RRA LUR’s RCKE recognized for improving business environment

For its RCKE the Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region received a national recognition for ‘Improving the Business Environment’ as part for the selection of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards.

The Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region (RDA LUR) has received a national recognition as part of the selection for the European Enterprise Promotion Awards in the category ‘Improving the Business Environment’ for the Regional Centre for Creative Economy (RCKE) initiative, which is focused on promoting the development of the creative economy at the regional level.

The European Enterprise Promotion Awards reward excellence in promoting entrepreneurship and small companiesat a national, regional and local level. Over 2,500 projects entered the call for submissions since the awards were launched in 2006, altogether supporting the creation of more than 10,000 new companies. The selection proceeds in two stages: the initiatives awarded at the national level are then eligible to compete for the European awards in stage two (the European level winners are selected in the middle of July and announced in October at the award ceremony in Naples).

At the national award ceremony of the SPIRIT business event ‘Excellence through Knowledge’ on Wednesday, 11 June 2014, at Hotel Mons in Ljubljana, Director of RDA LUR, MSc Lilijana Madjar, highlighted the importance of integrating creatives within the creative industries and experts from other fields in the development processes for the successful development of products and services: “We are aware that innovation and creativity need an appropriate environment for their development. We are therefore (co)creating an ecosystem where creativity can flourish. We do not just work by project, but are holistically addressing the development of the creative economy (we encourage the creative use of vacant premises, draw attention to the necessary changes in legislation and participate in the formulation of policies – also at the European level). The cooperation with a variety of partners and promotion of a similar cooperation among our target audiences and participants in practice reflects our motto: ‘Connected for Development’.”

It is exactly the establishing of connections between different participants – including outside the immediate field of business – that was one of the justifications of SPIRIT for granting the award to the RCKE initiative. SPIRIT also pointed out that it is precisely the stimulation of the economy through the promotion of the creative industries with the simultaneous regeneration of degraded spaces, which is the promising area of improvement within the contemporary business environment, and that as an innovative and original initiative, RCKE is achieving above-average results, not only at the national level but also in the international arena. It is also already having a strong impact on the local economy and the quality of life of the inhabitants of the region. Besides this, the project may be transferable to other regions in Europe, since the field is not widely developed, and has a significant contribution to make in improving the business environment.

RCKE achieves the development of the creative economy through training, consultations and events, which prepare creatives for successful business activity. It also supports the potentials of the creatives within the world of business, and encourages interdisciplinarity in the development of new products and services. The Centre supports bottom-up initiatives, such as Crowdfunding, and is also closely involved with them. New products and services are made by conducting complex business chains and connecting creatives, companies, education institutions and decision-makers, which in practice confirm the interdisciplinary potential of the developmental processes. RCKE and experts from different fields are partnered in creating a set of social games for dementia patients. For smart phone users in Ljubljana, however, we have developed a free application “A to B: Ljubljana”, which aids quick and convenient sustainable transport in Ljubljana using public transport (Bicikelj, bus) and walking.

With its numerous activities, RCKE is developing a creative entrepreneurial ecosystem at the regional level, consisting of the (creative) economy, creative professions and creative spaces.

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