EIT Culture & Creativity - a game changing organisation for a prosperous Europe

Press Release /

Innovation by Creative Economy ICE
© FhG
Consortium: Claudia Jericho, Bernd Fesel, Patricia Castillo, Andy Browning, Johanna Leißner, Michela Magas, Sabrina Rota, Johanna Breuckmann (from left to right).

The consortium Innovation by Creative Economy (ICE) is coordinated by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Today, it was selected by the Governing Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) as a new Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) in the cultural and creative sectors. The European partnership EIT Culture & Creativity aims to support students and start-ups to generate innovative products and processes in the creative industries and for the cultural heritage sector. 


For the first time, an EIT partnership (KIC) is being coordinated by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

This partnership successfully beat four other applicants in the selection process on 22 June in Budapest, Hungary. The aim is to harness the value of the cultural and creative sectors and industries as pathfinders for Europe's green, digital and social transformation.
The EIT Culture & Creativity is coordinated by Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Würzburg through Dr. Johanna Leissner and led by Bernd Fesel as interim CEO. It will provide the winning partnership with a start-up grant of up to EUR 6 million to ensure they become fully operational as soon as possible.  As the partnership reaches its full speed the annual grant will be increased, and could reach approximately EUR 70 million per year under the current Horizon Europe programme. Additionally, the KIC is expected to leverage more funds from the private and public sectors.

"Fraunhofer, as coordinator of this EIT Culture & Creativity, wants to set new standards in the cultural and creative industries with its technologies and build on the success story of the MP3, thus making an important contribution to the EIT partnership. The MP3 algorithm developed by Fraunhofer is one of the most revolutionary products in the creative industries of the last 30 years", says Dr. Johanna Leissner. The chair of the EU OMC expert group "Cultural Heritage and Climate Change" would like to give more attention to the topic of cultural heritage research. With her expertise and many years of experience, she sees great potential and synergies arising from this. "EIT Culture & Creativity is a great opportunity for the cultural heritage sector to further advance research to adapt cultural heritage to climate change and for this issue to be heard by policy makers." For the Cultural Heritage Research Alliance, which was founded and is financially supported by the President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Prof. Dr. Reimund Neugebauer, interdisciplinary research projects with Fraunhofer Institutes and partners from museums and heritage conservation have already been successfully implemented.  "It was only through the financial support of the Fraunhofer Executive Board that we were able to successfully contribute as coordinators."

Under the motto "Created in Europe", the EIT partnership assembled a pan-European consortium of excellent research institutions, universities, companies, investors and associations that are important for the entire cultural and creative sector. "Europe's diversity is the gateway to innovation - under this motto, a consortium of 50 partners from 20 nations and 11 cultural and creative sectors was formed", says Bernd Fesel, Interim CEO and spokesperson of the EIT Partnership.

"The cultural and creative industries are an important engine for economic growth and driver of innovation and job creation across Europe. The EIT Partnership will be instrumental in driving the post-Covid 19 pandemic recovery in Europe."

He points to the fact that while cultural and creative industries account for 5.5 per cent of the EU's total GDP and 6.2 per cent of Europe's workforce, 80 per cent of all 2.9 million in this sector are small and micro enterprises. "This EIT Culture & Creativity will be an open partnership: open to entrepreneurs, artists, freelancers, social innovators and culture creators. Innovation and change in Europe will be strengthened when all actors - large and small, for-profit and not-for-profit - meet as equals in new collaborative spaces to tackle urgent societal challenges, notably climate change."

With headquarters in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, EIT Culture & Creativity will have six subsidiary offices, called Co-Location Centres, in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bologna, Helsinki, Kosice and Vienna. CLCs will be accessible to innovators in the regions across Europe, serve as a hub bringing together cross-border collaboration.


About the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

The EIT is Europe’s largest innovation ecosystem bringing together close to 3,000 partners from top business, research and education organisations across Europe in 60+ innovation hubs. The EIT is an EU body and an integral part of Horizon Europe, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Through dynamic pan-European partnerships, called Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) the EIT Community offers a wide range of innovation and entrepreneurship activities, strengthening Europe’s ability to innovate and powering solutions to pressing global challenges while nurturing entrepreneurial talent to create sustainable growth and skilled jobs in Europe.

The EIT has powered more than 3,800 start-ups and scale-ups, created more than 1,400 new products and services that have gone to raise more than EUR 3.9 billion in external capital. More than 3,800 students have graduated from EIT labelled master and doctoral programmes and over 100,000 have participated in EIT Community entrepreneurial trainings.

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Dr. Johanna Leissner
Fraunhofer Büro Brüssel
Rue Royale 94
B-1000 Bruxelles
Phone +32 2 506 42 43



Sabrina Rota

Head of International Convention Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation IZKK
Fraunhofer-Institut für Silicatforschung ISC
Bronnbach 28
97877 Wertheim, Germany
Phone +49 9342 9221-701


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