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IP/ 09/1942

Brussels, 16 December 2009

Create. Innovate. Grow: Closing Conference of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation

The European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009 is coming to an end with a closing conference organised today in Stockholm by the European Commission and the Swedish Presidency. Launched in December 2008 under the slogan “Imagine. Create. Innovate”, the Year has promoted thousands of activities across Europe and beyond, raising the awareness of the importance of creative and innovative approaches in different sectors of human activity. It was a timely contribution to the debate on how to prepare the European Union for the challenges ahead in the globalised world.

The event will be attended by Maud Olofsson, Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Energy and Tobias Krantz , Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research, and Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth , Swedish Minister for Culture, as well as by high Commission officials.

It will put emphasis on successful examples of innovative projects and activities presented at various occasions across Europe during the year, and will offer a forum to share and reflect on experiences related to enhancing creativity and innovation. Among the topics to be discussed are the role of education, training and research in creating an eco-efficient economy, culture for a new creative generation and entrepreneurship – a key competence in lifelong learning.

The event will also offer a meeting place for policy-makers to discuss how to translate the outcomes of the Year in concrete measures and activities beyond 2009. It aims to encourage continued and strengthened work within different sectors and beyond traditional sector boundaries at different levels of decision-making.

Several of the Ambassadors of the Year will come to Stockholm to present the Manifesto for Creativity and Innovation in Europe: Leonel Moura (PT), Damini Kumar (IE), Ernő Rubik (HU), Dominique Langevin (FR), Edward De Bono (MT), Karlheinz Brandenburg (DE) and Harriet Wahlberg-Henriksson (SE). The Manifesto on Creativity and Innovation was handed over to the Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on 12 November and is an important contribution to the current discussion about the EU 2020 strategy and the future EU innovation policy.

The aim of the European Year of Innovation and Creativity (EYCI) was to raise awareness of the importance of creativity and innovation as key competences of personal, social and economic development. The impact of the Year has been strengthen by its horizontal, cross-cutting approach, in which several Commission services were involved, as well as other European institutions and bodies. A special mention should be made for the active involvement of the regional and local authorities, several think-tanks and the civil society at large, that have turned the Year into a success.

Almost 1.000 events and hundreds of projects from a variety of sectors, representing good practices in creativity and innovation, were highlighted, promoted and disseminated during 2009, under the logo of the Year and through its communication campaign. The backbone of the campaign, the website received almost half a million visits in 11 months, with almost 1,5 million pages viewed by visitors.

The topics of creativity and innovation mobilised the European press: the media coverage of the Year has potentially reached one fifth of the EU population through the 3.000 online and print articles that were linked to the Year.

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