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Nesta Calls for Refresh on Creative Economy

Mark Marich

With the ‘digital revolution’ in full swing and technological innovation advancing daily, the creative industries are expanding. However, the policies that guide the creative economy are too often outdated and based on business models that have been virtually swept away. Nesta, a UK-based foundation focused on innovation, has come up with a set of policy recommendations to guide the UK—and possibly serve as at least a discussion starter for other countries.

Two of the top priorities are the ensure the ‘next generation of the internet is truly open’ and that young people have the opportunity to learn creative skills.

Its Manifesto for the Creative Economy also outlines ten policy recommendations to incentivize innovation for the UK:

  • Proposal One: The Government should adopt (Nesta’s) proposed new definitions of the creative industries and the wider creative economy—“those sectors which specialize in the use of creative talent for commercial purposes.”
  • Proposal Two: Policymakers should establish a ‘creative innovation system’ framework within which strategic priorities can be addressed in a coherent and effective manner.
  • Proposal Three: The Government should make R&D tax relief more accessible to creative businesses.
  • Proposal Four: Local policymakers should observe (Nesta’s) seven-point guide for developing creative clusters.
  • Proposal Five: Government should ensure that its generic business finance schemes do not discriminate against creative businesses and that regulations help the development of financial internet platforms (such as crowdfunding sites).
  • Proposal Six: The Treasury and the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media & Sport) should undertake a broad-based assessment of the value of public arts and cultural spending in the UK… Funding decisions should be justified in the light of criteria that emerge from this work.
  • Proposal Seven: Funders should incentivize experimentation with digital technologies by arts and cultural organizations and allocate a sustained percentage of their resources to digital R&D, ensuring that evidence arising from this work is openly shared.
  • Proposal Eight: Ofcom should be given powers to gather in formation in all Internet markets in order to maximize the chances of sound and timely judgments about the emergence of potentially abusive market power and other market concerns.
  • Proposal Nine: UK copyright rules and exceptions should be re-balanced, along the lines proposed by the UK Government, and also at the European level as part of the drive for a European Digital Single Market.
  • Proposal Ten: Governments across the UK should make a Schools Digital Pledge, designed to ensure that the school curriculum, including its representation in the English Baccalaureate, brings together art, design, technology and computer science and that young people are able to enjoy greater opportunities to work creatively with technologies, both in and out of school.

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