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Brussels, 02 March 2009

Making the best of European funding - EU supports hundreds of innovative and creative projects

A major conference on 2-3 March organised by the European Commission demonstrates how the EU supports creativity and innovation by funding cross-border projects and how experiences and results from these projects can be shared to the benefit of everyone. The Commission will also unveil a new online platform (EVE – Espace Virtuel d'Echange) showcasing the results and details of EU-funded projects in education, culture and related areas. It is a major contribution of the Commission to the European Year of Creativity and Innovation.

In the run-up to the conference, the European Commissioner for education, training, culture and youth, Ján Figel', said: "Creativity and innovation are an important part of the solution for the current problems Europe is going through. This is the right moment to show how money available in our programmes does produce large returns and creates positive spillover effects. Europe’s creative potential can be channelled towards finding innovative solutions, products and services that can foster economic growth. "

EU-funded projects as examples and multipliers

The conference offers an opportunity to policy-makers, project promoters and representatives of civil society to discuss how partners from different European countries can make an EU-funded project a success and how both their experience and concrete project outcomes can be shared for others to benefit from.

Financial support through the EU is usually limited in time. Conference participants also discuss how projects can make a difference even after the initial support runs out – either by ensuring longer-term continuity or by producing tangible results. These can be lasting partnerships linking organisations from different countries, new teaching manuals, studies produced by experts or DVDs presenting artistic creations.

A new online platform for project results

At the occasion of the conference, the Commission will also launch a new online platform, EVE, for easy access to the results and details of a wide range of EU-funded projects in the fields of education, culture, youth and citizenship. The database already contains details of several hundred projects from previous years and more information will be added gradually. In EVE, project coordinators can create and develop a space dedicated to their project's progress and results.

Creativity and innovation in EU-projects

The conference is accompanied by an exhibition on the results of 20 outstanding projects from around Europe which show how the EU's contribution can make a difference. Another 30 best practices from EU programmes are promoted in a new publication prepared specifically for this occasion. The projects were chosen for being creative and innovative, in line with the theme of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009.

They were funded under a wide range of EU programmes including Comenius, Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus and Grundtvig, Youth in Action, Europe for Citizens and the Culture programme, as well as the Media programme, the Sixth Framework Programme in research and the Structural Funds, the EU's key regional policy instrument.

The launch of the EVE-platform is foreseen for the late afternoon of Monday, 2 March, in the presence of Commissioner Ján Figel' and will be followed by a press conference in the Charlemagne building at 18:00h, open to the accredited media.

To find out more:

European Commission: "Creativity and Innovation conference and exhibition - Best practice from European Union programmes"

European Commission: Education and culture: Dissemination and exploitation of results

European Commission: European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009

Brochure presenting 30 outstanding projects: Creativity and Innovation. Best practices from EU programmes

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