Innovation and talent development
The Netherlands is in fifth place among the most innovative economies in the European Union. Since 2002, the Netherlands has been focusing on reinforcing the social and economic utility of art and design disciplines including architecture, design (including fashion) and new media in the Netherlands and internationally. The aim is to improve quality and access to the various disciplines at both the sectoral (creative industries) and the individual level (talent development). The creative industry is one of the nine top sectors. ‘Top sectors’ policy was rolled out nationwide in 2011. The same approach is adopted for all nine top sectors, including the creation of a general knowledge and innovation agenda and generic schemes, for which a total of USD 814 million is available. The resources are spent in joint ventures made up of businesses, scientific institutions, regions and public bodies. As part of the cultural policy, the Creative Industries Fund and the New Institute (part of the basic cultural infrastructure) are ensuring that the cultural sector is integrated into the top sectors policy.
Digitising film distribution and screening
After Norway, the Netherlands is the first country where the distribution and exhibition of films will be 100% digital. Whereas financial and political obstacles have to be overcome in many countries to achieve full digitisation, the digitisation of the film sector is at an advanced stage in the Netherlands. The Dutch Exhibitors Association, The Dutch Film Distributors' Association and EYE Film Institute Netherlands joined forces to found Cinema Digitaal BV in January 2011. This unique joint venture is a collective, national approach to digitisation, which makes a fast, coordinated transition possible. The total cost of the Cinema Digitaal project is USD 52 million. Cinema Digitaal was co-financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (USD 4.2 million from the Programme Implementation Agenda for ICT Policy (PRIMA)) and the Netherlands Film Fund (USD 2.8 million). The film distributors operating in the Netherlands bore the largest part of the project cost. Effective cooperation between different players on the market and a relatively small government contribution – which was nevertheless very important to the film theatres – ensured that a close-knit network of cinemas has been retained and no Dutch cinemas or film theatres would disappear as a result of digitisation.
The Dutch library sector has been decentralised and includes about 160 local or regional library organisations, about 10 provincial organisations and 14 specialist libraries. Because the supply and use of print media are in decline in all sectors of society, while the supply and use of digital media are undergoing a dramatic increase, the public library sector has for some years been building up a national digital library with the support of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science. The digital library will ensure that the public libraries continue to perform their public tasks in the digital domain. New legislation on libraries is set to enter into force on 1 January 2015 to ensure that this process is properly regulated.
A number of ministries work together in the top sectors policy. In the case of the top sector Creative Industries, they are the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Creative Industries Fund is concerned with the quality of all the disciplines involving design (architecture, urban development, landscape architecture, graphic design, fashion, new media and gaming) and its aim is to increase their added value to society and the economy. The fund has an annual budget of USD 14.9 million. In addition to its regular tasks, the fund is implementing a number of programmes for which an additional budget has been provided:
- Innovation in the architecture of schools and hospitals and innovative forms of commissioning practice in the construction sector. The budget for this is USD 1.1 million.
- Internationalisation of design disciplines (image and networking as an approach to marketing). The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have jointly set aside an annual budget of USD 2.6 million for this programme.
The New Institute carries out supporting activities in the areas of architecture, fashion and new media. These activities include stimulating innovation and knowledge development, encouraging good commissioning practices and promoting the public interest. The New Institute works closely with the Creative Industries Fund. The institute’s total annual budget is USD 11 million.