Back to the Future
We started Create Converge with some inspiration from Hollywood movie “Interstellar” set in the future because it accurately visualised wormholes in space. So now we come to a story of the 1990’s, the Netflix series “Billion Dollar Code” based on the story of company ART+COM that created Terravision, (Then along came Google Earth.) For us these are about convergence bringing art and computer coding together so we can virtually see and experience the world. Our key message is using creative, digital and tech to show tell and sell; that is for applications like service delivery, training and marketing (and also entertainment). 9 partners in 5 countries have worked together and engaged with more than 10,000 people so they Connect, Collaborate, Learn and Reach Out.
The global pandemic has brought into sharp focus contrasting experiences of and impacts on the creative, digital and technology sectors. Let’s code that into C/D/T!
On the one hand, many aspects of global and national economies were already being transformed by C/D/T. On the other, it was reported to the European Commission and European Parliament in 2021 that Europe’s cultural and creative sector had been hit harder by the pandemic than every other industry except aviation. Sector revenues fell by over 30% compared to 2019 and contrasts with tourism losing 27% of revenues. (GESAC/EY). Deloitte reports that the technology sector has also been impacted with disruption to the electronics value chain, and causing an inflationary risk on products but contrasts this with the acceleration of remote working and potential carbon emission reductions. It is true that certain digital sectors have benefitted such as computer games.
The good news is that the North Sea Region still has extensive and significant creative, digital and technology strengths and assets, a strong university base and is building on new opportunities such as 5G.
Pre-pandemic, the creative digital industries accounted for €643b of EU turnover, 4.4% of employment - over 7m jobs, more than 8 times that of telecommunications. It’s worth remembering that the member countries of the North Sea Region plus Norway and the UK account for almost 60% of EU GDP and have a significant C/D/T sector. Translating by this measure means over €380b turnover and 4m jobs.
The above report says the sectors have “a key role to play in the recovery of each European nation once the pandemic is over” and says the EU and states should maximise support.
This has also shone a light on industry ready skills and sustainability through engaging with skills and sectors beyond core competencies. Adapting to new technologies is essential for innovation, long term sustainability, economic growth and societal benefits.
In contrast to project that are purely policy or research, but complimentary and vital is the economic and social development agenda of the Interreg programme as delivered by organisations such as the European Union North Sea Region. This has guided and supported the work and results of Create Converge.
So how have we done?
100 industry events hosted (not even counting all the monthly and weekly events in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the UK) and more than 60 attended.
2 books, one on fashion and digital and the other "Storytelling beyond the Screen" both in collaboration with industry.
1 Transnational Lab in England, Denmark, Sweden and Scotland
17,000 companies mapped
1 Network Platform in our website
10 demonstrators of VR/AR covering sectors like space research, fashion, architecture and healthcare and one for visualisation of the creative industries using VR.
50 SMEs helped with new approaches.