Western Development Commission launches SPECTRA

Western Development Commission today launches a new project SPECTRA. This project which will be coordinated by Western Development Commission is the result of a successful funding application from the European Commission under the “Horizon Europe European Interconnected Ecosystem” funding call.

SPECTRA stands for ‘Stimulating Performance of Ecosystems in Creative Territories and Regional Actors’. The project was developed in collaboration between the partners in Ireland (Northern and Western), Bulgaria (North-Central-BG), Denmark (Hovedstaden) and Germany (Berlin).

SPECTRA will help the West of Ireland (represented through Western Development Commission (project coordinator) and CREW, (including associate partners Atlantic Technological University and Galway Cultural DAC) to create more responsive, resilient ecosystem, capable of growing and developing coordinated responses to many challenges creative industries are facing. It will focus on collaboration resulting in enhanced, inter-connected, diverse, gender-responsive, competitive, and sustainable ecosystems.

Additionally, SPECTRA will include activities directed at the creative innovation businesses and stakeholders that will encourage development of joint strategies and amplify collaboration. They will benefit extensively from the advanced business support models developed to fast-track start-ups, produce scale-ups, avail of best practice, new systems, structures and tools, as well as data-driven & carbon-reducing challenge-based innovation methods, case studies, role models, cross-sectoral and intra-territorial learning – creating an excess of 300 new linkages.

Helena Deane, West Regional Enterprise Plan, Programme Manager said

“Sustainable growth is increasingly related to the capacity of regional economies to innovate and transform, adapting to an ever changing and more competitive environment.

This means that a much greater effort needs to be put into creating the eco-systems that encourage innovation, research and development (R&D) and entrepreneurship. SPECTRA will be that capacity building catalyst, with support from the Western Development Commission, CREW and the West Regional Enterprise Plan stakeholders”.

This project will contribute to the regional leadership of the WDC in the development of the creative economy, further supporting numerous initiatives with regional, national and international partners, including creative industries investment. In addition to supporting the WDC strategic commitment to the creative economy, it is also underpinning the Strategic Objective in the West Regional Enterprise Plan to 2024 – to ‘Strengthen and harness the cultural and creative sector to attract new investment, commercialization and collaborative opportunities’.

The international partners include BIC Innobridge (Bulgaria), Media Deals (Germany) and the Creative Business Network (Denmark).The project, funded through the European Commission via the Horizon Europe European Interconnected Ecosystem funding call, has a two year duration (from December 2022 to November 2024) and will support activities of the consortium to the value of over €516,000, representing a contribution of almost €200,000 to the region.