Financially sustainable creative incubations units
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27 · Feb 13 | Medway, U.K.

The first Medway Regional Implementation Group meeting took place on 27 February 2013 at the Centre for Creative Collaboration (C4CC) in Kings Cross, London.
Image - Picture Eleven members of the 18-strong Regional Implementation Group were able to attend this first project meeting, which included representatives from active policy-making and influencing organisations such as Medway Council, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Arts Council England, and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). Also in attendance were representatives from several active and influential universities in the creative industries agenda, including; University for the Creative Arts, University of the Arts London, Kings College London, London Metropolitan University, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The RIG has adopted a working lunch format to maximise the attendance among the busy RIG membership, and the the first task was to introduce the InCompass Project, its purpose and objectives to the RIG members.
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The project consultant then gave a presentation on the findings of the study visit to Malmo, Lund and Copenhagen held at the end of November 2012. There was interest among the attendees in the information presented, both because of the insight into good practices in creative incubation in other countries, but also as an opportunity to compare current practices at home with the information presented.

Partners thought that discussion on the subject matter was very timely, and several organisations, including NESTA, the Arts Council England and BIS stated that their respective organisations were actively reviewing their policies and activity on the creative incubation agenda.

The overall discussion was energic, and there was particular concentration on the topic of public investment in physical locations for incubators, which – the overall conclusion of panel suggested – is an expensive and unsustainable policy. There was a recognition of the difference in cultures around Europe within this point, and partners requested that it would be more effective (as an additional mechanism to enable discussion in future meetings) to identify a small number of quantifiable indicators that could facilitate a more effective comparative analysis of information within the project.
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The RIG meeting was scheduled for two hours, but the intensive discussion necessitated an overrun on time of nearly an hour. The overall feedback from partners was very positive, particularly around having the opportunity to receive and share information of this kind on a cross-border basis, and there was clear interest in future meetings to discuss future study visit reports.

Medway Council will hold his second RIG meeting in the end of July 2013.
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InCompass Project is funded by the EU’s European Regional Development fund through the INTERREG IVC programme