The project Regional Policy Improvement for Financially Sustainable Creative Incubator Units (InCompass project) held its kick-off conference on 22-23 February 2012 in Dundee, Scotland. The meeting counted with the participation of the core project consortium, consisting of 15 partners from 12 European countries: Scotland, Spain, Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Slovakia, Italy, England, Portugal, Sweden, Hungary and Bulgaria. Hosted by Dundee College, InCompass Project Coordinator, and organized as a two-day session, the Steering Committee made the first decisions regarding tasks and work methodology, as well as the celebration of the first Thematic Seminar.
During the Conference, participants discussed the status and operation of the steering group, the project framework and the working groups' composition and methodology. In addition, a press conference was organized for the local media where Andrew McKenzie, Coordinator of the project, explained the objective of the project.
The InCompass project aims to support the self-sustainability of creative incubator units and enable them to develop and share innovative methods to move away from a general dependence on public funding. Co-financed by the EU's European Regional Development fund through the INTERREG IVC Programme, the project objective is to inform on and stimulate collaborative development of local, regional, national and EU policy and thereby increase the capacity to create more spaces for experiment, innovation and entrepreneurship in the creative industries, and to enable them to provide a driver for sustainable growth and job creation as stated in the Lisbon Agenda.
During the three-year period, Incompass will examine and develop sustainable approaches to incubation units for business start-ups in the creative industries. The project will undertake a programme of transnational research and analysis of existing and emerging innovative practices in developing new approaches in such ways that creative incubator units can become financially sustainable with less, ideally no public funding . It will use a number of existing creative incubator units across the EU as the main study vehicle.
The project is composed by the two mandatory components -Management and Coordination, and Communication and Dissemination- and a third component will provide the main activities for the project that will reflect and feed into the horizontal themes in a complimentary manner. This third component involves a programme of study visits and study visit reports on good practices; thematic seminars to share the findings within the consortium; valorization of the findings by external experts, and Regional Implementation Groups of stakeholders to assess the transferability of good practice and make regional policy recommendations.