Covid-19 post-emergency transformation for CCI. A survey by COCO4CCI. 

COCO4CCI (Cooperation Collider for Cultural and Creative Industries) is an INTERREG European project started in 2019 bringing together 6 partners’ countries in Central Europe. The aim of the project is to build capacities among CCI for cross-sectoral cooperation in technology and innovation-oriented sector, in Advanced Manufacturing (AVM), by creating a transnational CCI collider network.

During 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic has deeply affected cultural and creative businesses. We witnessed the substantial reduction of mobility and tourist flows, the closure of cultural venues such as theatres and cinemas, the cancellation of funds for events and festivals. Social distance and the partial or total closure of activities brought a serious hardship on regions and cities in terms of social-economic impact, cultural-creative diversity and well-being.

The Department of Management of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, in collaboration with all the project partners, carried out a research to better understand the impact of the global pandemic on the CCI sector and its effects on future scenarios. The research carried out by the university team coordinated by Prof. Giovanni Vaia, was conducted between September and October 2020 through the survey “Covid-19 post-emergency transformation for CCI”, proposed to CCI companies in the partner countries (Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Italy, Poland, Germany).

The results show us that the impacts of the pandemic are serious and substantial.

The pandemic negatively impacted the revenues of approximately 54% of companies, 25% of those companies experienced a significant decrease. 38% reported no significant change and only 7% had an increase. To cope with the emergency during 2020, companies had to change priorities and strategies very quickly. Several operational investments declined in favour of risk reduction strategies (55%) and, interestingly, in creating new business models (57%). 82% of respondents believe that within their core market, key parts of current business models will be digitized. This last result represents a key element of future post-emergency scenarios where the COCO4CCI project offers several solutions.

Regarding the emergence of new needs in the year 2020, companies agreed that because of Covid they mainly need to change their creative and innovation processes (69%) and to create new partnerships and networks (69%). This is particularly important for the COCO4CCI roadmap: the project tools can focus more on the ecosystem approach and network methodology as a strategic issue.

In a vertical lunge, the survey also sought to understand the role of digital technologies in shaping the post-pandemic future of CCI.  Almost half of the companies interviewed (47%) think that will make greater use of digital technologies in the post-pandemic future. Many companies have already implemented digital tools such as digital marketing, collaboration tools and smart working, which have been considered as the most critical and useful during the emergency. Looking at the future, the technologies to be implemented in the next 12 months include store 2.0; big data analytics, digital document management and process automation.

As for many sectors, digitalization is a key factor of the next future and the forecast indicates a strong acceleration in this area, coupled with the ability to innovate the business to meet the current new challenges. The companies surveyed agreed on this and show that they believe digital technologies can help them be more effective in three main areas: creating engaging customer experiences; 360° communication; and real-time information/document sharing.

Three main conclusions emerged from the research:

  • Institutions should reserve funds for emergencies and ensure their availability to all cultural and creative organizations to manage operational mechanisms during the crisis period.
  • More cooperation is required in order to expand programs among CCI and private or public sectors in order to stimulate innovation and to build better conditions for employment and socio-economic development. The COCO4CCI project specifically addresses this need, offering the opportunity to collaborate and build new bridges between CCI and the Advanced Manufacturing Sector.
  • CCI should also focus on developing digital strategies and digital skills to strengthen the sector for the future challenges. CCI should invest more in digital technologies, services, and infrastructure such (as digital platforms) to prepare themselves to promote cultural and creative activities and to support and increase community interest and engagement.

For further details contact: 

Elisa Gritti
Research Fellow
University Ca' Foscari of Venice
Department of Management