The project “IN SITU – Place-based innovation of cultural and creative industries in non-urban areas” was launched on July 1, 2022, with a 48-month duration. It is coordinated by the EMES Institutional member Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. The €4 million project is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe programme.
Despite the increased visibility and importance of cultural and creative industries (CCIs) based in non-urban areas of the European Union in the last decade, there is a noticeable lack of research and policy attention to their specific needs, characteristics, and potential. IN SITU brings together leading research approaches to economic evolution and diversification, innovation processes, non-urban place-based planning, and entrepreneurship in CCIs. The project aims to contribute to increasing the capacity of CCIs to act as drivers of innovation, competitiveness, and sustainability in their local context.
IN SITU seeks to provide in-depth knowledge on the effect of cross-sectoral connections, innovative strategies and systems, and the needs of CCIs’ practitioners in non-urban areas, complementing this with proposals for cultural and innovation policies and frameworks. IN SITU project also includes a capacity-building programme to enable CCIs to address some key issues in their communities/regions. The core defining aspect of IN SITU is the interlinking of research and practice through place-based IN SITU Labs – hubs for networking, capacity building, and monitoring case studies in six non-urban regions across Europe, located in Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Latvia, and Croatia.
The project Consortium brings together 13 institutional partners in 12 countries: the Centre or Social Studies of the University of Coimbra (coordinator); National University of Ireland Galway (Ireland); European Network of Cultural Centres (Belgium); Utrecht University (Netherlands); National Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (France); MONDRAGON Innovation & Knowledge (Spain); Kultura Nova Foundation (Croatia); University of the Azores (Portugal); University of Turku (Finland); Latvian Academy of Culture (Latvia); Bifröst University (Iceland); National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts “Kr. Sarafov” (Bulgaria); and University of Hildesheim (Germany).
The IN SITU project is also accompanied by an array of Outreach Partners within Europe and internationally: Culture Action Europe, EMES – International Research Network, DigitalMeetsCulture.eu, Creative Scotland, United Cities and Local Governments – Committee on Culture, Cultural Development Network (Australia), Creative City Network of Canada, SPARC: Supporting Performing Arts in Rural and Remote Communities (Canada), and Sustaining Theatre and Dance (STAND) Foundation (South Africa). In addition, the project has an International Advisory Board of seven leading international experts working on CCIs and culture-based work in non-urban areas.
As one of the outreach partners, EMES will participate in expanding the reach and influence of the activities and the project findings while informing and supporting cultural development in nonurban areas. Moreover, the involvement in the IN SITU project will contribute to creating a joint platform for drawing attention to non-urban CCI work at an international level – encouraging discussions at an inter-network level among researchers, and practitioners within the networks.
For further information, contact Nancy Duxbury (IN SITU Principal Investigator, Centre of Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal).