Just above a year old, the Creative Industries Cluster already brings together 200 members representing a variety of activities – visual arts, films and audiovisual production, design, performing arts and digital media, to mention but a few. The idea of a common online platform is actually older than the cluster itself, being the answer to a major need highlighted by creatives themselves in a working group discussion at the very beginning of 2017.
Gaining market visibility
Around 60% of the 2,300 companies that make up Luxembourg’s creative industries sector employ only one person, which means that this person not only has to excel in what he or she does, but also be able to manage the company and find new business. “Getting enough visibility and finding new clients is often very challenging,” said Cluster Manager Marc Lis when presenting the platform.
Design according to the needs expressed by cluster members, the objective of the online platform is therefore two-fold: enable creatives to get to know each other’s skills in order to find collaboration partners, and promote the sector and connect cluster members with new clients. 160 cluster members have already created profiles on the platform to present their skills, portfolio of work, team and contact details. Profiles can be filtered by keywords established by the creatives themselves, which makes it easy to find the right skills.
Creative jobs and opportunities
The platform also presents news and events as well as job and internship offers. In addition, cluster members can publish collaboration requests when looking for skills that are complementary to their own. “This makes it possible to take on much bigger projects than you could do as a single independent worker,” explained Mr Lis.
The use of the platform is free of charge for both creatives and clients, but only profiles of confirmed cluster members are published. In order to encourage new members, Mr Lis underlined that: “The most recent profiles will appear on top of the list, so make sure that your information is of good quality from the very beginning!”
The power of creativity
The platform launch attracted numerous companies interested in creative skills. “Creativity is essential for innovation, and artists are very creative,” said Heike Schug, Executive Assistant at Goodyear who joined the event together with two colleagues. “We have worked together with haute couture designer Feyrouz Ashoura, who has created unique dresses from materials that we use in our tyres.” The dresses have been exposed at Goodyear’s innovation centre in Colmar-Berg as well as in Grand-Palais in Paris, but Goodyear is now thinking about taking the cooperation a step further. “Ms Ashoura has already discussed a lot with the manager of our design studio, and we would like to organise workshops with her to get further inspiration from her creativity,” said Ms Schug.
The link between this experimental artist and Goodyear came about by chance. As you cannot rely on chance only, Mr Lis plays an active role in establishing this type of contacts. “During my first 12 months as cluster manager this has been one of my main tasks, but I have done it manually and on an individual basis. The aim of the platform is to make this contact brokerage function on a much bigger scale without having to rely on the knowledge and network of a single person.”
In addition to the online platform, the cluster will also soon have its own annual magazine, “Do Do Do”. The first issue is planned for publication in September and will showcase exceptional work done by cluster members. Both initiatives are aligned with the ambitions expressed by Secretary of State for the Economy Francine Closener at the event: “Our goal is to make Luxembourg an internationally recognised hub for creative industries.”