Select Committee on Treasury Written Evidence


What are the creative industries?  

  32.  The term "creative industries" includes a diverse range of businesses in sectors that are commonly thought of as being quite distinct from each other. According to the definition established by the DCMS, the creative industries include the following sectors: advertising; architecture; the art and antiques market; crafts; design; designer fashion; film and video; interactive leisure software (such as computer games); music; the performing arts; publishing; software and computer services; and television and radio. The DCMS definition suggests that businesses in these sectors share a common foundation: they rely on individual creativity and imagination allied with skill and talent, and produce wealth and jobs through the generation and exploitation of new intellectual property and content. This definition has been useful in reinforcing the importance of these sectors for policymakers and others, especially their economic importance, and in challenging the traditional forms of policy intervention in support of arts and culture (typically, through subsidies and grants).


  33.  NESTA aims to transform the UK's capacity for innovation. Our work in the creative industries has included:

Developing creative entrepreneurs

  34.  The Creative Pioneer programme has developed a new model for identifying talent and providing the business coaching and financing needed to help new creative businesses off the drawing board. Elements of the programme are now being used as a model for entrepreneurship in higher education.

  35.  IdeaSmarter is a major three-year partnership project that will be led by NESTA in Scotland. It will stimulate enterprise and help to build the skills of up to 300 budding entrepreneurs working across science, technology and the arts. The project builds on three existing pilot projects: the Creative Pioneer programme Academies; Insight Out (the undergraduate programme piloted with Glasgow School of Art); and Ideasmart (early stage support for creative businesses).

  36.  Other business development initiatives include small/medium/large, which helps to fast-track business in the Creative Industries, and Pocket Shorts, which offers production funding, a film industry mentor and distribution support to new filmmakers experimenting with mobile technologies.

  37.  NESTA is also leading the way in the supply of seed funding for early-stage ventures. We combine risk capital with access to specialist mentors, other potential investors and a wide range of sector networks.

Promoting and supporting discussion

  38.  NESTA has published two reports on investing in creative businesses (2003, 2005) and used them as a basis for discussion between practitioners and policymakers across the UK. We will do the same with this new report. Research on the role of higher education in encouraging entrepreneurship, undertaken with the Higher Education Academy, will be published later in 2006.

  39.  NESTA is helping to create networking opportunities between creative entrepreneurs, investors, sector specialists and business support agencies. We developed the Creative Entrepreneurs Club in Scotland with The Lighthouse, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Executive, and others have since been launched in the West Midlands, Northern Ireland and Wales.

  40.  NESTA co-chairs a Parliamentary forum on the creative industries, bringing together leading practitioners with politicians to discuss policy issues affecting the sectors.

May 2006

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