Announcement of a survey on cultural business development for spring 2017.

(Shortcut: Pre-register for the survey here: FORM)

By Holger Volland & Nina Klein

After the first series of events in the framework of ALDUS – the European Book Fairs’ Network – we asked ourselves which topic we think most important for book fairs to cover in the coming years. „The Politics of Creativity“, a networking workshop at the opening day of THE ARTS+, was an eye-opener in the sense that our gut feeling was proven right: creative businesses need an innovation infrastructure which gives them access to knowledge, funding and networking amongst peers. One of the most challenging issues in the creative sectors is how to translate technological innovation into business development. As there are almost no studies or existing events on this topic, we dediced to put this challenge forward as a read thread for our coming involvement in the ALDUS network.

In a first step, we are planning to set up a survey on business development in the cultural and creative sectors in spring 2017. As we would like to spread the word, we start early and ask you: Please leave your details here if you are interested in participating!

A few words of explanation: As experience shows, «sensitive» issues such as R&D&I are only rarely discussed openly or exchanged freely. Spillover knowledge effects are thus rare, and there are yet no publicly accessible, introduced formats for networking, exchange and matchmaking in R&D&I. Establishing a network of personal relationships between stakeholders is thus key – researchers, publishers, policy makers and industry, including cluster organisations/business support organisations. This will help to build trust and to establish long-lasting relationship which support collaborative research projects. Book Fairs are well places to establish these personal networks.

Another thing lacking is data: First steps in this field were undertaken by a thematic network called “Technology and Innovation for Smart Publishing” (TISP), funded by the EU in the framework of the funding programme Horizon2020 (CIP-PSP), gathering 27 EU partners from publishing and technology. The Frankfurt Book Fair initiated a survey in 2014 in order to find out more about research & innovation needs in European book publishing. With the help of the TISP network, the outcome of this qualitative Europe-wide survey[1] was analyzed and published in early 2015. It showed that more than 67% of the respondents said that they were ready to collaborate with research institutes when it comes to R&D, but only about 6% actually did so. This shows that there is a need to connect research institutes and SMEs from the publishing sector, to raise awareness for the latest technological trends and to put “docking stations” in place which help the sector to innovate and support companies in developing and applying new and emerging technologies. What we need is more structured data on (technological) innovation needs of the creative and cultural sectors – and what we need are insights into how these ICT innovation needs can be translated into business development needs.


copyright: ideo design thinking,

The graphics show well what we’re looking for – the intersection between feasability (technological), desirability (customer demand or, more broadly, human desires) and viability (economical basis for a business). We are looking forward to exploring this together with you in the framework of our survey – again: please leave us your contact details if you’re interested in participating!





[1] http://www.Smart