We are inviting creative start-ups to participate in sprint session with real investors, culminating in an investment pitch

Who should Apply

We are targeting startup companies in the audio-visual, music and performing arts space with B2B and B2C creative value propositions. We are primarily targeting startups from Ireland, Bulgaria, Germany and Denmark.

What is on Offer

The sprint & pitch enables those who are relatively new to investor engagement to learn from real investors about what the investors in these sectors are looking for and to get valuable investor feedback on the pitch propositions, in order to enable companies to perfect their pitching, make new connections and accelerate their fundraising journey. The applicants should be at the pre-seed or seed stage and look to raise €250,000-750,000 in their next round.

Key Dates

Opening of Call: 20/02/2024
Closing of Call: 12/03/2024
Evaluation/Notification by 21/03/2024
Sprint workshop with SPECTRA investment experts 27/03/2024 2-4pm CEST
Preparation of pitch decks by participants
Pitches in front of SPECTRA investor panel & feedback 23/04 2-4pm CEST.

How to Apply

The call is now live on https://www.f6s.com/spectra-sprint/

Follow-on opportunities include becoming part of a global community of creative start-ups and access to new skills, challenges, mentors and investors.

The call is part of the programme of supports under Horizon Europe funded SPECTRA project.

As a part of the effort to facilitate Inclusive, Diverse Ecosystems SPECTRA partners sought to specifically address intra-territorial exchange of experience and good practices to enhance the European dimension of the target ecosystems.

They looked at best practice examples from across Europe and pin-pointed specific learning from the lead innovator regions in Germany and Denmark, supporting a common strategy with appropriate solutions to respond to thematic challenges and to support innovative creative economy businesses with involvement of ecosystems as catalysts for innovation.

The resulting deliverable, in addition to research of best practice, reflects on the 2 SPECTRA virtual panel discussions held during August 2023, which focused on the following 2 topics:
1. Stimulating internal innovation and use of experimentation
2. Ecosystem as an open innovation platform, utilizing inclusivity, and diversity as a key enabler.

The learnings have been evaluated, and recommendations generated to inform future decision-making.

The outcomes and conclusions of these activities have been summarised in a report, to enable dissemination, and knowledge enhancement of stakeholders as well as replication. The report can be downloaded on this website under the resources page, and is titled D2.2 Best Practice Examples and Evaluation.

 

In order for the creative industries to continue to bring prosperity to Europe, it must now become the accelerator and enabler of change and innovation in a human-centric way that can support and empower, among other, the covenants of the green and digital transition, and the transformative impact on society.

The research undertaken by SPECTRA, in addition to research of trends, reflects on:

  • approaches to business support
  • Integration of solutions in a way that maximises value.
  • Appropriate knowledge and interventions.
  • Understanding of linkages of various ecosystem actors and activities.
  • Identification of suitable role-models and peer communities.

The relevant innovation directions and trends can be incorporated into the growth and strategic vision of the ecosystem development. This includes consideration of the future need for co-creation processes with all relevant stakeholders.

A report has been produced as an outcome of this activity, which has identified key innovation trends as: cross-sectoral collaboration, human-centric approaches, integration of digital and green transition and co-creation and societal inclusion.

The report seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of the overarching innovation directions and trends,  but these do not intend to represent an exhaustive list. They also do not exist in silos and are not intended to be considered in isolation from each other, indeed, there are many intersections between the directions and trends, and they are indeed intertwined, as well as meant to be applied with agility in mind, tailored to the challenge and ecosystem, communities, and opportunities at hand.

It is clear from the undertaken research that CCSI have a significant role to play in innovation in multiple sectors, and in facilitating inclusivity, while also contributing to the strengthening of the ecosystems, as demonstrated. Further reading and exploration of these topics is encouraged – further experimentation, piloting and demonstrative work is required to improve knowledge and learning in multiple areas.

To read the full report, you can download the full document on the resources page, titled ‘D2.3 Innovation Direction and Trends Overview and Recommendations’.

SPECTRA partners engage with the EIT KIC CCSI Policy Club (Cities & Regions Network) and Investment Club activities

The Policy Club aims to bridge the gaps between policies by bringing together policymakers and decision makers from various sectors and domains, enabling them to prototype and implement quickly innovative policies in communities, cities and regions.

The Policy Club invites approximately 30 policy makers to participate in its inaugural year, with a plan to expand to up to 200 participants by the end of 2027. Interested individuals serving as elected politicians, civil servants, or representatives of professional associations from across Europe and beyond are encouraged to apply. Applicants from all domains of policymaking at local and regional scale are welcome provided they have an interest in cultural and creative practices and policies as a resource for developing innovations and problem-solving.

Selected participants, referred to as delegates, are expected to actively engage in the activities of the Policy Club, which offers a unique opportunity for policy makers to collaborate, exchange knowledge, and contribute to harnessing the potential as well as concrete problem-solving proposals for the Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries.

At the inaugural meeting in Bilbao (pictured), in the initial workshop session, the delegates were tasked with operating as a collective intelligence, utilising a digital fine-tuning tool. This tool facilitated the initiation of a peer learning process and the exchange of insights concerning the group’s objectives, its organisational structure, and collaborative policy process design.

In the second session, the delegates engaged in spirited dialogues concerning the role of culture, its impact on policy, the need for clear objectives, and the necessity for cross-sector collaboration. The discussion also centered on selecting a name for the club that would properly reflect its essence. Participants aimed to refine the terminology and enhance comprehension of the club’s mission. Furthermore, A lively discussion took place regarding the importance of community-centric policies that engage citizens and lend legitimacy to cultural policies. Notably, participants recognized the significance of engaging young people and increasing diversity.

The debates held during the workshop also underscored the intrinsic value of culture itself, cautioning against instrumentalizing culture for other purposes, regardless of their importance. Furthermore, the entire workshop emphasized the need to reform the industrial business model to recognize the contributions of SMEs, thus ensuring inclusivity in the cultural and creative sectors.

As a result of these deliberations, a decision emerged to rename the Policy Club as the Cities & Regions Network.

SPECTRA partners were able to share in the learnings, through the participation of Western Development Commission’s Jessica Fuller.

The EIT Culture & Creativity Investment Club will build and fuel the European investment market in culture and creativity. The aim is to create an effective finance and growth ecosystem fit for companies in the Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries, so that they can fulfill their untapped potential, compete, and succeed on a global level while creating a positive social and environmental impact.

Their first step in this direction is partnering with Bpifrance to host and facilitate connections between investors and companies on the Euroquity platform. Developed in collaboration with Bpifrance, EuroQuity serves as an essential digital platform to connect innovative companies with investors and partners. Being part of the EIT Culture & Creativity Investment Club community offers an array of benefits:

  • an exclusive deal flow and opportunities to expand and build investors’ portfolio in culture and creativity.
  • access to funding, partnership opportunities and events for creative companies.

SPECTRA partners were able to share in the initial findings from the first meeting of the investment club, through Media Deals participation in the Investment Club, via Thierry Baujard.

Both lines of engagement will help contribute to the forthcoming activities in SPECTRA. focusing on joint collaborative initiatives.

The SPECTRA interventions under Work Package 2 (WP2) ‘Capacity Building of Moderate and Emerging Innovator Territories’ target the emerging and modest ecosystems directly, with the aim to engage more with emerging innovation directions and trends, and advanced methods, tools, systems, and structures, enable them to become more resilient to disruption, such as caused by the COVID19 pandemic, to develop capability to turn them into opportunities and develop new solutions to the challenges they face in their environment, as well as to:

  • ensure socio-environmental issues are addressed at a very early stage in activities and are an essential cornerstone of strategy for growth.
  • become more proactive and skilled in driving innovation, becoming the instigator of new technological solutions (‘bottom-up’ approach).
  • engage more in multi-stakeholder discovery process and co-creation.
  • become more connected to other ecosystems and other stakeholders in the ecosystem, to expand sharing of knowledge and expertise.

These activities provide for strategies to overcome barriers in addressing these challenges and opportunities, including:

  • Lack of knowledge on how to effectively engage with emerging innovation directions and trends – which trends and technologies are most relevant, in what way and for what purpose – having weak association/appreciation of how they need to integrate with the complex requirements of the ecosystem and the entrepreneurs.
  • Weak mechanisms and processes via which businesses can engage in collaboration and innovation with external partners and other ecosystems.
  • Fragmented eco-system, especially on the cross-border/transnational basis, when considering key players, weak open innovation frameworks engaging the quadruple helix.
  • Perception that some existing solutions are ‘solutions looking for a problem’ rather than solving a genuine need/challenge & common challenges exist without appropriate solutions being available.
  • low level of connectivity and ‘intra-operability’ between ecosystems.

SPECTRA also recognises that intentional ecosystem-strengthening initiatives still represent an exploratory space with regard to evidence base on what does and what doesn’t work. Providing more space for ecosystem actors to lead the design, implementation and evaluation of these interventions will help to clarify some of the critical success factors. Hypotheses and assumptions will be tested in this SPECTRA approach, before good practices can be confidently defined, and further collaborate to understand where and how different actors are contributing to systems strengthening.

International and Territorial Case Studies and Role Models is a culmination of a task that reinforces the activities begun under Task 2.2 and continued under Task 2.3, which elaborates a set of detailed case studies on how the business support organisations partnering in this proposal interact with other ecosystem players to support innovation in the creative economy sector, with specific focus on dealing with challenges of digital technologies, inclusivity, and human-centric approaches, as well as sustainability.

In the spirit of the Network and its commitment to European added value, the case studies feature examples of how each partner has or intends to adapt best practices from other regions to their own, internationally.

The case studies identify a contact person in the partner organisation who will be available to respond to enquiries from other business support organisations across Europe interested to learn more about the best practices and novel solutions identified in the case study. Role Models are identified in terms of successful cases of start-ups and scale-ups developed as a result of the impact of such interventions.

Case Studies and Role Models included are:

REGIONAL CASE STUDIES AND ROLE MODELS

  •  IMMERSE (IRELAND)
  • ATLANTIC TIDE (IRELAND)
  • GREEN IMPACT WEEK (DENMARK)
  • CEED PROGRAMME (IRELAND)
  • BYOWAVE (IRELAND)

EUROPEAN/INTERNATIONAL CASE STUDIES AND ROLE MODELS

  • SPIELFABRIQUE (EUROPEAN)
  • MUSICTECH EUROPE ACADEMY: MUSIC INNOVATION HUB (EUROPEAN)
  • MUSIMAP – START UP IN MUSICTECH (BELGIUM)
  • CREATINNES (EUROPEAN)
  • CRAFT 4.0 (EUROPEAN)
  • ACCELERO (EUROPEAN)
  • NEBESYS (CZECH REPUBLIC).

Further details of the case studies and role models can be found in the published deliverable under the resources page.

The innovation process in creative industries can often be described as a collective process that can involve many different actors whose objectives and needs may differ.

It also involves informal knowledge communities that have very specific Intellectual Property (IP) needs. Those actors often combine different types of IP rights, including copyright, patents and trademarks. Infringement of IP in the creative industries is a challenge, particularly since copying is easy and cheap in the digital era. Firms in creative industries also use more traditional IP strategies, open source and other creative commons types of licenses.

The creativity, skill, and talent of literary and artistic creators is their main means of creating wealth and jobs. By creating the optimal framework conditions in which there is compensation and reward for creators’ effort and creativity, IP can act as an incentive for further creation and creative collaboration, as well as supporting economic growth in an amplified manner.

This work contributes to the European Added Value:

  • Enhanced understanding of what approaches, mechanisms and actions lead to improved ecosystems, which are complex and multifaceted – including new data.
  • Supported networking among innovation actors across local ecosystems, notably building on EU-level initiatives.
  • Guided bottom-up, place-based approaches of smart specialisation and investments and initiatives for reinforcing innovation ecosystems.
  • Fostered synergies between different EU, as well as national and regional programmes.
  • Enhanced local innovation networks and connectivity within Europe.

On November 28, 2023, the online Workshop on «IP strategies for creative entrepreneurs» was organized and hosted by Creative Business Network and Western Development Commission.

The goal of the event was to examine different approaches towards frameworks for Creative IP. By creating optimal framework conditions in which there is compensation and reward for creators’ effort and creativity, IP can act as an incentive for further creation and creative collaboration, as well as supporting economic growth in an amplified manner.

Topics and Speakers:
1. Overall understanding of Creative IP.
Speaker: Kati Repo, COO, Business Development & Legal in KREAM Helsinki. Kati Repo works as COO, Business Development & Legal at KREAM in Helsinki. Highly creative company specializing in intellectual property commercialization. Master of Laws –degree from Helsinki University and MBA degree from Henley Business School.

2. IP as a commercialization tool that can be used in business models.
Speaker: Mustafa Cakir, Co-Founder, PATENT EFFECT. Mustafa Cakir is an industrial engineer with 13-year experience in patent portfolio management, patent data analytics, patent valuation, patent commercialization (+22 deals so far), incubation program management and startup/spinoff development. He mainly leads patent data analytics services, patent portfolio management, patent licensing, patent valuation, deep-tech startup acceleration programs and commercialization services for IP-based spinoff companies. He is also acting as the President of LES (Licensing Executives Society) Turkey and co-director of Founder Institute Turkey. Mr. Cakir is recognized as one of The World’s Leading 300 IP Strategists by IAM in 2022 and 2023.

3. Innovations in IP: what considerations should creatives and their legal support bear in mind when working with emerging digital technologies?
Speaker: Dr. Eric K. Clemons. Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. A pioneer in the systematic study of the transformational impacts of information on the strategy and practice of business, his research and teaching interests include strategic uses of information systems, information economics, the changes enabled by information technology, and innovations in IP that can shape the future protection for innovative and creative solutions.

4. Special guest of the Workshop – Jesper Moseholm, CEO of “Anna Black” Design brand.
Jesper has established and managed a business together with designer Anne Black where they manufacture and sell her ceramic designs. The business started in 2002. As part of this, Jesper has managed a lawsuit on IP infringement and brand damage, towards a Danish grocery retailer, in three consecutive courts, ending after 7 years, with a Danish supreme court verdict. The trial has delivered a lot of insight into the various challenges on defending brand and IP.

Main Takeaways provided by the Experts

IPR protection, the main principles for creators:

  • Create-Protect-Utilize: understanding the basis of protecting IP, recognizing its value and business potential.
  • Ideas cannot be protected and thus cannot be stolen, but protecting trade secrets with strict enough NDAs might be an important tool.
  • For proper IPR utilization, it is crucial to consider and take into account competitors, market trends (such as digitalization), the level of risk the creator is prepared to take, commercialization opportunities while utilizing the IP, creative team mindset and IP strategy.

IP as a commercialization tool – what to consider:

  • IP is a working investment tool. IP commercialization can be achieved through various means, including IP ownership, IP assignments, and business partnerships (including licensing).
  • Patent strategy and an IP policy are crucial elements for effective IP management within all creative businesses.
  • Licensing should be considered as a practical tool, even for smaller players; it can aid in international expansion and brand recognition.
  • To minimize risks, a well-structured licensing agreement is crucial for creative companies and individuals. This agreement should encompass, but not be limited to, license restrictions, territory specifications, terms, and definitions.
  • IP commercialization opportunities and conditions vary across different categories, with examples such as the “invent for royalties” scheme for private inventors and international market access for businesses.

Innovations in IP: a helicopter view of challenges and opportunities in the Digital Age:

  • IP law balances between two stakeholders: society and creators, determining the level of public access and creators’ compensation. Overprotection may restrict access, while under-protection may result in financial losses for creators.
  • Technological advancements are challenging this balance, simplifying the processes of copying and modifications to a significant extent. As these technologies evolve, the landscape of Creative IP faces transformative shifts, impacting the balance between creators’ rights, public access, and the ease of replicability and modification.
  • Considering value-added copying as a source of further creative product development, various models of revenue sharing between the original creator and those interacting with the work can be explored.
  • Understanding IP laws is crucial. However, one of the important aspects is identifying what has changed. If there’s a shift in a way that has not been explored yet, that is where creatives can make the most valuable contribution. When creative individuals stop sticking to the usual ways of doing things, they pave the way for making the biggest difference.

IP in practice – Anne Black’s case:
Anne Black case highlights the gap between theoretical IP laws and their practical implementation, emphasizing the importance of accurate and provable figures, resource considerations, and the strategic protection of brand reputation in the face of legal challenges.

  • The practical application of IP laws often diverges from legal provisions, making it challenging to secure compensation in real cases. There is a need to navigate the nuances between legal statutes and actual implementation.
  • In Anne Black’s trial, figures presented were not considered objective by the supreme court. It underscores the importance of ensuring that material losses, such as financial figures, are not only provable but also accurate to bolster the case.
  • The ability and resources required to pursue IP cases, especially for smaller entities, pose a significant challenge. It is advised not to solely rely on legal professionals; creatives should actively engage with the subject matter to effectively manage the trial.
  • While safeguarding designs can be challenging, protecting reputation should be less arduous. The suggestion to consider damage to the brand, such as trademark infringement, emphasizes the impact on sales and reputation due to the violation.

More detail from learning on IP for creative industries can be found on the resources page, in the published deliverable.

The Study visit to Copenhagen, Denmark, hosted by the Creative Business Network, was composed of several elements and took place over several days from 2-6 June 2023, including:

  • 3 June ekip project Demo-Policy-Lab Meeting including SPECTRA partners.
  • 4 June SPECTRA Partners visit Copenhill and Networking dinner at the Reffen Street Food Market.
  • 5 June SPECTRA partners attendance of the Creative Business Cup Global Finals.
  • 6 June SPECTRA Study visit with stakeholder initiatives.

As a part of the SPECTRA study visit, the partners had the opportunity to collaborate and network with another Horizon Europe project relevant to the strengthening of ecosystems – ekip -European Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries Policy Platform. The ekip project held a session on the methodology for the policy lab, hosted by the SPECTRA partner Creative Business Network, which was highly relevant to SPECTRA activities and targeted outcomes.

ekip brings together highly networked and diverse organisations with strong track-record in research, innovation, and policymaking for and with the CCIs. Beneficiaries from 12 countries with different social, cultural, and economic contexts. Leading universities with expertise on research and innovation in culture and creativity. Organisations with online data collection and analysis competences and visualisation skills. Specialised policy consulting companies and advisories will be linking practice, research, and innovation with policy development for the CCSI. Operating with open innovation principles, ekip will establish a partner and network-driven policy recommendation engine to continuously drive the formulation and adoption of policy development recommendations for Europe’s Cultural and Creative Industries. This will result in support and guidance that strengthens the capacity for CCI-actors to engage in and contribute to complex innovation processes.

The interplay between the project’s activities will allow the consortium to deliver two objectives: building the meta-network amongst ecosystems and developing the knowledge-based and participatory policy engine which will come together in making the third objective – supporting the development for CCI-centered ecosystems – possible.

On the second day, SPECTRA partners were invited to visit the Copenhill facility. Amager Bakke or Copenhill, is a combined heat and power waste-to-energy plant (new resource handling centre) and recreational facility in Copenhagen Denmark, located prominently within view of the city’s downtown.
The facility opened in 2017, and partially replaced the nearby old incineration plant in Amager, which is in the process of being converted from coal to biomass. The two plants play a major role in Copenhagen’s ambitions of meeting zero carbon requirements by 2025. The recreational components of the facility (the dry ski run, hiking trail and climbing wall) opened in December 2018, with an attendance estimated at 42-57 thousand visitors annually.


Copenhill was named the World Building of the Year 2021 at the fourteenth annual World Architecture Festival. It is estimated to cost $670 million and is expected to burn 400,000 tons of municipal solid waste annually. It also houses a sports facility designed by Bjarke Ingels Group with an 85 m (279 ft) tall, sloped roof that doubles as year-round artificial ski slope, hiking slope and climbing wall, manufactured by Walltopia (a Bulgarian company), is the world’s tallest climbing wall at 80 meters. The facility is a great example of creativity enabling cross-sectoral innovation. The partners met up with other stakeholders at the facility, to network and discuss topics of common interest.

On the 5th June, SPECTRA partners engaged with the Creative Business Cup. The Creative Business Cup (CBC) 2023 Global Finals was a celebration of innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship from around the globe. This annual event brings together the most exceptional startups, industry experts, investors, and creative minds to showcase their groundbreaking ideas, products, and services. Taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark, the CBC Global Finals is the ultimate platform for creative entrepreneurs to connect, collaborate, and be inspired with many high-profile speakers and exciting pitches. The Creative Business Cup 2023 took place in Volume building, a revitalised regenerated industrial space that provided a creative environment for the event and for the SPECTRA partners to connect with attendees, presenters and stakeholders.

The last day of the study visit kicked-off with the visit to Confederation of Danish Industry – Host: Lise Thomsen, Head of DI Creative Industries at the Industriens Hus. DI is a private business and employers’ organisation representing approximately 20,000 companies in Denmark. They aim to provide the best possible corporate conditions for their member companies. They provide a range of supports including Advisory – legal advice, business services, global trading and more, as well as Events, courses and networks, business delegations, and assist with gaining of new knowledge.

This was followed by the SPECTRA partners project meeting, to discuss project progress and planning of next steps. Following a networking lunch, the SPECTRA partners visited Copenhagen Capacity – Host: Nikolaj Lubanski, COO. Copenhagen Capacity are the official organisation for attracting international companies, investors and professional talent to Denmark and the Greater Copenhagen Region. By facilitating close partnerships across industries, academia, and the public sector for more than 20 years, they are the go-to experts in promoting our region globally, making it an attractive destination for international talents and businesses. Their passion is helping international companies realise their business opportunities and local companies prosper with the world’s talented professionals.


Finally, the study visit was rounded up with a visit to Creative Denmark – Host: Christian Kierkegaard Michelsen, Project Manager, at the BloxHub and the tour of this innovative and creative facility.

Creative Denmark is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership that creates awareness about Danish creative strongholds internationally and the potential of Danish creativity in solving global challenges. They work to match international demand for creative innovation and human-centred solutions with the vast competencies in the Danish creative industries. Creative Denmark is funded by a strong group of public and private partners that count the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the Ministry of Culture, the Confederation of Danish Industry, the Danish Chamber of Commerce, and the philanthropic association Realdania.

They are based in the BLOX building located in the heart of Copenhagen. BLOX is a national and international epicenter that engages people in sustainable design, architecture, and urban planning through collaborations, cross-sector learning, partnerships, events, and business development.

More details and more about lessons learned, can be viewed under the resource page on this website, in the published deliverable.

SPECTRA partner attended a study visit, hosted by the German partner Media Deals, during 9th and 10th November 2023.

On the first day of the study visit to the Berlin Ecosystem the partner learning activities kicked-off with the meeting with Marte Hentschel- Co CEO of VORN- Fashion Hub situated at Bikini Berlin.


VORN – the Berlin fashion hub is offering space for collaborations for positive impact within the fashion industry and culture. It is a physical and digital place in the heart of Berlin, where innovations for a sustainable development of the fashion industry are collaboratively designed, communicated and implemented. As a registered cooperative, our focus is on the profitable business of a community. Their four programs Community Services, Innovation Lab, Scaling Program and Coworking Space create a pre-competitive environment for positive impact in the fashion industry: they are a marketplace for curated services. Their goal is an economically successful circularity in the fashion and textile industry as well as taking social responsibility and reducing CO₂ emissions. VORN is commissioned and co-funded by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.

This was followed by a meeting with Berlin Partner at the Industrie- und Handelskammer zu Berlin (IHK Berlin), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Berlin (CCI Berlin). Berlin Partner works on economic growth, promotes business, technology and innovation, and presents the advantages of the capital to companies, investors and talents.

Berlin Partner supports companies and scientific institutions that are already established in the region in their expansion plans and connects them within the strong Berlin Partner network. In addition, Berlin Partner’s experts provide information on funding opportunities and advise on the search for suitable locations or highly qualified personnel. Berlin Partner’s successes are measured by a range of indicators: the focus is on the number of jobs that can be newly created or secured in Berlin with the support of Berlin Partner. In addition, it is worth taking a look at the investment volume and third-party funds raised. In the last year 2022, 8389 new jobs were created in just the 239 projects we successfully managed. In the process, around 1100 million Euro were invested and third-party funding of 140.1 million Euro was raised for research and development. Specifically, Networks and funding for Berlin based creative companies were discussed.

Highlights discussed included:

  • Headquarters of Axel Springer AG, Universal Music Germany, Paramount, Wooga, elt, DW TV, rbb, Netflix, Sony Deutschland, Zalando
  • Berlin as an International event location: Berlinale, German Film Awards,Gamesweek , Deutscher Computerspielpreis , re:publica
  • Film location for numerous national and international productions
  • Germany’s music capital with an annual turnover of 700 million
  • Most varied newspaper region and Germany’s strongest publishing location
  • A hotspot for the international games industry and e sports companies.

Twice a year, Berlin Fashion Week brings fashion lovers and the fashion industry together. Numerous companies from the media landscape have settled in Berlin. All of the major international broadcasters, news agencies, and editorial offices are represented here. Various universities, research facilities and institutes form a unique science and training landscape.

The introduction of the Berlin Partner was also accompanied by a presentation on the activities of the European Enterprise Network. The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) helps businesses innovate and grow on an international scale. It is the world’s largest support network for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with international ambitions. The Network is active worldwide. It brings together experts from member organisations that are renowned for their excellence in business support.

Member organisations include:

  • chambers of commerce and industry
  • regional development organisations
  • universities and research institutes
  • innovation agencies.

These informative and interactive sessions were followed up by a consortium meeting where SPECTRA partners discussed the project progress and forward planning with a particular focus on Work Package 4, investor and start-up pitching activities.

Following the conclusion of the meeting on the project management activities, the SPECTRA partners had the opportunity to hear from and interact with Spielfabrique Professionalization programs presentation where Julia Krüger and Melanie Seifart presented on this initiative.

SpielFabrique stems from a Franco-German video game initiative created in April 2015 by Media Deals at the French Embassy on the occasion of the International Games Week Berlin. As a catalyst for the video game ecosystem, they bring together all industry stakeholders to create greater understanding, knowledge, and collaboration. From mentoring indie game studios looking to bring their first game to market or established indie studios looking to scale up, to its consulting business towards public entities, SpielFabrique has built a comprehensive understanding of the video game ecosystem. Their goal is to stimulate international activity and strengthen ecosystems. Their annual pan-European programme comprises 6 intense months of workshops, networking, and 1-on-1 mentoring. The programme helps participants make the leap from having a functioning prototype to becoming a financially independent and successful studio.

Their supports include:

  • international mentoring programs for indie games studios.
  • Empowering Development – boosting video games development through mentoring and networking.
  • Global Market Advisory – advising institutions, funds, and studios to develop their international market.
  • Globalizing Local Gaming – making local gaming ecosystem international.

Finally, at the end of day 1, SPECTRA Partners attended a networking event and dinner at the Games Ground Conference 2023. This included a meeting with Medianet’s Florian Masuth. Medianet berlinbrandenburg eV is a network association for the media, creative and digital industries. Medianet, together with the members of the network, politics, business, and science, creates cooperation on an equal footing in the Berlin-Brandenburg metropolitan region and beyond national borders. Medianet strengthens the locations as employer regions. Medianet is an impetus, supporter, doer and connects actors in an interdisciplinary manner on the common path to the digital future.

In addition to regular training opportunities for members’ employees, they cooperate with universities, integrate market drivers of future technologies and record the business climate in the capital region with the annual medien.barometer.
On day 2 of the study visit, the SPECTRA partners travelled to Potsdam to visit Studio Babelsberg.

Studio Babelsberg is one of Europe’s largest film studio complexes, offering 21 state-of-the-art sound stages, flexible backlots and vast production facilities on a 42-acre lot. Take advantage of our exceptional production services, internationally experienced crews, and the diversity of attractive film locations, only a few steps from the vibrant city of Berlin that make Studio Babelsberg one of the most attractive film and TV production sites in Europe. In 2018, Potsdam is classified as MediaTech Hub. Volucap at Studio Babelsberg, the first volumetric capture studio on the European continent, is one of its flagships. The circular studio, equipped with 32 cameras, makes immersive VR and AR projects possible.

SPECTRA project partners had the opportunity to meet with the MediaTech Hub and Volucap.
The MediaTech Hub (MTH) Potsdam is the umbrella under which MTH bundles their community, projects and activities. They are all interconnected and interlocked – be it in their startup programmes like the MTH Accelerator or the MTH Space as well as their annual conference. With all the projects, MTH pursues a goal of further advancing the media tech ecosystem and shaping a more efficient, inclusive, and creative future. The SPECTRA partners benefited from meeting Andrea Wickleder, CEO
The MediaTech Hub Potsdam is the only digital hub in Germany with a focus on media technology. It makes media technology innovations from Potsdam visible, strengthens entrepreneurship and connects actors from the network and beyond (CONNECT!). Developing media-tech ideas and business models (DEVELOP!) is what the MTH Accelerator encourages young founders to do. It is the sparring partner for start-up teams in the early phase. The programme was initiated by the Hasso Plattner Institute, the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF and the University of Potsdam. In the heart of Babelsberg, the media city, MTH have created a space for media tech start-up teams. In the MTH Space, ideas and innovations are realised (DO!). Media technologies pave the way for every business. The MTH Conference brings together new ideas and business models, international perspectives and groundbreaking applications to think ahead together (THINK!). In an increasingly digital world, Knowledge Transfer is an essential factor for the ability to innovate and thus the key for business competitiveness and success. The MTH Innovator identifies itself as an MediaTech enabler and creates the framework conditions, in which MediaTech innovations can be introduced and applied in SMEs (MOVE!).

Following this very insightful presentation of MTH, SPECTRA project were treated to a visit to the attendance of the Volucap volumetric studio and interaction based in Babelsberg Park. Volumetric studio opened in Babelsberg just outside Berlin in 2018, driven by a high-profile consortium. New stereoscopic depth technology enables innovative forms of presentation for film and media beyond entertainment. Actress Emilia Schüle (known from Ku’damm 59, Traumfabrik) was the first person to be recorded in the volumetric studio at the opening.

The studio is located on 170 square meters in the fx.center on the grounds of Studio Babelsberg and is equipped with 32 cameras, which are installed all around on a nearly 4 meter high light rotunda. People and objects can be scanned three-dimensionally and lifelike in the room. The corresponding basic technology was specially developed by Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute. The previous prototype of the volumetric video studio is for laboratory use only and has been in operation since October 2017. The installed software “3D Human Body Reconstruction” does not create digital avatars but creates hologram-like representations of real people that can be processed like computer-generated models. The actors recorded in this way can be placed in real and virtual worlds. It is also possible for spectators to enter the world with the help of VR technology and view the events and the person photographed or the object photographed from every possible angle.

The latest development of Volucap includes the possibility to produce footage underwater, and mobile studio facilities. In a custom-built underwater tank at a depth of 7 meters, it took the Volucap team 2 months to develop the world’s first volumetric underwater film studio from initial concept to successful on-set deployment.

Following this exciting experience of a company active in the Babelsberg ecosystem, SPECTRA partners, engaged with Mafalda Duarte, Head of Studio Telescope Game Studios UG. Mafalda in the addition to building a team to work at game development, is also an ambassador for Women in Games and also work for the organisation as Ambassador Coordinator. In 2022, she co-founded the Game Dev Lisbon collective with other game developers based in Lisbon, with projects such as Game Dev Camp since 2020, Spotlight Awards and most recently, Spotlight Magazine. Telescope Game Studios are a part of a trail-blazing studio group run by passionate storytellers. Utilizing cutting-edge real-time tech, they create interwoven story universes for global audiences. Their narratives span across animated films, series, games and immersive experiences with heart and soul.
Their two animation and game studios are powered by a proprietary process and Unreal Engine production pipeline and have been awarded with two MegaGrants by Epic Games, as well as an innovation grant by the European Union.
Telescope Game Studios stand for equality, diversity, and inclusion – in their projects and their team. By integrating green workflows, a no-crunch policy and remote work capabilities, they provide a sustainable, inspiring environment for creators.

The day 2 of the study visit concluded with a presentation by Prof. Dr. Björn Stockleben, Professor of Emerging Media Production. Head of Studies Film- and TV Production Programme, Co-Head of Creative Exchange Studio (CX Studio) at the Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, together with Jörn Krug, the Project manager of the start-up service & MOVE2startup. The Babelsberg Film University is a lively place for film; it stands for a variety of materials and forms, genres and formats, for specialization and exchange. In their unique trade-oriented and interdisciplinary training, creative personalities develop their filmmaking attitude. They teach and research both scientifically and artistically and thus actively shape the development of media, science and society. In research, the film university pursues a variety of topics, approaches and projects that can be assigned to seven major research fields.

The partners were also part of a deep-dive into the University’s ecosystem, getting a sense of partnerships, collaborations, and networks, as well as funding supports, sponsorships and projects, an example being MOVE2startup, which is the laboratory for creativity-based entrepreneurship at the Babelsberg Film University. The lab promotes creative originality as a basis for media innovations. This looks at the impact on the creative industry and well beyond it. A wide variety of disciplines work together as teams on innovative solutions, facilitated by a strong international and regional partner network to support the start-up projects.

More detail about this study visit and lessons learned, can be found on the resources page, in the published deliverable.

SPECTRA project was delighted to be represented at the City of Amsterdam Creativity Days on 16th and 17th October 2023, launching the EIT KIC CCSI Colocation Centre – CLC North West Europe.

City of Amsterdam hosted the event, which enabled project partners to learn more about how culture & creativity contribute to social innovation and cohesion, while developing innovative solutions for pressing social challenges, with the event uniting artists, innovators, investors, academics, policymakers and the entire culture & creativity sector with two inspiring days of innovation, collaboration and unleashing of boundless creativity.

European Culture & Creativity Days in Pakhuis De Zwijger

A great day delivered by the talented team from led by Anouk Wieleman and Marjolein Cremer of teh Cuty of Amsterdam, teh conference featured businesses who showed how they are pushing social innovation while scaling for growth and global competition – Lalaland.ai Michael Musandu, The Fabricant Adriana Hoppenbrouwer-Pereira. Stephen Fegan of Studio Meala, to name but a few. We also deep dived into EIT Culture & Creativity Investment Network at EuroQuity – Bpifrance and what it can do to increase the capital to culture and creativity sector in coming years and looked at social innovation and challenges of and opportunities for attracting private investment to this space with expert panel comprising Martijn Blom EVPA, Fran Sanderson Nesta, Mark Laagewaard CrowdAboutNow, and Mirjam Niessen of DOEN Participaties B.V.

Culture and Creativity Days Marineterrein

We had a chance to form many new connections during the study visit tours organised by the hosts, for the benefit of the SPECTRA project and respective partner ecosystems, while our engagement with the EIT KIC continues into the future.

Following the SPECTRA project Panel Discussions on the topics of Stimulating Internal Innovation and use of Experimentation, as well as the Ecosystem as an Open Innovation platform, utilizing Inclusivity, and Diversity as key enabler – we are pleased to announce the formal launch of the SPECTRA Community Space.

The pandemic has served to reinforce the importance of peer-to-peer support for entrepreneurs to overcome challenges and keep moving forward. It is not only integral during times of adversity – it is also crucial for those looking to resume their growth strategies in a variety of other contexts. ‘Peer-to-peer support’ networks encourage likeminded individuals to share brilliant ideas, best practice and learn from one another. They bring together different types of peers, and this encourages dynamic thinking and provides fresh perspectives on ideas and challenges. It gives a forum to peers to ask questions, seek advice, find out about others’ experiences, and share fears, concerns and successes. Peers feel safe and able to express themselves in a non-judgmental environment where everyone is there to help one another.

SPECTRA harnesses the experience that the Creative Business Network has in facilitating community building and peer to peer platforms utilising MIGHTY NETWORKS and has built a peer-to-peer and community exchange space for ecosystem stakeholders. SPECTRA is all about supporting growth of innovation eco-systems and knowledge sharing!

The SPECTRA Community Space will provide everyone with the opportunity if you want to stay up to date on these topics, please join our SPECTRA community space at the following link HERE.

You can gain access to the recordings of the Panel Discussions and much more – all free of charge! In our Community Space, you can access the links with the recordings – to re-watch the sessions do the following:

Go the Events – > Past Events -> And choose the Event you want to watch. At the top of the event description, you can find the link with the recordings.

Stay tuned for the next SPECTRA activities and please connect with us.