Media Release: Institute will ‘enhance Scotland’s creative sector’

ICI client work.  Designer Paul Kerlaff with whisky barrel staves.

A PIONEERING new university institute has been launched to help support Scotland’s £5 billion* creative industries sector.

Edinburgh Napier University’s Institute for Creative Industries will streamline business access to its expertise in publishing, photography, film and television, music, design, journalism and communications.

It is one of nine institutes created by the university to help support key areas of the Scottish economy.

Professor Robin MacPherson, the Institute’s new director, said: “We want the Institute for Creative Industries to be the first port of call for those in the cultural and creative industries when they need practical help with innovation, embracing new technologies or reaching new audiences.”

The Institute is already working on a number of Scottish Funding Council-backed innovation projects – from helping a design company turn leftover whisky barrels into furniture and display products to building an interactive web presence for an independent TV company.

“Our aim is to work in partnership with local, national and international public bodies to enhance creative industries policy and business support,” said Professor MacPherson.

He added that extending continuous professional development opportunities was another key part of the Institute’s mission, and would build on successful short courses already provided by Screen Academy Scotland, a Skillset Film and Media Academy.

Said a spokesperson: “Scotland’s creative industries sector currently supports over 60,000 jobs, has a turnover of £5.2billion and contributes £2.4 billion to the value of the Scottish economy.*”

The new Institute has been welcomed by Creative Scotland.

Andrew Dixon, chief executive of Creative Scotland, said: “Creative Scotland’s role in the creative industries is to provide research, intelligence, advocacy and to contribute to policy development and this new institute will be a valuable asset for the whole country.

“Our strong links with Edinburgh Napier University and the wider higher education sector will help us attract, develop and retain creative talent, as well as supporting individuals and companies reach their full economic potential.

“Scotland’s creative industries make an essential contribution to Scotland’s economy and our international profile as a creative nation.”

Professor John Duffield, vice-principal at Edinburgh Napier University, added: “We have a strong reputation for working closely with industry and our Institutes are absolutely fundamental to our new approach for engaging with business.

“Each one is aligned to the government’s growth areas with the aim of making it as easy as possible for those industries to access the wide range of expertise within the university.”

Notes to editor:

  • *According to the latest data, 64,660 people were employed in the creative industries in Scotland – an increase of 11 per cent on 2003. Areas in which growth was particularly strong include music and the visual and performing arts, architecture and software, computer games and electronic publishing. Total turnover in the sector in 2007 was £5.2 billion, with gross value added (GVA) around £2.4 billion. (Source: Creative Industries Key Sector Report).

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