How do the arts and arts institutions contribute to uptake and deployment of research results and value creation from knowledge for the benefit of society? How can their role be further strengthened? The European Commission has just published the study ‘Fostering knowledge valorisation through the arts and cultural institutions’ that investigates these questions. It outlines how European valorisation policy can contribute to enhance the impact of the arts and cultural organisations in knowledge valorisation processes.
Arts and cultural organisations have a unique set of skills, competencies and talents to boost the valorisation of knowledge. The study illustrates the drivers and formats of engaging them in knowledge processes. It looks at the distinctive value(s) and competencies that they bring in, and the enabling conditions supporting their participation. The study sets out the different roles that the arts and cultural institutions in Europe take up in knowledge creation and valorisation processes - be it joint research; intermediation facilitating the connection between various stakeholder groups; engagement though offering spaces for experimentation and citizen engagement; or dissemination of research results, often in an unconventional way, that translates complex content into comprehensible language.
The study shows that arts and cultural organisations are not yet fully considered as part of knowledge ecosystems. Barriers at the level of the individual actors, the knowledge ecosystem and the overall R&I system (policies, funding, governance) currently limit artists’ and cultural organisations’ involvement. Main challenges relate to silo thinking and the fact that different ‘languages’ are spoken that are hindering the establishment of transdisciplinary collaborations with the arts. There is also lack of adequate (long-term) funding supporting such collaborations and lack of local and (inter)regional knowledge ecosystems that successfully connect and involve all knowledge partners, including the arts.
Multiple actors have a role to play in creating a supportive environment for collaborations with arts and cultural organisations. This includes universities and research institutes, educational institutes, industrial platforms and cluster organisations, networks of artists and cultural organisations as well as national and European policy makers. Based on the findings, the study formulates recommendations notably for the European level to mobilize relevant policy instruments and improve the conditions in the EU to tap into the potential of the arts and cultural organisations for increasing the impact of knowledge valorisation.
The study presents many inspiring practices of involving arts and cultural organisations in knowledge valorisation, as well as eight in-depth case studies.
You can also find best practice examples, including links with further information and contact details, in the repository of the EU Knowledge Valorisation Platform. For example:
- Nova Iskra, a creative hub in Serbia with the mission to create spaces and experiences for people, organizations and businesses to work, learn, innovate and create together.
- Design methodologies for co-creating solutions with citizens have been used in Utrecht (Netherlands), as part of a European R&I project funded by Horizon 2020, to find novel solutions applying smart street lighting technologies.
- Dingdingdong (France/Belgium) brings together concerned people, caretakers, doctors, science and arts to enable a dignified life with the Huntington’s disease.
- MTF Labs/Music Tech Fest gathers artists and scientists, academia and industry together in a week-long, collaborative and interdisciplinary innovation lab to address grand societal challenges from within a regional ecosystem.
- A call for the best innovative projects and solutions from students in the humanities, arts and social sciences is launched every year at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).
Get further insights through the webinar ‘Put citizens in the picture: arts facilitating knowledge valorisation’ at the EU Knowledge Valorisation Week 2022. It showcases two excellent examples from Serbia (Nova Iskra – see above) and Italy (Artificare).