I spent Friday in an almost sunny Glasgow at the launch of CREATe, the Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy, which is a partnership of 7 UK-based Universities which will also have industry input, aimed at helping the UK's cultural and creative industries thrive and become innnovation leaders within the global digital economies. I'm delighted to be a partner.
It was a brilliant day. Whilst the regulation, management and enforcement of copyright forms the framework within which these industries operate, the big theme of Friday's launch was collaboration, sharing and innovation across the entertainment and information industries and in cultural institutions through innovative new business & organisational models. 'Digital/physical' hyrid models, Freemium and crowd-funded models (e.g. Knowledge Unlatched), new live events broadcasting services (e.g. Quipu TV) and even opportunities to reinvent the retail experience to use in-store technologies and content to revive the High Street - the day was full of inventive case studies. And there were many more.
Anyone who spent the day at CREATe's launch at the Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture,would have found the US West Coast entrepreneurial, 'can do' and creative spirit alive and well on Glasgow's West Side.
The 'digital shift' is multi-dimensional and CREATe's inter-disciplinary research programme reflects that, with researchers in law, business, economics, technology, psychology and cultural analysis, who will build an evidence base and look at themes and players across the value chains from individual creators to SME's, intermediaries, corporates, cultural institutions and, of course the individual in his or her various roles as citizen, consumer, user and creator.
The buzz evident throughout the day at CREATe demonstrated that the UK does not need to look to the US West Coast or anywhere else for inspiration. It's here, right across the UK from the Lighthouse in Glasgow to the Digital Hub in Brighton and all points in between. It's in every entertainment and information industry and beyond. It's And it's not confined to start-ups. For instance, many innovative big publishers are making their content accessible to developers to create new products via APIs.
As CREATe notes, the UK has probably the largest creative sector in the world relative to GDP, accounting for over 6% of the overall economy and contributing around £60b p.a.
Of course, policy has a role to play. Aspects of copyright law, including exceptions, are going to be updated. Giving consumers and citizens choice about the use of their personal data through data effective and easy to implemen data protection law in a world of cloud-based, global services is a challenge. Competition law has a vital role to play in ensuring a level playing field between the 'digital gorillas' and other players in the value chains of our creative industries.
As industry silos crumble as the digital transition speeds up, so does the need increase for collaboration and communication between policy makers, the creative communities, technologists, academia and business. If we get this right, that 6% of UK GDP will rise and we'll create more jobs for young people.
There are definitely many in Government on both side of the Border that 'get' this. So let's continue to encourage Government to bang the drum for our creative industries at the very highest level.
Finally, well done to the organisers of CREATe and good luck with a great project.
(You can follow on Twitter #CREATe).
Have a good week.