Nesta, UK’s innovation foundation, has today published a ten-point manifesto for the creative economy to help safeguard the country’s talent and bolster new ones in the face of digital disruption.
The UK currently employs employs more people in its ‘creative economy’ sector than the financial services, advanced manufacturing or construction, and accounts for approximately 10 per cent of value added to the economy as a whole, says the report.
If the UK doesn’t take action now it warns, then its creative industries could go the way of the automotive and computing industries – where an early lead was lost – in the face of mounting competition and innovation globally.
“Young companies outside the UK have dominated Internet markets and UK creative businesses have struggled to compete,” Hasan Bakhshi, report co-author and director of creative economy at Nesta.
“There is still a vast opportunity but we need the right policy, regulatory and skills infrastructure in place to build on our world class position in the creative economy. It is not too late for the UK to get this right but we are running out of time.”
The manifesto calls for action to ensure that the internet remains a place of open, contestable markets for UK companies and for co-ordinated new thinking in education, arts funding, tax, intellectual property, access to finance and the role of major cultural institutions, such as the BBC.
The manifesto’s priorities are to:
- Safeguard the next generation of the internet by ensuring it is truly open
- Give every teenager the chance to create digitally – from digital animation and games to apps
- Ensure the many tools designed to incentivise innovation – from tax reliefs to procurement – are adapted to fit the creative economy
- Help the UK’s creative powerhouses – from the BBC to museums and galleries – make the most of the next generation of digital technologies
At the heart of Nesta’s manifesto is the need for policymakers to adopt a revised definition of the creative industries which asserts the pivotal importance of creative talent and an allied one for the creative economy, which reflects all the sectors that use creative talent for commercial purposes.
Nesta’s Manifesto for the Creative Economy is available to download free of charge from www.nesta.org.uk.