ADDICT / Creative Industries Agency Portugal
ADDICT is a non-profit association supporting the creative industries sector in Portugal. The main objective is to foster favorable environment to promote creation, production and distribution in the creative industries while acting as an innovation and internationalization platform..
ADDICT’s aims and objectives include to:
• Nurture a positive environment for the development of CCIs;
• Thrive through the promotion of capacity building and internationalization of its stakeholders;
• Promote systemization of the sector;
• Advocate appropriate public policies to help the sector;
• Help with finding available funding;
• Create a platform for networking and knowledge promotion.
ADDICT was founded by 10 institutions with the aim to:
• Promote the CCI sector and the region;
• Help revitalize the industrial sector in the region;
• Create a connection between universities, the industry and young entrepreneurs.
ADDICT has then become the representative and coordinator for the creative industries cluster in Northern Portugal and later at national level. One of the ADDICT’s successes was joining the European Creative Hubs in 2014 that is now financed by the EU and whose goal is to monitor the hubs space.
ADDICT has 80 members covering the whole CCIs and spilling over to other sectors, such as research & development, universities, cultural NGOs (theatre groups etc.), city councils, freelancers, youth associations and others. The association is recognized by the Portuguese Ministry of Economy as the coordinator of creative industries cluster in Portugal. Additionally, ADDICT contributes to strategies addressing territorial competitiveness and urban regeneration.
ADDICT work includes:
• Co-operation with other partners on developing various initiatives targeting the sector’s professionals and organizations and also policy decision makers and institutions.
- Providing support for its members to identify the appropriate partners and funding sources. To facilitate this, ADDICT organizes various events, such as Club ADDICT sessions or the European Creative Hubs Forum120, to address main interests and concerns of its members and to provide opportunities for new contacts and networks.
• Fostering the sector’s capacity building, like entrepreneurship and development and exploration of new ideas, through promotion and jury participation in various competitions, for example National Award for the Creative Industries and the Creative Business Cup.
• Organization of mentoring and accelerating programs for start-ups.
• Facilitation of contacts with investors and so-called business angels.
At European level, the Agency is actively cooperating with various partners and participates in a number of European projects.
- Supply of competitive and qualified young human resources in the technological, cultural and creative sectors;
• Network of relevant infrastructures allowing sector professionals to learn, research, present, develop and experiment with new ideas and to interact with each other;
• Possibility of a cross-over with the tourism industry to use its full potential the diverse landscape and local produce and to exploit the possibility of capitalizing on the architectural and cultural heritage of the region/country;
• Further deepen cultural contacts and links with other parts of the world using the Portuguese language as a door to other markets.
About € 100,000 per year (spent on day-to-day operations) + funds received for various projects.
The long-term impact in the area of competitiveness of the creative strategy is yet to be mapped, however, it is already visible that the development of creative clusters has had a positive impact on urban regeneration and in attracting young creative minds to the region of Northern Portugal. There is no overall monitoring of effectivity. The national statistics about the CCI sector appear to be weak and incomplete. However, they show that the sector has been growing, thanks to the local investment in CCI.In 2013 a study was commissioned on the national level about the internationalization of the national CCI sector and its main conclusions were:
- Motivation and knowledge of the CCIs sector of ADDICT employees. ADDICT is the only entity in Portugal that represents the CCI sector and thanks to its knowledge of the sector and its participants it has a role of mediator and facilitator.
• ADDICT’s model of functioning is a good one, however, without sufficient support (for example, national strategy), the implementation of it is very challenging. One of the successful approaches that could be replicated on the EU level is the involvement of various actors from across the business spectrum and not focusing on just entities involved with the CCI sector. The combination of cooperation and collaboration could be also replicated together with the improvement of interaction facilitation.
Some of the barriers that the agency and the sector face include:
• Lack of a nationwide political vision for the further development of the CCI sector and, as a consequence, lack of specific programmes and support tools;
• Lack of backing from authorities;
• Lack of effective collaboration with institutions;
• Many ADDICT members (for example, universities) have their own CCI departments that do not collaborate with the association;
• Economic and political instability that prevents an implementation of a long-term investment strategy;
• Emerging sector that cannot afford to pay for advice;
• Insufficient international mobility and participation in networks.