The Creative State North West — News & Events

Brokering Creative Advantage; key findings from the 4CNW Programme

20 August 2014 — OpportunitiesIrelandNorthern IrelandScotlandEurope

As we bring the Creative State North West 4CNW programme to a close, we are delighted to publish two key reports; the final report Brokering Creative Advantage and the Independent Evaluation Report.




Brokering Creative Advantage is the final report on the outcomes of the pilot 4CNW Programme, carried out by Sligo County Council during 2012 and 2013.It summarises the benefits and impact of the project and captures the lessons learned, key issues and challenges that have arisen, and proposes a framework and recommendations for future action.




The Independent Evaluation of the programme found that it has demonstrated the merits of what creative input can give to business in terms of value, changed thinking, opening mindsets towards implementing new approaches to problems and thereby enhancing capacity competitiveness and innovation in industry. Therefore there is strong merit in the continuation and expansion of 4CNW actions.

Key findings include;

• The operation of 4CNW demonstrated a huge latent capacity for the application of creative services and input across business sectors. It showed a lack of capacity for businesses to define their creative needs and a lack of awareness of the depth of creative talent available in their local region. It provides evidence of the need for capacity building mechanisms to grow knowledge and awareness within industry as to the value of creative services.

• The application of the talent voucher fund allowed the value of creative services to be showcased and demonstrated. It created new avenues to markets and clients for creative industries while developing new solutions for participating business.

• The holistic, bespoke business supports offered by 4CNW provided a co-ordinated and targeted response, towards stimulating new markets, enhancing competitiveness and innovation among many small firms across a range of enterprise sectors.

Both the Independent Evaluation and this follow-up significant report strongly suggests there is merit in the continuation of the process of bringing together the skills of both the business and the creative sectors in the periphery regions and in elevating the process from a regional to a national level.

Both reports illustrate that the brokering of creativity clearly creates better business advantage.

Next Steps
4CNW was a two-year pilot programme, but as you will see on page 83 of the report, we met with the Minister for Small Business and officials in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in 2013 in order to define and position the 4CNW programme. We also consulted extensively with a number of national government departments and key enterprise and cultural agencies. The purpose was to highlight the potential of this programme and initiatives of its type as a driver for business innovation and change. As part of this process the 4CNW report will be disseminated widely to relevant parties at regional, national and transnational levels and to the European Commission over the coming weeks.

ECIA Policy Findings
4CNW has also been selected by ECIA as a model of good practice and will feature as a case study in its final report, which will be launched at the closing conference of the European Creative Industries Alliance, November 27-28, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The conference will provide a platform to further showcase the innovative approach to cross-sectoral understanding promoted by 4CNW to a wider audience and in particular to those agencies with responsibility for developing policy in this area.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest and involvement with the programme to date, and hope that you will find the reports of interest. If you do, please share them!

All our thanks from the 4CNW project team (l-r below); Devona Finnegan, Aisling Smyth, Aoife Flynn and Programme Director Mary McAuliffe.

Brokering Creative Advantage; key findings from the 4CNW Programme




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4CNW Directory is Live

19 June 2013 — OpportunitiesIrelandNorthern IrelandScotlandEurope

The Creative Directory is now live. Profiling over 180 Creative Suppliers from Ireland North West, Northern Ireland and Scotland you can browse the Directory by location, creative service or company name. 

You can access it on desktop here:

or if you are on a mobile device you can acess it at Where you can tap to add it to your homescreen as a directory app. 



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Applications for 4CNW Talent open today across Ireland North West, Scotland & Northern Ireland

07 January 2013 — OpportunitiesIrelandNorthern IrelandScotland

The call for applications for 4CNW Talent, a €100,000 innovation fund to encourage partnerships between creative professionals and businesses in Ireland North West, Northern Ireland and Scotland, opens online today.

Applications for 4CNW Talent open today across Ireland North West, Scotland & Northern Ireland

Funding available to collaborate with a Creative partner

4CNW Talent invites businesses from these regions in the Agri-food, Life Sciences, Technology and Tourism sectors to apply for a talent voucher of between €1,000 and €5,000. Applications will be assessed by an expert panel, with successful businesses required to match fund their 4CNW award creating a commissioning pot of between €2,000 and €10,000 per project. Businesses will then use this fund to commission the services of a creative professional who can offer new areas of expertise to help solve their particular business challenge. Applications will remain open until 4pm on the 18th February 2013 and you can find out more about the 4CNW process, and how to apply, by consulting the Business information section on our new website.

Creative Directory

Creative Suppliers from these regions are also invite to submit online applications to register for the 4CNW Creative Directory. The directory is a unique European service innovation that will list and map Creative Suppliers across the Celtic Crescent region. All successful Creative applicants to the directory will be eligible for commissioning by a successful voucher recipient, thus creating new clients and new income streams. Applications for Creatives remain open until 12noon on 8th March 2013, and Creative applicants will also be given the opportunity to automatically register with the European Creative portal HowtoGrow.

The best way to find out more about this fund is to attend one of the free discovery events being held across the regions. At these events you can meet the team, be talked through the application process and hear from projects that benifited from a 4CNW Talent Voucher in the 2012 test round.

For more information on your local event click on the links below or contact your local broker.

If you can't attend the events you can download our brochure or read through the Apply section of the site for all the details.

Image above used courtesy of via Creative Commons

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Brokering Creative Advantage; key findings from the 4CNW Programme