The University of Ulster is leading a £3.5 million EU Union support programme for the creative industries.
The University is the lead partner for Honeycomb – Creative Works, a trans-national support programme aimed at maximising the economic potential of the burgeoning creative industries sector.
The programme is supported by the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) and will be delivered in partnership withDundalk Institute of Technology,Nerve Centre, Derry, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, and Creative Skillset and their teams in Northern Ireland and Scotland,(MG ALBA, the University of West of Scotland, Creative Scotland, Screen HI, in association with Highlands and Islands Enterprises).
The partner organisations have identified a range of activities which will be delivered over a three year period across the eligible area. These are grouped around four specific themes which are Research, Networking, Skills Development and Seed Funding.
The £3.5m announcement was made during this year’s CultureTECH festival in Derry~Londonderry.
Eddie Friel, Head of Business Development in the University'sOffice of Innovation who will be directing the Honeycomb – Creative Works project said the University is already playing a major role in developing creative talent.
“The project will contribute to regional prosperity by stimulating growth and increasing competitiveness in the creative industries sector.”
He explained how the programme would benefit from the University’s long standing and pivotal role in providing research and education support to creative industries across Northern Ireland.
“The Honeycomb-Creative Works programme has been developed to serve the needs of companies and practitioners in the Digital Content sector to help them become more competitive in the global marketplace.
“The partners currently employ staff with considerable expertise in the creative industries sector.”
He continued: “The programme will provide skills enhancement and a range of supports for individuals and businesses in the film and broadcast, animation; gaming; interactive media and music technologies through research, networking, skills development and project finance.”
Welcoming the EU funded project, Lorraine McCourt, Director with the SEUPB, said: “This is a truly innovative initiative which will build upon the wealth of natural home-grown talent and expertise that exists within the region’s creative industries sector. It will help generate new employment opportunities, safeguard existing businesses in the digital content marketplace and encourage strong economic links, on a cross-border basis.” More information: http://www.thehoneycomb.net/index.html
Notes to Editors:
The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IV designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland.
The INTERREG IVA 2007-2013 Programme, funded though the European Regional Development Fund, is worth €256 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders. It has two distinct priority measures to create co-operation for a more prosperous and sustainable cross-border region.
For more information on the SEUPB please visit www.seupb.eu