The Slovenia Times

Innovation Day calls for cooperation between economy, creative sector

CultureScience & Technology

Ljubljana - There is a lot of untapped potential for cooperation between the Slovenian economy and the culture and creative sectors, Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said at an on-line debate held as part of Innovation Day on Monday. The opening addresses highlighted the importance of creativity and innovation in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The culture and creative sectors represent 8.4% of active Slovenian companies and employ 3.3% of people in employment, Počivalšek said. "The fact is that the pandemic has presented them with one of the biggest challenges so far, but this also creates opportunities."

The corona crisis is a chance for a new development breakthrough and the state will provide support, the minister said at a panel dubbed Symptoms of Creativity.

Addressing the opening of the event, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS) in cooperation with the economy ministry and the SPIRIT agency, GZS director general Sonja Šmuc and Foreign Ministry State Secretary Stanislav Raščan stressed that creativity and innovation were inseparable, and had become even more important in the face of the pandemic.

Raščan said the pandemic had further highlighted the role of creativity and innovation in global development, from both the economic and social aspects and on both the national and international levels.

The creative sector is among the sectors that have been most affected by the corona crisis and among those that will have to work the hardest to bounce back, he added. Cooperation with other fields will thus be very important.

According to Minister Počivalšek, Slovenian companies are not aware enough of the potential of creativity for their business. He said the government would support projects empowering companies' managements to promote cooperation with the culture and creative sectors.

Šmuc said in her opening address that flexibility and thinking outside the box were important in all processes in the economy and society and would become even more important in the future.

Raščan said Innovation Day was part of Slovenia's efforts to have creativity and innovation become key pillars of its foreign policy. The country will also promote this during its EU presidency in the second half of 2021.

Participants of the Symptoms of Creativity debate agreed that a key challenge was the lack of coordination between creative industries and other political areas.

Portuguese Culture Minister Graca Fonseca stressed the importance of cooperation between culture and education, and culture and science. Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, the director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, said the OECD had been striving for culture to be recognised as an integral part of all policies.

She and Nasser Kamel, secretary general of the Union for the Mediterranean, warned against "sacrificing" culture and the creative sector during the corona crisis. The two sectors may not seem crucial for economic recovery at first glance, but in fact they are indispensable and irreplaceable, the pair warned.

Global Director of the European Union National Institutes for Culture Gitte Zschoch said an event were an economy minister and a culture minister of two EU countries had such a fruitful debate showed how interconnected the two sectors were.

Innovation Day, a merger of the annual Creative Forum Ljubljana and Innovation Day, held online this year, features more than 800 representatives of the economy, creative sector and politics from over 50 countries.

The event is hosted by the GZS with the support of the Ministry for Economic Development and Technology and the investment promotion agency SPIRIT. The debate Symptoms of Creativity was hosted by the GZS, the economy and foreign ministries, and several other partners.


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