The ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) was established in 2005 to focus research and development on the role the creative industries and their contributing disciplines make to a more dynamic and inclusive innovation system and society.
With core support from the Australian Research Council from 2005-13, it is acknowledged as a global leader in this emerging field. It is a broadly-based, cross-disciplinary, internationally-focused centre embracing both fundamental theoretical, and highly applied, research in media, cultural and communication studies, law, education, economics and business and information technology, addressing key problems and opportunities arising for Australia, the Asian region, and more broadly in the world, from innovation in and through the creative economy.
The Centre plays a significant role in theoretical and strategic debates with academic, policy, and industry interlocutors, as well as working extensively on new empirical and technical methodologies, including, for example, the creation of new statistical approaches to measuring the creative economy, business intelligence services for creative enterprise, and ethnographic action research.
The first stage of the Centre’s life (2005-10) focused on demonstrating the need to recognise the role the creative industries and their contributing disciplines make to a more dynamic and inclusive innovation system and society. In the second stage of our research agenda (2010-13), we focus on consolidating key theoretical underpinnings of our claims, securing the social, economic and cultural benefits of our applied research projects, and realising the ‘value-add’ that our multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional structure offers.
In its second stage, the Centre has reshaped an ambitious research agenda and organised around four overlapping themes:
1. Conceptual Modelling
2. Digital Innovations
3. Policy and Macro-Trends
4. Skills and Creative Capital
1. Conceptual Modelling
The Centre has instigated a program of fundamental cross-disciplinary research which seeks to rethink the relations between culture and economy. This is based on a sustained dialogue between cultural and media studies and evolutionary economics , but also requires broad engagement with the ‘evolutionary turn’ in anthropology, linguistics, psychology and the natural sciences, as well as economic and cultural sociology. Such conceptual modelling has implications for policy domains such as innovation and cultural policy and for methodologies of cultural research such as mapping the exponentially-expanding blogosphere.
The projects which address this theme are: Cultural Science, Evolutionary Economics of Creative Industries, Actually Existing Innovation, Media Ecologies.
2. Policy and Macro-Trends
The Centre works across a number of policy domains where large-scale technological, economic and social change impacts upon Australia and internationally. These domains include innovation policy, intellectual property policy, cultural policy, and communications and media policy. The large-scale trends addressed by CCI research include the increasing importance of the creative economy in economic development calculations, and the need for law reform to unlock capability in innovation systems, and in societies in our region which are undergoing rapid economic and cultural transformation. Our policy focus also necessitates and provides opportunity for practical knowledge transfer such as advocacy and the building of software and systems to underpin specific government programs that support the creative economy.
Projects which address this theme: Actually Existing Innovation, Asian Creative Transformations, Creative Employment Mapping and Creative Business Benchmarker, Global Cultural Futures, IP in Asia, Law for Creative Innovation.
3. Digital Innovations
Digital transformations in modes of social exchange, public communication, and economic and cultural opportunity constitute a major phenomenon of our times. The Centre focuses resolutely on mapping, analysing, assessing and, where appropriate, facilitating the uptake of digital affordances. It engages with major debates on the impact of digital communication in society and public life, builds and applies new methodologies for analysing such digital communication, participates in large-scale international mapping of Internet use and non-use, and has dedicated key resources to exploring these issues in major countries of our immediate south-east, south and east Asian region.
Projects which address this theme: Broadband Services 2015, Media Ecologies, World Internet Project (Australia), Risk and Representation.
4. Skills and Creative Capital
Skills and Creative Capital is a theme that focuses on human capital development in the creative economy, particularly the development of creative capacities across the workforce and in society more broadly. This theme is approached from a variety of methodological, disciplinary and domain perspectives: educational psychology and education policy (attributes and dispositions that assist in crafting sustainable creative careers), action research and enterprise development (Youthworx 2.0), large-scale, internationally-benchmarked surveys (Risk and Representation), analytical work on statistical categories (Creative Employment Mapping) and engagement with major debates in the critical humanities (precarious labour in the new economy).
Projects which address this theme: Creative Workforce 2.0, Risk and Representation, Youthworx 2.0, Creative Employment Mapping and Creative Business Benchmarker.
Support and partnerships
The Centre gratefully acknowledges the support of the Australian Research Council in providing core funding to establish the Centre, 2005-13. We acknowledge Queensland University of Technology, as the administering institution, for its substantial support for the Centre. The core collaborating partners are Swinburne University of Technology, Australian Film Television and Radio School, Edith Cowan University, University of Wollongong and University of New South Wales.