Creativity and Innovation: Best practices from EU programmes

"The financial and economic crisis that came to light late in 2008 is the kind of extreme development that calls for one essential quality when seeking solutions: creativity. We need creativity to find the best answers.

But creativity is not only useful in crisis situations, of course. Creativity and innovative capacity have crucial long-term benefits for the economy, society, enterprises as well as individuals. Innovation and creativity are
fundamental pillars for sustainable economic and societal growth.

The year 2009 has been designated as the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, allowing the spotlight to fall on Europe’s creativity and innovative capacity. The purpose of the European Year 2009 is to highlight that creativity and innovation are vital not only for Europe’s economic prosperity, but also for our social and individual well-being. The Year therefore focuses on creativity in the cultural context - creativity as a human value in its own right - as well as the utilitarian sense, which sees innovation as key to Europe’s economic competitiveness.

The Year creates a space where new ideas can develop by bringing together potential stakeholders, from many different environments, such as governments, schools, universities, business, research, the arts, NGOs, etc., and on the European, national, regional and local levels. I dare to hope that in doing so, the Year will stimulate synergy effects which will surprise all of us in a most positive way!

The timing of this European Year is significant: it provides an opportunity to ensure that creativity and innovation receive greater emphasis as the European Union reflects on its strategic orientation for the post-2010 decade. In doing so, we want to build on, strengthen and sharpen the emphasis on the knowledge-based aspects that permeate the ‘Lisbon strategy’ for more jobs and growth - the EU’s over-arching policy framework for the current decade.

The projects featured in this short catalogue show examples of best practice in promoting creativity and innovation. They were selected by a panel of independent experts drawn from the various programmes of the European Commission. I hope that they will help to inspire the reader along the lines of the motto of the Year: “Imagine. Create. Innovate.”

(Foreword by Commissioner Ján Figel)


European Communities: Creativity and Innovation: Best practices from EU programmes, Luxemburg 2009.



Publication Year


Geographical focus
  • Europe

Entry created by Katarina Rohsmann on March 17, 2009
Modified on March 17, 2009