Creative industries research from NESTA

Two research reports investigating the UK’s creative industries have recently been published by NESTA, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts:

Hidden Innovation in the Creative Industries, published in July 2008, looks at the level and nature of innovation within the creative industries and identifies areas of ‘hidden innovation’ – areas of innovation that are poorly represented in statistics. For example, the report cites examples of innovation in research and development activity and in organisational forms. The report concludes that creative industries, and the types of innovation they undertake, remain ‘under-represented in statistics and conceptual analyses’.Leading on from this topic, it will certainly be interesting to track the development of the Innovation Index – a model being developed by NESTA which aims to provide a tool for estimating the economic impact of ‘innovation’.

Published in February, Beyond the Creative Industries attempts to map the true extent of the creative economy. Among other key findings, the report presents information on the contribution of the creative workforce to non-creative sectors. The report estimates that 35% of the total creative workforce is employed in non-creative sectors. It has calculated that the creative workforce accounts for around 9.6% of all UK earnings. These figures emphasise the importance of creative skills to the wider UK economy, and are potentially useful for anyone involved in ‘making the case’ for culture.

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