Scotland’s creative industries ‘world leading’


Scotland has a world leading creative industries sector which has the talent, technology and the international reputation to succeed in the global marketplace, the Culture Minister told an audience of European delegates today.

Fiona Hyslop addressed a conference on Europe's creative industries, hosted at Scotland House in Brussels, during a two-day visit to the city. The event will be attended by policy makers and industry representatives from across the European Union. Speakers at the conference include the European Commission, Flanders District of Creativity and Creative Scotland.

Ms Hyslop said:

"Scotland is one of the world's most creative nations. Our global reputation as a place of innovation and imagination, our world-class higher and further education system, and our highly-talented workforce have helped establish our thriving creative industries sector.

"It supports about 63,000 jobs, generates an annual turnover of about £5.2 billion and, over the past decade, has grown more quickly than the Scottish economy as a whole.

"That is why it is one of the seven priority sectors in the Scottish Government's economic strategy. We are committed to developing our creative industries by providing the right public sector support, through Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Creative Industries Partnership.

"This innovative, collaborative approach is ensuring our creative industries are well placed to realise their economic potential at home and abroad and I am sure my colleagues across Europe will be interested to learn about the progress we are making, as we are interested in learning from the experiences of our European partners.

"The Scottish Government believes that strengthening cultural exchanges and international trade links will create an environment in which our creative industries can flourish."

Caroline Parkinson, Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland, said:

"The establishment of Creative Scotland provides Scotland with a unique opportunity to harness and drive forward the potential within our world-class creative industries. Collaborative working across the public sector ensures that resources are focused and directed at a flourishing creative sector, which in turn gives them a range of support services to help maximise their creative and economic potential. We are delighted to be here in Brussels to develop our collaborative approach with a range of new partners."

Delegates at the conference will also be able to see a demonstration from the University of Abertay's Dare to be Digital event, which involved teams of students designing and developing their own video games.

The Culture Minister said:

"Dare to be Digital exemplifies the best of what is happening in Scotland and it is fantastic that Abertay University has the opportunity to showcase its work on the European stage."

Gregor White, Director of Academic Enterprise at Abertay University, said:

"Dundee is internationally recognised as a centre of computer games development, and the industry views Dare to be Digital as a hotbed of new creative talent. We are delighted to be able to demonstrate Abertay's unique approach - and what we have to offer as world leader in computer games design education - to a European audience."

Ms Hyslop is undertaking a series of engagements in Brussels about creative industries, international development and research, including meetings with Commissioner Vassilliou and Commissioner Georgieva.

The creative industries conference, 'Europe 2020: creative solutions for a strong EU economy - putting theory into practice', will explore how the cultural and creative industries are currently being supported in the EU. The European Commission will offer its perspective following the recent consultation on the cultural and creative industries and the proposed European Creative Industries Alliance, and a panel discussion will explore what needs to be done in practice to support this key sector and the European added value.

Participants will also be able to experience the latest i-Pad games technology from Scotland with Dare to be Digital's BAFTA-nominated team. Flanders District of Creativity will also present their highly successful I-pod project, which involved young product designers undertaking work placements at companies across Europe.

Creative industries are those which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent. They include industries that have the potential to create wealth and jobs through the development, production and exploitation of intellectual property. The sector is made up of 13 distinct industries - advertising, architecture, art and antiques, crafts, design, designer fashion, film, interactive leisure software, music, performing arts, publishing, software and computer services, TV and radio.

Creative Scotland is the new national development body for the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland and was established on July 1, 2010. It coordinates development of the creative industries.

Scottish Creative Industries Partnership (SCIP) was established in June 2009 and brought together the key public sector agencies supporting creative industries. It ensures effective engagement with practitioners through a number of targeted reference groups.

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's main economic development agency and aims to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy. Its role is to help identify and exploit the best opportunities for economic growth. It supports ambitious Scottish companies to compete within the global marketplace and helps build Scotland's globally competitive sectors. Scottish Enterprise also works with a range of partners in the public and private sectors to attract new investment to Scotland and to help create a world-class business environment.

Dare to be Digital is organised and run by the University of Abertay Dundee, with sponsorship from Turner Broadcasting, Intel, Wacom, NCR, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Dundee City Council. The international competition attracts students from across the globe to come up with the next big game. 75 students had ten weeks to complete their prototypes at Abertay's Dare hothouse for assessment by industry judges and a public vote at Dare ProtoPlay, which took place at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

The three winning teams from Dare to be Digital each year become the sole nominees for the BAFTA "Ones to Watch" Award, and the 2009 Dare and BAFTA winning team was also nominated for a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award.