Sustaining the creative and cultural industries is important to the economy as a whole
To promote cooperation between business and the creative and cultural industries, the Lithuanian Business Support Agency (LBSA) invites applications for the measure ‘Kūrybiniai čekiai Covid-19’ (Creative Vouchers Covid-19) and Živilė Diawara, Chair of the National Association of Creative and Cultural Industries (NACCI), hopes that this initiative will help to create highly original solutions. ‘Preserving the creative and cultural industries is important for the economy as a whole’, says the NACCI representative.
The sector is important for the economy
The association brings together different creative and cultural industries, some of which have felt the effects of the pandemic particularly severely, such as representatives of events, film or the performing arts, while others have been less affected.
‘The future is still uncertain, so we have to think of all kinds of measures to exploit that potential so it does not disappear and the system that has been created over 15–20 years survives’, sighs Diawara
It was the NACCI that was actively involved in the creation of the Creative Vouchers Covid-19 instrument.
‘We wanted to demonstrate that this sector of the creative and cultural industries makes a strong contribution to the competitiveness of the economy as a whole, to the development of business and to the creation of high-value products and services. It is therefore important for the economy as a whole to preserve this sector. We are delighted with the launch of this instrument and look forward to a large number of applicants and the continuation of the instrument’, hopes the President of the Association.
New activity codes have emerged
Diawara is pleased that the measure and its descriptions are well developed and specific.
‘The measure is open to companies in the creative sector and to all SMEs in general who want to apply non-technological innovation, create higher added value, and apply marketing and design solutions to help them take off’, she said.
It is the work on this measure that has contributed to the development of additional codes for the Economic Activity Classifications.
‘This has forced this sensitive issue to be brought to the forefront because often the creative and cultural industries are often understood in a very primitive way, so we want to show how big this sector is and how it is expanding. We have expanded the list, we have given suggestions for activities and we hope to continue to work together on this issue’, says Diawara.
She suggests that applicants should not only think about changes in product design or trade mark design, but also take advantage of the broader creative and cultural industries.
‘Maybe the company wants to promote itself by making a film? Maybe even stage an opera? I would like creativity and broader thinking to come up with more interesting projects. I believe that this measure will expand creativity – after all, it is called “Creative Vouchers”, the president of NACCI smiles. ‘It is also worth talking not only about trade mark and product design, but also design solutions in business processes, their optimisation. It can be widely used, and if there is a lack of ideas, the association is always ready to consult’.
In the first week of August, the LBSA invited all those interested in the Creative Vouchers Covid-19 measure to participate in a distance learning session where experts presented information on how to fill in the application form, and answered questions.
The event attracted a lot of interest – as many as 150 participants registered, of which almost 250 actually took part.
Algirdas Orantas, a design and branding expert, spoke about design integrity during the webinar, Monika Kemežytė-Vaitiekūnienė, Deputy Head of the Business Sustainability Projects Division, gave a detailed and comprehensive presentation of the Creative Vouchers Covid-19 instrument itself, and Rasa Mockutė, Senior Expert of the Project Development and Evaluation Division, explained the subtleties of the state aid requirements.
After the training, 65% of the participants said they were preparing an application for the measure, while 32.5% were still undecided.
‘During the seminar we received many questions, such as whether this measure is suitable only for products and services related to Covid-19 prevention? No, definitely not, there are no restrictions in the description’, answered Kemežytė-Vaitiekūnienė.
She also noted that no extension of the deadline for submission of applications has been planned so far – the measure is very popular, so those interested should hurry up.