CINet Newsletter
Issue 2 - June 2014
Dear Readers
The second issue of CINet's Newsletter features the activities that took place in the second meeting of the partnership, held in Nottingham (UK) between 27th February to 1st March. Also, it includes interviews to both José Porfirio (project's coordinator, from Universidade Aberta) and Peter Totterdill (from UKWON, who hosted the last meeting in Nottingham, from UKWON); Peter Totterdills' impressions regarding the meeting; and a presentation of the CINet's communication tools. Further, we are pleased to present CINet's logo, designed by UKWON. We would like to take this opportunity to thank UKWON's team for designing and making available this unique and creative logo for our project, and hosting the successful meeting that took place in Nottingham.
Please feel free to suggest any ideas you may have on reading our newsletter.

  • CINet Second Meeting
  • CINet Participants Interviewed
  • Testimonial from UKWON 
  • CINet Communication Tools
  • Future Events

CINet Second Meeting
The second CINet meeting took place in Nottingham from Thursday 27th February until Saturday, 1st March of 2014.
The first day CINet members met each other and Peter Totterdill, UKWON’s host partner. After having lunch in the Lace Market House, partners enjoyed a walking tour around the Lace Market and made their first impressions about the Creative Quarter. They observed how the decline of traditional industries as laces, clothing, and knitwear opened up the possibility for artists and creative entrepreneurs to set their businesses in former factory buildings. They also discovered how the spatial agglomeration of small workspaces and the promotion of network dynamics bringing people together stimulate innovation and relationships.
In the afternoon, partners visited Debbie Bryan’s studio and shop. There they met two creative entrepreneurs (Debbie Bryan and Jayne Childs), and discussed about Creative Twinning.

On Friday 28th partners visited Antenna. In 2009 Antenna became Nottingham's digital media hub. It provides workspace units, virtual tenancy, specialist services, training and meeting spaces. Antenna also promotes collaborative innovations within the Creative Quarter’s wider network. Partners participated in a roundtable with digital and media entrepreneurs: Ewan Lamont, from Legendary Games; Steve and Annie Haley, from Multiple; Anne Whitley, from Battletop; Uzma Johai, from Threshold; and Simon Rudkin, from Northern Soul.
Later in the morning CINet members got entrepreneurial inputs at Cobden Chambers, while observing the design and passion for quality among artists, jewellers, designers and crafters.
After the working lunch in the Lace Market House, partners visited the Loxley House, at the Nottingham’s City Council. There they met Nick McDonald, the Councillor for Jobs and Growth; and Kathy McArdle, Chief Operations Officer at the Creative Quarter. Nick McDonald, Kathy McArdle, and CINet partners, all participated in an illuminating roundtable about the Creative Quarter, and the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Southern European Countries. 

Partners spent a nice afternoon at the Broadway Cinema, the place where cultural consumption, incubation and networking combine. There they had the opportunity of establishing a fruitful dialogue with entrepreneurs from film and media industries, and Elly Fletcher (Director of Business Development at New Art Exchange). New Art Exchange is an organisation that provides professional and business development support to creative entrepreneurs.

The 1st of March was the last day of CINet partners in the city of the Lace Market and the Creative Quarter. Nottingham’s visit was reviewed, further work plan was developed and next CINet meeting was planned for Autumn 2014 in Portugal.


CINet Participants Interviewed
An interview with José Porfírio, former Director of Social Sciences and Management Department of Universidade Aberta, and CINet's project coordinator.

What is your contribution to the CINet project and the role of your team members?
CINet is an EU Leonardo da Vinci Project for Transfer of Innovation that was proposed and it is coordinated by Universidade Aberta (UAb).
Besides the overall coordination of the project, UAb will be primarily responsible for Work Package 4. Based on the professional and university’s background of the project’s team, we will try to develop a training programme adequate to the needs and capacities of the 90 young would-be entrepreneurs in the Creative Industries. In this task, UAb will be primarily supported by both DNA (the other Portuguese partner), and Media Deals (our French partner). Together we expect to contribute to the setup of a training programme that must provide a balanced development of the networking and technical competencies of the project’s beneficiaries (young entrepreneurs in the creative industries) and partners, and give them the basic knowledge to conceive their businesses and develop effective and successful entrepreneurship projects in the Creative Industries sector, promoting competencies to conceive businesses, gather teams and develop them, and also to present the project it in an attractive way to the potential investors.

We will latter present this contribution to the other partners involved, namely those from the other southern European countries (i.e. Spain and Greece), and will try to incorporate their inputs, in order to reach a final version of this training programme, adapted to the specific needs of each of these countries.

UAb will actively participate in the transfer of innovation process, by studying in deep the Lace Market’s model, and, in close collaboration with DNA, study the need for its adaptation to the local Portuguese reality.

Moreover, UAb will also play a crucial role in the offering and later commercialization of the training course. This will be an eLearning course, a domain where UAb will apply its 25 year experience as a public owned university dedicated to Distance Learning. 
What do you expect about the impact of the project within the Portuguese entrepreneurs' community?
This project presents two main goals: the first being the development of the network between young creative entrepreneurs from the three southern European countries that will primarily benefit from the project and the UK, and also, the setting up of a practical training programme, offered through a e-learning course. This training programme will be too practical, mainly based on inspirational case studies from Lace Market, and on specific case studies to be developed from inspirational entrepreneurship cases in the creative industry from each of the three southern European countries. We expect to deliver knowledge on these domains through an attractive, yet demanding methodology that will allow the effective development of projects in the Creative industry.

Through this experience, we expect to spread this offer to other educational and vocational training institutions belonging to the network and we expect an interesting long term impact both on a national and also on a European level. After the end of the project, with the lessons learned and the possible adaptations to perform, it is expected an increase in the number of offered courses and network participants that must also reinforce the capacities of the previous members of the network, by exchanging experiences and knowledge thus potentiating the development of joint business by putting together entrepreneurs from different geographical origins.

An interview with Peter Totterdill, Joint Chief Executive of UKWON (United Kingdom Work Organisation Network) and director of UK's CINet team.
What is the Lace Market?
Nottingham’s Lace Market and surrounding parts of the City are home to a complex ecology in which creative enterprises, institutional actors and cultural consumption co-exist in diverse relationships of interdependence and symbiosis.

As a physical location the streets and building of the Lace Market have long served as a place of experimentation and incubation. The steady decline of the clothing, knitwear and lace industries was seriously detrimental to the local economy and parts of the labour market, but opened up low rent spaces in former factory buildings for artists and creative entrepreneurs. Yet while this spatial agglomeration of small workspaces helps to establish the Lace Market as a place of creative enterprise, this would mean little without the physical spaces and network dynamics that bring people together, stimulating innovation and building relationships. Central to this is the Lace Market’s City-wide function as a place of creative consumption and congregation based on niche retail, culture, food and drink.

The Lace Market lies at the heart of Nottingham’s newly designated Creative Quarter, an initiative led by the City Council to stimulate and celebrate creative industry entrepreneurship.
What does the Lace Market mean for creative entrepreneurs?The Lace Market is characterised by a number of different, if sometimes overlapping creative business clusters. The term “cluster” implies more than just a geographical agglomeration of enterprises in the same sector. Rather it suggests that businesses enjoy collaborative advantage through, for example, shared services and resources, targeted public policy and business support initiatives, focused learning opportunities, knowledge sharing, collective marketing and the potential for joint ventures. Networking and spaces for interaction lie at the heart of the Lace Market’s creative ecology.
It is home to several creative industry hubs. For example Antenna opened as a digital media centre in 2009 and provides workspace units, virtual tenancy, specialist services, training and meeting spaces for the digital media sector. The Broadway Cinema, long established as the anchor for the Lace Market’s creative sector, combines many of these facets. It is a triple helix of enterprise incubation, cultural consumption and (through its café/bar) networking. Other key actors in the creative ecology include New College Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, and the University of Nottingham. These hubs provide a great support infrastructure for both new and established businesses in the creative sector.
Why is it a reference point for the CINet project?
The Lace Market’s creative ecology demonstrates the power of sustained, trust-based collaboration between diverse public and private sectors actors including policymakers, higher and further education institutions, culture-based organisations and entrepreneurs. This has led to the Lace Market’s emergence over several decades as a focal point for creative talent.

Co-operative partnerships between these key actors have been successful in securing the funding and other resources required to deliver a succession of programmes for new and established businesses including training, mentoring and network building, in combination meeting the variable needs of a diverse creative sector.

The Lace Market is also a learning environment, a place of shared experience and mutual support in which creative people gain the knowledge and competencies required for successful entrepreneurship. Such learning is typically informal, incremental and focused on peer-to-peer networking.    

The Lace Market milieu stimulates new thinking about how to support the learning journeys of creative entrepreneurs, a generative resource for innovation elsewhere in Europe. CINet partners will draw on the Lace Market’s model of collaborative advantage and shared learning to strengthen the creative communities in each of their respective countries.
What is your contribution to the CINet project and the role of your team members?
The Workplace Innovation team has immersed itself in the culture of the Lace Market through participation in networks and events, talking to people in bars and cafés (always an onerous task!), and formal interviews with a growing sample of entrepreneurs, policymakers and representatives of the key institutions. This is helping us to build a conceptual model of the Lace Market and the collaborative advantage it offers to new and established entrepreneurs alike.

The conceptual model will embody generalisable knowledge from the Lace Market’s creative ecology, stimulating dialogue, new thinking and innovation involving all the key stakeholders in our partner countries. It will be fully described in an eBook to be published shortly, but we’re also planning a film that show entrepreneurial life in the Lace Market in a different – and perhaps surprising way. Watch this space . . .

Testimonial from UKWON
Peter Totterdill, was the host of the second CINet meeting. Peter's impression from Nottingham's meeting are:

"The Nottingham meeting provided a powerful opportunity for project partners to engage with creative businesses, hub organisations such as Antenna, Broadway, the Creative Quarter and New College, and local policymakers. Participants gained a clear sense of the importance of collaborative advantage in the creative sector, in other words a milieu in which entrepreneurs share knowledge and experience, innovate together and actively co-operate in new business ventures. CINet has provided an opportunity to reflect both on the strengths of Nottingham's creative ecology and on the need to address certain gaps.

CINet has excited real interest in Nottingham and the meeting also enabled local organisations to explore potential collaboration with project partners."

CINet Communication Tools
CINet partnership has enhanced its presence in Facebook and LinkedIn. The Facebook page of the CINet project was created in January 2014, and a month later CINet's LinkedIn group turned up.

A preliminary CINet's website has been launched too. The site contains a presentation of the project and its main objectives, introduces the partners of the consortium and includes the latest related-news, among other information. By the end of this year a new website will be presented.

Future events
Next CINet meeting is intended to take place between the 29th and 30th of September. Partners will meet in Cascais. See you in Portugal!

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

With the support of the Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation Project of the European Union.