Creative Industries Voucher (Kreativwirtschaftsscheck)
- increase the innovative capacity of SMEs by integrating creative services
- stimulate cross-sectoral cooperation between the creative industries and other economic sectors as well as achieve spill-over effects
- strengthen the creative industries
The Creative Industries Voucher is issued in the form of a grant of up to EUR 5,000 that enables existing small and medium-sized enterprises from all sectors to use creative services to implement innovative projects. Any SME with its headquarters or a project office in Austria can apply for a voucher to be used for services offered by the creative industries (design, architecture, multimedia/games, fashion, music, audio-visual and film production, the media and publishing sectors, graphics, the advertising sector, and the art market) for purposes such as developing, creating, implementing or bringing to market innovative products, innovative services, or innovative processes. Funding is up to 100 % of eligible project costs. Each year, up to 300 vouchers are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. The small amount of the voucher and its easy accessibility and simple application procedures clearly correspond to a need among the intended target group, as shown by the enormous demand (in 2013: 300 applications in the first 10 days, 932 after 14 days).
The programme has been operative since 2013. It was preceded by VINCI (Vouchers in Creative Industries), a pilot project in the Austrian region of Salzburg co-financed by the European Commission (within the framework of the European Creative Industries Alliance) and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy. Following evaluation of the VINCI project, the Creative Industries Voucher (Kreativwirtschaftsscheck) was rolled out with funding from the Ministry of Science, Research and Economy.
The Creative Industries Voucher complements the funding scheme impulse of the evolve programme, which supports innovation within the creative industries (see Austrian QPR 2012).
- the development of innovative activities by SMEs applying/using the Creative Industries Voucher (creative industries as driver of innovation in other economic sectors)
- and the stimulation of lasting collaborations between SMEs and creative service providers through:
- an increase in the number of projects, leading to follow-up collaborations with the creative service providers in the context of the grant (subsequent applications by SMEs with the same provider);
- an increase in the number of projects, leading to follow-up collaborations with other creative service providers in the context of the grant (subsequent applications by SMEs with different providers than in their previous applications)
- an increase in the number of projects, leading to sustainable collaboration between SMEs and creative service providers after use of the funds provided.
Total value of vouchers issued: EUR 1.5 million per year until 2015; EUR 1.1 million from 2016 onwards
- This funding instrument is well suited for encouraging SMEs to use services of the creative industries in a sustainable way and trigger subsequent collaborations (“transforming moment” of the creative industries);
- On both sides, that of the SMEs and that of the creative service providers, it is primarily young micro-entrepreneurs who are involved.