Encouraging the development of cultural enterprises
In 2008 the Federal Ministry for Economy, Family and Youth introduced evolve – Austria’s Initiative to Support Innovation in the Creative Industries in cooperation with Austria economic service and arge creativ wirtschaft austria (representing the creative industry within the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber), who are also responsible for the implementation of the initiative. Approximately USD 33 million (25 million euros) are invested in the initiative running from 2008 to 2013. The main objective of the initiative is to strengthen the competitive and innovative capacity of the Austrian creative industry (understood as all enterprises engaged in the creation, production and (media) distribution of creative and cultural goods as well as in the provision of creative and cultural services, that have an economic value) by a package of measures tailored to meet the individual needs of the different branches in different stages of development. These measures include training, education and advisory services, networking as well as financial support. A key component of evolve is the funding programme impulse, supporting the experimental development, first market application and distribution of creative goods and services, pilot projects and bestpractice initiatives. Besides the direct promotion of companies or projects, evolve aims to raise the level of awareness for the concerns of the creative industries and takes measures to strengthen the public acceptance and visibility of creative goods and services. The main challenge in the implementation of the initiative is meeting the needs of the target group – as the creative industries is a cross-section branch and is made up mainly of micro-enterprises, marked by a high degree of heterogeneity and highly differing needs. Evaluation and accompanying monitoring of evolve are conducted by the Austrian Institute for SME Research.