European Creative Hubs Network is a 2-year project by the British Council in partnership with six European creative hubs – Bios in Greece, Addict in Portugal, Betahaus in Germany, Kulturni Kod/Nova Iskra in Serbia, Creative Edinburgh in UK and Factoria Cultural in Spain – and the European Business and Innovation Network. The project is co-funded by the European Commission, through the Cross-sectoral strand of the Creative Europe programme, and is part of the European Commission strategy on Culture in External Relation.
Over the past ten years we have seen a global development of communities of creative people convening in spaces to invent, to collaborate, to make and to create. These communities form what we now call creative hubs and they represent the creative sector in the dawn of the 21st century.
In an ever-changing global landscape, we recognise that hubs are important spaces where people can design, test, scale and launch enterprising new ideas.
These hubs might take quite different forms: temporary to permanent, digital to physical, local to global. They might be makerspaces, incubators, labs, hackerspaces. Increasingly, hubs are a platform or workplace for artists, musicians, designers, filmmakers, app developers or start-up entrepreneurs. But they share some common characteristics. They allow inventive and imaginative people to share workspace and access experience, tools and investment, creating collaboration between people from different backgrounds and disciplines.
Interestingly, they also recognise that creativity is often the product of social encounter - creative practice is not confined to galleries, artist studios or cultural institutions. They are fostering new forms of making, learning and trading that can take advantage of new technologies while still recognising the value of expertise and craft skills.
In this spirit, our aim is to help creative hubs connect and collaborate across Europe. We are building a network community of creative hubs by hosting a series of people to people encounters, and share stories about creative hubs, about what they are and how they operate. It is our ambition to demonstrate that creative hubs contribute to the growth and the resilience of the creative sector, and to the economy as a whole.