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Creative Knowledge and the Competitiveness of EU Metropolitan Regions The EU ACRE FP6 Project. Julie Brown, Caroline Chapain, Alan Murie, Austin Barber, John Gibney and Jane Lutz. Introducing the ACRE project. EU 6 th Framework, Priority 7 ‘Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society’

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Creative knowledge and the competitiveness of eu metropolitan regions the eu acre fp6 project l.jpg

Creative Knowledge and the Competitiveness of EU Metropolitan RegionsThe EU ACRE FP6 Project

Julie Brown, Caroline Chapain, Alan Murie, Austin Barber, John Gibney and Jane Lutz.


Introducing the acre project l.jpg
Introducing the ACRE project Metropolitan Regions

  • EU 6th Framework, Priority 7 ‘Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society’

  • 4 years, started October 2006

  • Central themes: creative-knowledge economy, city-region competitiveness

  • 13 partners in 13 European cities


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Key Research Questions Metropolitan Regions

  • What are the conditions for creating or stimulating creative knowledge city-regions in the context of the extended European Union?

  • How do creative knowledge city-regions develop?

  • How can we promote the development of creative knowledge city-regions?


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Specific sub-questions Metropolitan Regions

  • How has history influenced development?

  • To what extent do some particular groups influence the development of creative knowledge city-regions? (graduates, creative industry workers, managers of creative companies and trans-national migrants)

  • What is the role of ‘soft’ factors?

  • What is the role, significance and impact of the policy framework?

  • What policies and strategies work best?


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The 13 Project Partners Metropolitan Regions


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Birmingham &West Midlands Local Partnership (LOP) Metropolitan Regions

  • Discuss the ideas that emerge from the ACRE project

  • Provide policy maker and practitioner input into key interim papers

  • Consider and comment on the draft final ACRE report

  • Participate in 3 planned ACRE conferences


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What is ‘Creative Knowledge’? Metropolitan Regions

  • Creative Industries: Definition DCMS

  • ICT manufacturing and services (OECD)

  • Finance, insurance

  • Law and other business services

  • R&D and Higher Education


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Work Package 2 : Pathways to Creative Knowledge Cities Metropolitan Regions

  • Historic roots of current economic, social, political profile (path dependence)

  • Recent economic, social, political trends

  • Current state of the Creative Knowledge economy in Birmingham

  • Recent policies to improve competitiveness (especially as creative knowledge city/region)


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1. Historic development – 19 Metropolitan Regionsth /20th Century

  • Victorian Birmingham ‘The City of a thousand Trades’ and ‘The Workshop of the World’;

  • Industrial structure unique in the UK context

  • 1950s key manufacturing region in UK

  • Progressive narrowing of economic base: dominant focus is automotive and associated industries;

  • 1980s attempts to diversify economic base around high value-added growth sectors

  • Creative-industries and culture embodied within wider urban regeneration and social welfare agenda


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2. Birmingham Today Metropolitan Regions

  • A young, diverse population but challenges in terms of social issues.

  • A growing and diversifying economy but still facing challenges in terms of skills and qualifications.


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3. Creative Knowledge Sectors in Birmingham Metropolitan Regions

  • Around 28,000 jobs in Birmingham and 58,000 in the metropolitan region in 2004.

  • 5.7% of Birmingham’s Economy (compared to 6.1% in UK).

  • Most important sectors in terms of employment:Software, Architecture/Engineering design, Publishing.

  • But also specialisation in:

    • Manufacture of Jewellery, Glass and Musical Instruments, Radio and TV, Architecture/Engineering Design, Advertising, Heritage and Museum.

    • Higher Education, Finances, Law and other Professional Services.

  • Birmingham: ‘’Europe’s’’ Meeting place?


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3. Creative Knowledge Sectors in Birmingham Metropolitan Regions

  • Dynamic sector (48% of firms created in the last 10 years).

  • Highly skilled sector (over 40% of the workforce has a degree or more).

  • 21% of freelancers (35% in Music and Performing Arts).

  • Purchase (60%) and workforce (85%) are mostly local.

  • More than 30% of firms export to UK or internationally.


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4. Policy framework Metropolitan Regions

  • Strategic ambitions and economic development initiatives embedded in formal planning frameworks.

  • 2002 Creative City Strategy ‘‘The Creative City’’

  • The creative-industries seen as one of the key sectors to contribute to the growth and expansion of the City.


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4. Policy framework Metropolitan Regions

  • Large number of strategies at local and regional level – lack of ‘joined up’ approach.

  • Complexity of institutional arrangements.

  • AWM cluster approach - creative-industries not designated a priority cluster in the Region.


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Next steps – 2007/8 Metropolitan Regions

Survey and Interviews

  • Managers of creative knowledge firms

  • Other employees of creative knowledge firms

  • Graduates (arts, media etc)

  • Trans-national migrant workers


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