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Creative Industries Cultural Economy Production Network

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CICERONE (Creative Industries Cultural Economy Production Network)

Reporting period: 2020-02-01 to 2021-07-31

Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) are important economic activities. Their competitive strength is partly rooted in Europe's long-established local and regional ecosystems encompassing firms, workers, dedicated institutions for reproducing skills and specific regulations, and informal practices that underpin, for instance, the making of music, the designing of fashion, or the publishing of books. In the past two decades, many studies focused on the local and regional embeddedness of CCIs. Increasingly, there is now an awareness that these activities, like so many other, are often part of cross-border networks. The CICERONE project explicitly focuses on these external linkages by using the Global Production Network approach to analyse both the functioning and societal impact (economic growth, employment, role in social cohesion and local identity). Given the growing importance of CCIs, the CICERONE project provides a highly relevant, innovative and in-depth view based on extensive empirical research.

Objectives (abbreviated):

A) The functioning of CCIs

1 - Unpacking how CCIs function (where, how and by whom is value in the production network created and where, how and by whom is value captured)
2 - Assess which skills (more traditional craft as well as digital) are essential to producing creative commodities
3 - Explore labour conditions (wage, working hours, job certainty/precariousness, mobility) and the relationship with social division of labour in terms of age, gender, and ethnicity
4 - Examine how CCIs, through their direct economic effects, involvement of citizens and symbolic content, contribute to the social cohesion and identity of social groups

B) Policy relevance

1 - Propose new ways of gathering data on CCIs based on gaps in existing data, as identified according to a GPN perspective
2 - Analyse relationships between the institutional regulatory context at different spatial scales and the functioning of CCIs (focusing on entry barriers, financing models, tax incentives, trade agreements, and IPR protection across sectors)
3 - Develop a framework for targeted policies to enhance the contribution of CCI activity to competitiveness, social cohesion and sustainability based on coherent sets of indicators on the national and EU–level

C) Strengthening the field of CCIs

1 - Develop a practitioners’ platform to identify strategic connections and forms of collective action
2 - Establishing sector-specific, country-specific as well as stakeholder-group/focus groups
3 - Involving non-academic entities including policy makers (on different levels: local, regional, national, EU), entrepreneurs in CCIs (both individual and collective as in associations), workers in CCIs, and intermediaries/tastemakers/critics
The work in the period covered by the report (month 1-12), consists of seven parts.

First, in WP1 we provided a review of the literature on global production network theory and delineated its relevance to creative and cultural industries. It presented a focused review of the literature on CCIs since the 1990s when the CCI started to become a research theme in its own right. We have also provided a presentation of the main components of the GPN approach and a brief sketch of its development in the literature. Furthermore, we have gives an assessment of how to apply the GPN approach - initially intended to analyse complex value chains in manufacturing industries (e.g. car industry, electronics) – to CCIs.

Second, we have produced CCI overview studies comprising two parts (WP2). The first involved a literature review for each of the selected CCI sectors, for which each team carried out the following tasks: a description of the configuration of the production network (input-output structure); the identification of the governance typologies; an exploration of the key socio-institutional dimensions affecting network configuration/dynamics (e.g. fiscal incentives, property rights, labour legislation, path dependent cultural aspects) at various levels; a discussion about possible changes over time (e.g. digitalisation, technologies) and/or possible firms upgrading processes (value capture strategies); and, lastly, an analysis of the (possible) national variations and specificities. The next part involved a quantitative (secondary) data analysis in order to quantify and (geo)localise the production networks linked to the CCIs in Europe. In order to fulfil this latter task, each sector-team first operationalised, on the basis of NACE codes, the economic activities composing the network. Then, statistical data at the EU level was gathered on the number of firms, employment, VAT, etc.

Third, a review of tariff barriers and trade costs affecting the CCIs across European borders has been produced (WP3). This deliverable, which reviewed the first part of the trade environment for cultural goods and services and outlined the potential barriers to that trade, was led by CITY and involved contributions from partners at SU and KEA. We showed that there is an evolving institutional structure of trade rules and regulations, with an entropic trajectory to no tariff barriers, and reciprocal (preferably no) incentives. Furthermore, it became clear that the cultural sector is potentially vulnerable to comprehensive agreements (such as has been discussed under TRIPS), that may adversely affect culture in particular ways: cultural diversity, or local identities.

Fourth, work has been started on the Cultural Economy Observatory (WP4) by making an assessment of the observatory’s target audiences and a further detailing of its objectives and, hence, core functions.

Fifth, a preliminary stakeholders mapping (WP7) has been undertaken which resulted in a list of different categories of stakeholders and beneficiaries of the project, according to A) geography, such as regional, national and European; B) sector, such as networks and organisations relevant and related to each cultural industry sector; and C) function, in terms of interests in the project. In addition, the consortium initiated numerous outreach activities. Next to publishing press releases and providing lectures, we also held public presentations during a variety of conferences and expert meetings.

Six, a Data Management Plan (WP8) has been created. This provides an overview of the nature of the data that is being collected and outlines how it will be stored, protected and exchanged throughout the project’s life cycle, and how it will be publicly disclosed once the project has come to an end.

Seven, we showed how we will comply with the ethics requirement (WP9).
The empirical core of the project - the actual fieldwork in which we will explore the production networks of concrete projects in CCIs - still has to take place. The outcomes of this empirical part will provide the insights beyond the state of the art. However, what already has become clear is that the CCIs do constitute a distinct category of economic activities not just because of the crucial importance of aesthetic and symbolic aspects and the typically strong intrinsic motivation of the workers involved, but also in the sense of the near endless variety of the product, the diversity in business models and related issues of local socio-economic and cultural impact. This distinctiveness also manifests itself in how the policy, regulatory and governance framework affect CCIs.
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