Centrum KreatywnosciThe City of Warsaw carries out a series of activities aimed at supporting the creation of innovation, entrepreneurship and creative industries. In 2012, Warsaw has adopted two documents, which define the creative sector as one of their main focus area for the support activities and add give strategic framework to the actions that have been realized by the City so far.

On 29 March 2012 the Warsaw City Council adopted the document “City of culture and inhabitants. Culture development programme in Warsaw until 2020” and on 4 October 2012 the City Council adopted the program “Innovation Warsaw 2020”. One of the goals of the Culture development program is “supporting development of creativity and promotion of culture and art, as well as development of creative industries”.

Key activity fields
The Programme “Innovation Warsaw 2020” aims at supporting entrepreneurship, innovation and R&D. It focuses  on the increase of significance of Research and Development sector in Warsaw’s economy, development of cooperation network as well as foreign economic connections, and improvement of the conditions of running a company. The key activity fields in the Programme are biotechnologies, energetics, optoelectronics, IT, nanotechnologies and the creative sector.

Tools of support
The City of Warsaw have been developing tools of support which are called jointly Warsaw Technological Space. The City is creating three support spaces focusing on the areas of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovations. There three support spaces are going to be open for enhancing the development of focus areas – in 2013 the Entrepreneurship Centre, in later years the Creativity Centre (now in the phase of adopting the building) and the Innovation Centre. Those are City owned buildings with a wide range support services for SMEs. Here you can see a movie about the Creativity Centre (in Polish).

There is also body of experts set up for developing better conditions for innovation in the city – the Innovation Policy Council attached to the Mayor of the City of Warsaw. It represents colleges, R&D units, local government, voivodship government. It works to support municipalities in execution of innovation policy, stimulation of cooperation between economic and scientific environments in the area of the City of Warsaw, crreation of favourable conditions for running (implementing) the innovations by Warsaw entrepreneurs and coordination of the City’s actions in terms of Regional Innovation Strategy of Mazovian Voivodship.

There is also a Small and Medium Enterprises Development Group, constituting of experts, local business area institutions economic, craft and employers’ associations. The Group discusses current problems concerning SME sector, consults initiatives and projects aimed at supporting SMEs, exchanges experiences and consults services rendered by the business area institutions.

The City of Warsaw runs a few projects whose aim is to acquire knowledge of good practices in the fields of creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation support, as well as finding best support tools for the local context. Apart from the Cross-Innovation, those are, for instance, ECCL – European Creative Cluster Lab, researching and testing new approaches in creative cluster management in creative and traditional industries in Europe. The project is funded by the European Commission’s European Creative Industries Alliance. There is also Interreg IVC funded CCIC – Complex Challenges, Innovative Cities. With most attention in Europe going towards innovation performance in the private sector, public sector innovations receive much less attention. Public sector innovation in the context of CCIC is about new ideas that contribute to creating public value. In terms of innovation, regions and municipalities have a crucial lead-role. CCIC (a regional initiative project) aims to increase the levels of innovation in 13 diverse partner-regions. By exchanging good practices they will address a set of interlinked challenges faced by all public authorities and related to innovation in the public sector as public finance for innovation, public authorities as innovators and innovation stimulators, public attitudes to innovation and public procurement supporting innovation. The project focuses on the essential issue of regional public policy: how to engage public authorities in innovation strategies development fostering the public sector to work towards innovations for societal benefit.

In the scope of the Cross Innovation project, participants from Warsaw have taken or will take part in three study visits – to Linz, Berlin and Rome. The study visit to Linz was focused on new media (Festival Ars Electronica), interaction between the worlds of art, new technologies and science. Also, Linz presented itself as a place where traditional big industry offers a platform for cooperation with artists (Voestalpine AG steel factory, former tobacco factory). The study visit to Berlin was centred around music industries (e.g. Berlin Music Week).

As one of the results of the Creative Metropoles project – of which Cross-innovation is a spin off, the City of Warsaw, together with British Council Poland, have been organizing cyclical meetings for creative entrepreneurs, policy makers and experts – the Ceative Mikser. During Creative Miksers, after presentations from two or three panelist, all participants discuss the topic of creative industries in Warsaw – it is a perfect occasion for creative people to talk to policy makers informally and exchange opinions and knowledge. 5th Creative Mikser will take place on 21 November and will be centred around the topic of networking and clusters cooperation.

Another event is the project “Action: Creativity“. It has been established in 2010 and in 2012, on 13-15 December, it will already be the 2nd Akcja Kreatywnoscedition of series of workshops, trainings and conference, especially tailored for the creative sector. The main organizer of the project is Bielany Library (Bielany is one of Warsaw’s districts), cooperating with the City of Warsaw, supported financially by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

This year “Action: Creativity” will focus on the gathering and development of creative potential within the various clusters: professional and creative districts. Participants will work on the syllabus of creative knowledge & skills, and the way how to achieve them. They will discuss and try to elaborate the solutions not only for Warsaw, but Kraków, Lódz, Zabrze and Torun within the cycle of Creative Laboratories.
“Action: Creativity” will also organize the series of trainings for young entrepreneurs, enabling them to cooperate with the already experienced and internationally recognized professionals.

An interesting initiative is also happening in Warsaw in November. Polish Ministry of Culture is planning to carry out a foresight exercise focusing on the creative industries in Poland. Taking into account the role of CI in modern economy, the Ministry intends to identify the most promising creative branches and design policy instruments to support their further development.
So far, the general methodological approach was set out which will be discussed with key stakeholders. Consultation meetings will be held on 14 and 29 November in Warsaw. We encourage representatives of the creative sector as well as academics and journalists dealing with the subject matter to take part in the debate. The consultation meetings will provide an opportunity to propose changes in the approach adopted by the Ministry or suggest important themes and problems that should be covered by the foresight study. For further details please contact paulina.fabrowska@ecorys.pl.

Warsaw will organize a policy clinic event for Cross-Innovation project partners and local partners of innovation. It will take place on 19 and 20 March 2013. On 21 March there is a TEDx event organised in Warsaw, where the participants will be able to meet some of the innovators and become inspired.

All information about events, projects, grants etc. aimed at the creative sector, creative entrepreneurs (and all other people who are interested) can find on the City developed and run platform Creatives.waw.pl (English). A lot of information is also available in English, for our project partners anCreativio logod creatives from other countries. The platform has been first developed in the scope of the Creative Metropoles project. Apart from being an extensive knowledge base, it also offers space for self promotion and networking. Feel free to join us!

For the events, check out our Calendar.