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A recent study found evidence for growth in international flows of cultural goods and services over the recent years, for increases in cultural exports against other traded goods. Despite the advantages of embracing globalisation and the risks of not doing so, internationalisation seems to be hard to conceive for many sectors in the cultural and creative industries (CCIs). As well as many European SMEs still remain focused on their national markets. The main reported reasons are a lack of financial resources but most of all the lack of skills or skilled human capital to tackle internationalisation. If we consider cultural and creative enterprises, the lack of experience is still a limit to the break-through into an international environment not yet explored. In a survey published for ECIA in November 2013, cultural and creative clusters consider their partners to be fairly experienced even though there is room for improvement (35%). Just 23% of companies are, according to them, highly experienced. The mapping of organisations, documents and events provided the evidence for a close analysis of current policy and practice in CCI export and internationalisation strategies across EU Member States. In fact, EU countries are at very different ‘speeds’ in terms of their engagement with the well-documented export growth rates and potential of the CCIs. It is necessary understanding what are the main challenges faced by CCIs: 1) the need to have a common agreement and understanding about what Internationalisation means and implies; 2) the weaknesses of intermediaries. Indeed, intermediaries such as delegation of business associations abroad. These intermediaries are based on an old business model pre-globalisation, when international exchanges where rather bilateral and the flows where only in one direction; 3) at local level, a lack of awareness of positioning on the territory is often observed; 4) the lack of understanding of international strategies at local level; 5) the lack of local settings when we consider internationalisation for CCIs; 6) Finally, the last main challenge identified to favour internationalisation CCIs is the access to innovative training and skills development.
All these things considered, the project is aiming at training the Creative and Cultural Industries sector on how to internationalise its services and products. The project will target all those actors that have a role in the sector being creative and cultural entrepreneurs looking to make their activity global or those support and intermediary organizations that are working on supporting the sector and enhance its growth at national and European level.