The H2020 Project is one year old, with three more years remaining. The City team comprises of Andy Pratt, Jenny Mbaye and Toby Bennett.
In February the team met with all project colleagues at Barcelona University to discuss progress and to finalize plans for the fieldwork. This was a successful meeting and everybody departed eager to begin the fieldwork. The City team are involved in a case study of the Publishing industry in Europe (and the UK), jointly with the Polish Team based in Warsaw.
However, Covid-19 intervened, now interviews are not possible. The decision was taken to reschedule the activities of the project to postpone this first part of the field work 6 months, and to bring forward all other parts of the project that could be ‘desk based’. This was a complex process as there are nearly 50 people involved in the project spread over 6 countries, and 6 integrated work packages.
As it is an EU project it has been a ‘bumpy ride’ this year given the UK’s Brexit decision. As far as the project goes the UK is now a ‘third country’: (part) financing the project has been guaranteed by the UK government.
Moreover, it was a busy time for the project as – like all EU funded projects – it was subject to an annual review and audit by the EU. Unusually CICERONE passed with full marks, usually, we were told by the assessors, some part of the project has to be reviewed. The project team are crossing their fingers in the hope that Covid-19 enables progress on the interview stage later this year.
Meanwhile, the desk research continues. The City team are leading on the work-package dealing with policy and regulation. This last 6 months they have contributed to two working papers: a review of tariff barriers and trade costs affecting the creative industries across European borders.
The next paper that the team are working on concerns local, national and EU ‘creative economy’ policy. The City team are also working with the Bulgarian team developing a “Creative Economy Observatory” which will both be a repository of the project findings and data, a means of dissemination and networking, and, it is hoped a sustainable activity at the end of the project.