bringing this prestigious Unesco City of Design accolade to Dundee, and indeed Scotland.

"This is a richly deserved accolade and further strengthens the city's growing reputation as a hub of cultural and creative excellence and an international centre for the creative industries.

"Indeed, the Scottish Government has been delighted to award £15 million to the V&A Dundee project, which will create local jobs and contribute significantly to the regeneration of Dundee and its waterfront, giving the city a world-class design museum and visitor attraction."

The city has "continually reinvented itself after the collapse of its heavy industries", Dundee council said, and the design title will create new opportunities.

"This is tremendous news and shows truly international recognition for Dundee's innovative design sector," Ken Guild, Dundee City Council leader, said.

"The city's profile will receive a huge boost and I am certain it will lead to many opportunities for Dundee. I look forward to seeing how we use this status to help take the city forward for the future."
The city has a history of manufacturing jute and other textiles, and design courses are offered by both universities in Dundee.

Professor Nigel Seaton, principal of Abertay University, said: "Unesco City of Design status is a major recognition of everything Dundee has achieved, from life-saving biosciences innovations to the design of comics and games - many created by Abertay graduates - and of what we can achieve in the future."

Professor Pete Downes, principal of the University of Dundee, added: "Our city has design at its very heart, something the University of Dundee has acknowledged by making this one of our three areas of excellence in our Transform strategy.

"We are delighted that Unesco has recognised the heritage and ambition of our city and we look forward to working with the international partners, building new links and strengthening old ones."

Christina Potter, Principal of Dundee and Angus College later added her congratulations stating, “Creative innovation is demonstrated in all aspects of the city’s work and in bringing those designs and innovations to reality. This is something that the city continues to do, leading to the award of this tremendous accolade. I’m confident our regional partners will continue to work together to ensure this legacy remains for the benefit of our learners and entrepreneurs of the future.”

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InCompass Project is funded by the EU’s European Regional Development fund through the INTERREG IVC programme