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ERICarts Institute

The European Institute for Comparative Cultural Research (ERICarts) is an independent not-for-profit company that is supported by leading research organisations from all corners of Europe. The ERICarts Institute specialises in the planning, coordination and implementation of large scale trans-national comparative research and policy analysis relevant for the wider culture field. 

Among its objectives are to:

  • facilitate sustainable co-operation in the field of comparative cultural research; 
  • develops reliable empirical tools for undertaking comparative cultural research;
  • encourage the transfer and uptake of information and knowledge produced through the research projects by different public and private sector actors; 
  • demonstrate the cultural dimensions of diverse fields and policy sectors such as employment, social affairs, competition, media, education, foreign policy, and agriculture; and 
  • adher to the principles and objectives outlined in European and international frameworks to promote diversity, dialogue equality, participation and creativity.

The ERICarts Institute pursues 6 main lines of inquiry which examine the political, economic and social dimensions of culture.  In recent years, it has been working to create an integrated framework bringing together research in the fields of cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, and the cultural dimensions of social cohesion. Indicator development, policy mapping and collections of cases of good practice have formed the basis of this work undertaken in the context of the project "Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe" - a joint project of the Council of Europe and ERICarts realised in cooperation with a community of practice of cultural policy researchers in Europe.

Local experts from over 40 European countries are an integral part of the research process; from the first ideas to the final product.  The management team located in Bonn, Germany acts as a central contact point - or hub - which co-ordinates the work and services provided by the Institute and its partners. The result is a decentralised structure of researchers undertaking both quantitative and qualitative comparative research projects in partnership. This approach to research gives the ERICarts Institute an opportunity to integrate ideas and research results from those whose work would otherwise be excluded due to, for example, language barriers. Working with researchers "on the ground" enriches the research process and helps to overcome misunderstandings inherent in comparative research.

The work of the ERICarts Institute lies between academic inquiry and applied research relevant for policy makers, foundations, cultural enterprises, media professionals and small to medium sized organisations. In this regard, the Institute has successfully completed large scale research projects for the European Commission, the Council of Europe, UNESCO, national governments, foundations and specialised civil society platforms such as the LabforCulture.

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