Posted by Volante / / Research
Volante Research have been tasked to do a comparative study of different European innovation voucher schemes. The schemes focus either on innovation in the creative industries or innovation within the wider economy through the inclusion of the creative industries.
The six different schemes stem from Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the UK and Austria. The client is the research project “Creative Capital Conference” (C2C), based in Brandenburg, Germany. The purpose of the study is to compare the structure of the different schemes, analyse their advantages and disadvantages and draw conclusions about to what extent the scheemes contribute to innovation.
A few key points of the study:
- a focal starting point when setting up an innovation voucher scheme is to reflect upon what kind of innovation the scheme should promote, and also, what is intended with the term ‘innovation’, i.e. what shall be deemed innovative within the framework of the scheme. Some schemes apply the logic of ‘what the company says is innovative for them is innovative’ while others apply a more traditional view on innovation.
- the monetary amount of the voucher varies substantially between the schemes (from 1,120 to 200,000 EUR), therefore there has to be an openness in terms of expectations on the level of innovation and effects on business development and turnover. Of course, this may not be true in all cases, however quite probable.
- if engaging an external jury in the evaluation and selection of successful candidates, it has proven important that the selection of jury delegates is also done with accuracy. The jury needs a thorough understanding of the creative industries; of the individual as well as the business case.
- half of the schemes studied are targeted at stimulating innovation in other sectors by the use of creative services and the other half at stimulating innovation within the creative industries. Both approaches have proven successful in relation to the goals that were set up for the respective schemes. However, it seems that the former to a greater extent opens up new markets for the creative companies.
- the majority of schemes studied have not existed long enough in order to evaluate the long-term effects. Some of the evaluations do however show a tendency among the companies involved that their expectations is that the innovation voucher will have a positive effect on business development and turnover.