The Culture Strategy 2025 adopted in 2016 defines the cultural and creative industries as follows:: “Cultural and creative industries – The industries producing and distributing goods or services which embody or convey cultural expression, irrespective of the commercial value they may have; also industries in which the product or service contains a substantial element of artistic or creative endeavor. Besides the traditional arts sectors, creative industries encompass the audiovisual sector, advertising, media and broadcasting and etc.”
The Culture Strategy 2025 Task 1.1 refers to the development of mechanisms promoting the so called startup businesses of the creative industries, and “creative incubators” as an example of an instrumental approach in the context of awareness raising and audience development.
And the 6th Strategic Goal deals with the “Creative Industries”:
“Goal: Creative industries represent an important source for job creation, economic growth and innovation; it is a competitive sphere of activity.
Task 6.1.: Creative industries in Georgia have a favorable environment for development: the output of higher quality and competitive products and services has increased.
- Perform mapping of the current state of the creative industries, evaluate their economic importance and potential, in order to design an effective system for the attraction of investments;
- Establish a supplementary public programme – “Creative Georgia” – in order to develop creative industries with different mechanisms;
- Create and strengthen organizations (e.g. Crafts Council) concerned with the business-oriented development of different sub-sectors of culture in order to support professional development, intersectoral dialogue and internationalization of the cultural sector in question;
- Raise the financial power of the creative industries on the one hand by creating sector-specific funding programmes, initiatives and a system of incentives and, on the other hand, by raising awareness about relevant national and international funds and programmes;
- Modernize/create appropriate spaces for creative industries; offer outdated, dysfunctional and unused buildings to creative industries in order to stimulate the materialization of their creative and innovative ideas, revitalize cultural activities and facilitate clustering within the cultural sector and their cooperation with the private sector;
- Execute special programmes to help creative industries develop their business-related skills and vice versa, help businesses expand their creative skills;
- Help the establishment of creative incubators where creative businesses, including start-ups, are offered appropriate spaces and services;
- Support the development of creative industries’ webpages and commercial platforms;
- Encourage the establishment of clusters and networks of creative industries in Georgia and beyond its borders.
Following the Strategy, in 2017 a new state organization LEPL “Creative Georgia” was created under the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia, the areas of work of which are commercialization of the creative industries sector and supporting its sustainable development. http://creativegeorgia.ge/
In 2016 the Creative Georgia Roadmap for Developing Cultural and Creative Industries in Georgia was elaborated based on the recommendations received in the framework of the series of sub-sectoral round table meetings with representatives of the CCI sector, and under the guidance of the leading EU experts from the EU-EaP Culture and creativity programme.
The Creative Georgia project “Creative Twist – Boosting the cultural and creative industries in Georgia”, funded by the UNESCO International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD) that was launched in 2021, is important. The project provides for the following:
- Conduct a research and mapping exercise to measure the social and economic impact of cultural and creative industries (CCIs) in order to inform the development of an evidence-based policy;
- Raise awareness of CCIs and their economic dimension;
- Elaborate a medium-term state strategy and action plan for CCIs, identifying the fiscal, legislative and/or policy measures required for their development.“
Other important institutions for the CCIs development are:
Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency/GITA (founded in 2014) which supports initiatives to create innovative ecosystems. These are: Game Jam, Innovation Week, INNOV-A-THON Tbilisi, “Innovation in Architecture” and others.
In 2016, GITA established the National Network of Innovation Centres “Technology Park Georgia” in Tbilisi.
Also, in 2016 the JSC Partnership Fund’s programme Startup Georgia promoting innovative business was launched jointly with GITA. A small number of cultural projects is supported by this programme.
The agency “Produce in Georgia” is established under the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development. It aims to improve the entrepreneurial environment, develop the private sector, promote exports and attract investment. The Agency, in cooperation with the National Centre for Cinematography, is implementing the programme “Film in Georgia”, which aims to promote Georgia as one of the main locations for shooting Western European films.
Compiling accurate statistics and analysis are essential for the development of CCIs.
In 2015, Culture for Development Indicators for Georgia started. It is an initiative by European Union-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme, funded by the European Union. According to the UNESCO CULTURE FOR DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS/Georgia’s Analytical and Technical Report (2017), employment in the cultural sector in Georgia in 2015 made up 5.02% of the total employed. According to the same research, in 2017, CCIs share in the national GDP made up 2.8%.
However, Geostat has not yet fully assessed the creative industries according to the CDIS methodology. The 2016 report of the Georgian Business Agency “Bia” states that the active companies in the field of culture and art make up only 0.8% of the business database. It should be noted that this component does not include the architecture industry.
The Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, as a prerequisite for the effective development of CCIs, is considered by the state and the private sector.
In this context, it is noteworthy that in January 2017, a special interagency committee for the development of cultural strategy was set up, consisting of representatives of various ministries and autonomous republics. This working group coordinates the development of CCIs in Georgia.
There are examples of successful collaboration between professionals within the sector.
The establishment of the Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association (GPBA) was followed by various studies and activities that laid the foundation for a steadily growing industry.
The number of local centres of the International Impact Hub Network is increasing (“Fabrika 40/Impact Hub Tbilisi”, “Stamba”, “Radio City” (under construction) – all are financed by the company Adjara Group). These hubs integrate the common working spaces with workshops and shops and hospitality facilities in the old rehabilitated industrial buildings.
The development of CCIs is greatly facilitated by online media; for example, Artarea TV which has been operating since 2012 focuses on art, culture and creative content.Festivals are attracting attention in terms of professional development and promotion of this sector. Festivals are creating the image of the country, have a direct and indirect economic impact and increase quality cultural tourism.