Le Gouvernement du Grand-Duché du Luxembourg
Kristian Horsburgh

Creative Industries Cluster B2B Meet up: “Building trust is a priority”

On 21 March 2023, the Luxembourg Creative Industries Cluster organised a B2B meetup to promote cross-sector synergies within the ecosystem.

Around 40 people attended the event at the Blends CafĂ© in the heart of Luxembourg, including company representatives and creative entrepreneurs. The meetup, which coincided with World Poetry Day, was an excellent opportunity to introduce the new Cluster Manager, Kristian Horsburgh, and marked the cluster’s first gathering in 2023.

The Luxembourg Creative Industries Cluster hosted its first event of the year. As the new cluster manager, how was the experience for you and the participants?

This first meet up had a good turnout and was designed as a cocktail-style networking event. Our cluster’s activities welcome all types of companies and professionals in the creative industries, which is why, after a brief hiatus due to covid, we proposed a general invitation to bring all the different players together and get them talking again. It was also a perfect occasion for me to meet them.

Also, it was a great opportunity for participants to celebrate themselves as an important part of the Luxembourg economy, discuss projects that are on the verge of developing, identify areas for partnerships and voice out certain pain points. For example, where a single player does not have the finance or knowledge to execute their project, or respond to tenders and client requests, there may be others in Luxembourg who are interested in the same areas. For all these reasons, I think the meet-up worked out exactly how I thought it would.

From your interactions, what would you say were the key takeaways?

The attendees shared several ideas and expressed a desire to become more involved. Most of them were already familiar with Luxinnovation, so I didn’t have to go into great detail about what we offer as services. The most interesting part for everyone, however, was getting to know others working in the field, and people told me that they were pleased to have exchanged contacts with their peers.

One feedback I received concerned the format of future events. Organising themed sessions, even during regular business hours, is something that many are receptive to considering that most creatives organise their working hours in a flexible way. Events held as a round table or in a working setting could be structured around specific topics. It may also be worthwhile to investigate the possibility of holding specific events within a company’s offices in order to combine the presentation of a company’s activities with a particular topic that needs to be worked on for the greater good of that specific sector.

Also, interesting themes emerged from the discussions, particularly around the creation and sale of digital assets in Luxembourg, such as NFTs or other digital products in metaverse, for instance. Digitalisation in Luxembourg’s creative industries holds a lot of potential, and as the national innovation agency, our goal is to support the digital ecosystem in achieving its ambitions.

Were there particular needs that were highlighted by the participants? How can Luxinnovation bridge these gaps?

Luxinnovation helps several companies become more resilient, and one way for businesses to do so is to ensure that they leverage the digital technologies that are available to become more efficient and sustainable. Resilience can also be built by exploring new ways to innovate or by identifying areas where synergies can be created in collaboration with a different sector. It will take some time to develop concrete flagship projects that are beneficial the entire sector, but this is an area that we are looking into.

One issue that popped up was around the legal status and recognition of creatives as creators of cultural and economic value. There is still work to be done in determining how to be economically viable and create economic impact while still being considered artists or creatives, and so on. I’d like to have more in-depth discussions about these topics with people. Luxinnovation can assist by providing guidance on appropriate institutions that have the mandate to address these legal areas.

We also guide companies in the application process for existing research and development and innovation funding programmes and inform them on how to position themselves to become eligible.

How you see cluster activities developing in the coming months?

The most important thing right now is to build trust among all parties and to make everyone feel involved in the cluster by tapping into their respective areas of expertise. For me, the first step will be to speak with organisations that are strategically positioned in various fields of expertise, especially those hubs and nodes representing the local creative economies network.

Any last words for the current or future participants in cluster activities?

Don’t just stop at saying ‘there’s nothing I can do to innovate’. Everyone has an idea, and we can always innovate to improve our lives and the lives of others. It’s even better if your innovation concerns a large group of people, because it will generate a dynamic that will make you and many others happier and more successful. As soon as you reach the point where you can say, ‘I’ve got something, I’ve found something I can innovate’, Luxinnovation is the best partner you can have in Luxembourg to move that idea forward.

Photo credit: Luxinnovation

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