The University of Turku, School of Economics, has led and coordinated a 3,5 year Developing Inclusive and Sustainable Creative Economies (DISCE) project funded by the Horizon2020 programme of the European Commission. The multidisciplinary DISCE research project was analysing inclusive and sustainable creative economies and how they can be developed in Europe. The DISCE Consortium consisted of four research institutions: University of Turku (Finland), King’s College London (UK), Grand Sasso Science Institute (Italy) and Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (Latvia), as well as two stakeholder partners CUMEDIAE (Belgium) and a European-based network of cultural centres Trans Europe Halles (Sweden).
At the end of September, the external reviewers commissioned by the EC evaluated whether and to what extent DISCE succeeded in its efforts to investigate and develop creative economies in Europe. The reviewers carefully studied the DISCE research reports and our many-sided interactions and collaborations with various stakeholders during the DISCE project.
DISCE received unreserved admiration for its unique and coherent approach and research methodology, which consisted of a regional case study framework, statistical analysis and active interaction with stakeholders. The different work packages on statistics of cultural and creative industries, education and skills development, business modelling, innovation and earning logics, and cultural development fed successfully to each other. The new knowledge was co-created jointly with the relevant stakeholders.
Overall, DISCE was evaluated as a well-managed and executed project whose scientific outcomes are of good and partly even excellent quality. DISCE contributes to existing knowledge and discussion by providing bold and concrete suggestions on how to develop creative economies. The summarising comment of the reviewers – “Tremendously meticulous work!” – touched me personally.
Now it is time to go forward with the research. DISCE produced unique qualitative and quantitative research materials that provide excellent opportunities for top-quality scholarly publishing and new research projects. I wish to express my warmest thanks to all members of the DISCE consortium for a great and fruitful collaboration, as well as all creative actors in the field, who have given their invaluable input to DISCE and, thus, made it possible for DISCE to study and develop creative economies in Europe.
Jarna Heinonen, DISCE Principal Investigator and Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Turku School of Economics