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Austria/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes

Six reports on Creative Industries have appeared at national level, as well as studies on the cities of Vienna, Linz and Graz et al., and for the provinces of Burgenland, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria, Vorarlberg and Tyrol. However, the respective definitions and sector definitions differ. The most current definition comes from the first study on the Creative Industries, which was drawn up in Vienna by the österreichischekulturdokumentationin cooperation with the Austrian Insitute for Economic Research (WIFO)(Investigation of the Economic Potential in the Field of Creative Industries in Vienna, 2004, commissioned by: Vienna City Council Department for EU Strategy and Economic Development, Vienna Chamber of Commerce, Vienna Film Fund). The creative industries thereby include all activities that have to do with architecture, the audiovisual field (film, video, television, and radio), the fine arts and the art market, the performing and entertainment arts, graphic arts, fashion and design, literature, publishing and print media, multimedia, software games and the Internet, museums and libraries, the music industry and advertising.

Supplementing the LIKUS system, (see chapter 3 and chapter 6) LIKUSkreativ© was developed, which structures the CI branches into six domains: cultural heritage, performing arts, the audiovisual area, visual arts, books and the press, and transverse areas. This covers a total of 20 categories, which correspond to the 16 branches of LIKUS, supplemented by four transverse themes.

According to the sixth Austrian Creative Industries report, in 2012 there were more than 39 000 creative-industry enterprises in Austria. This corresponds to 10.4% of enterprises in the total economy. In all, about 140 000 people worked in the creative industries. Some 100 000 of these were directly employed. These companies made around EUR 20.3 billion, or 3% of the total economy.

According to the fifth Austrian Creative Industries report for Vienna, in 2010 one in six companies in Vienna were part of the creative industries, i.e. more than 16 000 companies with over 60 000 employees. The creative industries thereby make up 6.5% of the total Viennese economy in terms of employment. In 2010, Vienna's creative industries made a turnover of EUR 10.8 billion and gross added value of EUR 3.8 billion.

In the course of recent years various support programmes of diverse funding agencies have been developed for the creative industries. Supports at federal level are: 

The "Evolve" initiative for the promotion of innovation in the creative industries of the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, in cooperation with the argecreativwirtschaftaustria (cwa) andaustriawirtschaftsservice (aws) and has a budget of EUR 25 million up until 2013. "Evolve" offers education and training, services, counselling and networking as well as financial funding through the "Impulse" programme for the experimental development and first market application of products by businesses in the creative industries, pilot projects and awareness measures.

The Austrian Fashion Association is an information, coordination and service agency at the interface of fashion design, economy and culture. Endowed with an annual budget of 100 000 EUR from funds of the Federal Chancellery and the City of Vienna the association awards grants amounting to 8 000 EUR to young fashion designers in the frame of the "AFA support" programme. The objective is to improve career opportunities of Austrian fashion designers at national and international markets. Further tasks are strengthening the international competitiveness, developing publicity and press awareness as well as increasing the national and international commercial presence.

Since 2004 there has also been an international offensive for the creative industries, which was launched by "AußenwirtschaftÖsterreich" (AWO; Foreign Trade Austria) and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKÖ). Since then, with almost 100 co-funded international projects, more than 1 800 Austrian companies from the fields of design, architecture, music, fashion, art, multimedia and film have been advised and supported in 20 different countries on five continents.

The working group creativwirtschaftaustria (cwa) in the Austrian Chamber of Labour has as its remit the interests of the Austrian creative industries, both at a national, European and international level. It is committed to developing the creative industries in Austria and creating linkages with other sectors. The activities encompass skills development to support the economic success of creative people through tangible services and networking of companies and intermediaries; representation of interests of the creative industries and information and awareness as a knowledge hub, commissioning studies into and increasing the visibility of the achievements of the creative sector.

Important initiatives for the creative industries have also been taken at the level of the federal provinces and the cities: Since 2003, "departure – The Creative Agency of the City of Vienna", founded by the Vienna City Council, acted as an economic support and service office for creative industry enterprises in Vienna. In 2014 departure and the City of Vienna's technology agency were integrated into the Vienna Business Agency. The Vienna Business Agency supports projects mainly in the fields of fashion, music, multimedia, design, publishing, the arts market and architecture. departure continues to serve as an information, service and networking centre for the crative industries in Vienna.

The Vienna Design Week, an international design festival since 2006 offers young designers a platform for the presentation of their projects and has contributed to innovative cooperation between culture, design and business. The event has also contributed to making design an important competition factor in public awareness. The Blickfang International Design Fair, founded in 1993 in Stuttgart, and in the meantime also taking place in Zurich, Basel, Copenhagen and Hamburg, has been held in Vienna since 2004. This event, too, has essentially contributed to the success and profile of the creative industries and their importance in Austria.

Further initiatives by the federal provinces to support the creative industries include for example the ZentrumfürKreativwirtschaft Burgenland, Creative Industries Styria (CIS), Creative Region Oberösterreich, KreativwirtschaftOberösterreich, Create Standortagentur Tirol, Hafen 11 Kreativwirtschaft in Klagenfurt, and designaustria. These initiatives are aimed at further developing the creative industries in the respective region and networking with industry, trade and the service sector.

The project "VINCI - Vouchers in Creative Industries" has been carried out in Salzburg as one of four EU testing regions in September 2012. It was a pilot project by the European Creative Industries Alliance (ECIA), implemented by austriawirtschaftsservice (aws): 20 small and medium sized creative industries companies each gained a unique support of 5 000 EUR for the ralisation of innovative projects. The project was funded by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy.

The Austrian Ministry of Science, Research and Economy adopted the structure of the funding and launched vouchers for Austrian enterprises. Since 2013, 1 220 enterprises have received a voucher and the ministry provided 6 million EUR. 300 vouchers are currently offered every year through a call for tender.

Since 2009, there has been an initiative of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce / ARGE CreativWirtschaft, called the CreativDepot. In this online database, the works of all genres (e.g. photography, poetry, blog entries, open-source software etc.) can be recorded in order to make their copyright visible and protected. The CreativDepotoffers the following functions: a public description of work, a definitive work code, standard licences, a permanent link to the work and licence, a digital timestamp, comment functions and marketing options.

In 2012 Austria's most important design initiatives (Creative Industries Styria, designaustria, designforum Wien, MAK and Vienna Design Week) jointly founded the open platform AustriaDesignNet. The aim is to represent Austrian design together at international events and above all to network and coordinate international activities better. The platform is supported by the Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, Außenwirtschaft Austria and impulse / aws.

One important area of emphasis for the current minister for culture is support for film. In order to strengthen the promotion of the new generation in the film sphere, a coordination office at the Film Department in the Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery, together with the Austrian Film Institute (ÖFI) functions as a networking point and coordinates the structuring of the nationwide promotion of the upcoming generation.

A further instrument to strengthen the Austrian film industry was introduced in 2011, with the support initiative Filmstandort Austria (FISA; Film Location Austria) by the Ministry of Science, Research and Economy to support national cinema film production. Until 2012 the programme has been funded with 20 Mio. EUR, FISA has temporarily been extended up to the end of 2014 with further 7.5 Mio. EUR annually. It is expected to be continued at the end of 2015.

In order to promote cooperation between film and television, the Film / Television Agreement was implemented between the Austrian Film Institute and the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation for the first time in 1981. The objective is to provide television support in particular for the making of Austrian films. With the renewal of the Film / Television Agreement in 2011, annual funding for the Austrian film industry was raised from the previous EUR 5.9 million to EUR 8 million per year. A committee from members of the Filminstitute (ÖFI) and the ORF decides on the granting of funds. The request may be filed by film producers.

Chapter published: 02-02-2016

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