Cross Innovation:11 Cities working together

I have just returned from Amsterdam where partners, hosted by Amsterdam Innovation Motor got together to discuss progress on the Cross Innovation Project. A fascinating two days. Cities represented include Berlin,Birmingham, Amsterdam, Rome, Lisbon and Warsaw.

innovative bike - baby carrier

innovative bike – baby carrier – Amsterdam

So what is Cross Innovation. I touched on this in my earlier blog post so won’t repeat it here apart from saying that it is focussed on how the creative sector can aid innovation in other sectors. I thought I would give a little more detail on the areas of investigation. There are four key areas where best practice is being shared

  • Smart Incentives – Innovative types of finance
  • Culture Based Innovation – schemes that unleash innovation in business and the public sector by introducing artistic and creative practices
  • Brokerage – Services that build bridges between sectors
  • Spatial Collaboration – services offered to companies in co-working spaces such as incubators, fab-labs, science parks and to local clusters

Now this project is just starting to get going but its website  (Cross Innovation) has details on a large range of projects hosted in each city.

I will only highlight one in this post the Garage48 bootcamp event held in Tallinn in Estonia. This bootcamp got together app developers and programmers with the music sector. It was a competitive event which whittled down 20 ideas to the winner over a period of 48 hours. The winner being which provides the easiest and fastest way to create, manage and share a band’s technical riders. It is an easy to use workflow tool for promoters, festival and venue managers to agree technical terms with bands.

This event is summarised in the following video

This project, part funded by the European Union’s ERDF, is due to run for another 2 years and the aim is to look at what best practice ideas can be shared across Europe and specifically from Birmingham City University’s, view point what ideas can help to improve innovation in Birmingham and the West Midlands. BCU, the project lead will be drawing up a local implementation plan, working with key partners in the creative and innovation world in the city. The aim is for this plan to influence policy making in the city and region.

This is very timely given the developing strategy for economic development in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area and particularly given the greater control the GBSLEP will have over European funding in the new funding period 2014-2020. Hopefully this work will help in part to develop an understanding of the innovation eco system in Birmingham and promote and evidence a role for the creative industries through Cross Innovation in helping to drive innovation in the area. I will post more on this project as it progresses.


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