Unpacking the Bazalgette Review of the Creative Industries

The Bazalgette Review, analysed by CREATe Programme Leader Dr Sukhpreet Singh and CREATe Community Manager Kerry Patterson, in the context of CREATe and CCPR‘s research programme


 

The 22nd of September 2017 saw the publication of Sir Peter Bazalgette’s Independent Review of the Creative Industries. Baz, as he is affectionately known in the culture world, was commissioned by the UK government to put forward proposals for a sector deal in the Industrial Strategy green paper. The Creative Industries are one of nine sectors targetted, including: Smart energy technologies; Robotics and artificial intelligence; Satellites and space technologies; Healthcare and medicine; Materials of the future; Bioscience; Quantum technologies; and Transformative digital technologies.

Outlining key recommendations for how the Creative Industries can underpin the UK’s future economic growth, Bazalgette sets out areas where government and industry should work together to develop a Sector Deal for the creative industries. With a particular focus on addressing barriers to growth in these industries, the review makes recommendations across the themes of:

  • Creative Clusters (a key recommendation)
  • Innovation
  • Intellectual Property (IP)
  • Access to finance
  • International
  • Skills / talent pipelines
  • Screen industries

Within the chapter Capitalising on our Intellectual Property of this 76 page review, CREATe’s work has been recognised on page 31:

“Intellectual Property is at the core of the Creative Industries and its protection is paramount. The sector is at the forefront of the UK’s growing IP economy. We know that the legal system underpinning the creation and protection of IP in the UK is world-class. But the environment is constantly changing as new technologies are developed so vigilance is essential…So too is academic research and exploration such as that led by the Research Council UK-sponsored Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy (CREATe).”

The full report is available here.

Bazalgette’s brief was to explore “how the UK’s Creative Industries can help underpin our future prosperity, focussed on developing new technology, capitalising on IP rights and growing talent pipelines.” His review begins by noting the key importance of the Creative Industries for the future economic success and productivity in the UK. Tied to this is the need to encourage growth in nations and regions throughout the UK and outwith London. The value of IP in the digital era is mentioned, as “we will need to work hard to harness the value of IP,” and IP is linked to encouraging innovation and creativity.

The high percentage of self-employed, micro-enterprises and SMEs in the creative industries is noted, and by providing support for such businesses they may be able to lead the way for other sectors where the number of SMEs is anticipated to grow. This directly engages with several aspects of CREATe’s work, such as CopyrightUser.orgFashion IP, the value of the Public Domain for SMEs and the projects that study conditions for Creators and Performers. Related research has been undertaken on the role of cultural agencies which act as intermediaries between policy makers and those working in creative sectors. Our associated project on UK Film Council has produced major insights into the workings of the policy process and its effectiveness. Furthermore, our research into Cultural Enterprise Office in Scotland has unpacked the conditions under which business support agencies ply their trade and offered new insights into their relationships with their client base of creatives.

Within the themes noted above for a sector deal, the key recommendation is the approach based on the City Deal model supported by a Creative Clusters Fund. Within Bazalgette’s recommendations, the UK’s “respected and robust IP framework” is mentioned with a note that we need to “to realise the value of intangible IP by exploring valuation methods and developing innovative approaches to data transparency across the digital value chain.” Some solutions to the management of this intangible IP have been suggested by CREATe academics, such as in the games and TV formats businesses of the sector. Bazalgette uses music as an example of an industry where data management and the infrastructure could be ripe for change. This reflects CREATe research into digitisation and intermediaries in the music industry and blockchain technologies.

Bazalgette also notes the key importance of increased support for businesses to protect and support their intangible IP, a comprehensive joint work programme between government and industry on IP valuation and a joint strategy to improve data transparency around creative content to help unlock new revenues and business models. Recent CREATe work on data transparency includes the OMeBa (Online Media Behaviour analytics) tool, which allows users to download and analyse the Ofcom/ IPO surveys on copyright infringement, online access and consumption behaviour in the UK. CREATe’s research on creative industry business models, summarised in this meta-analysis here, includes strands such as Open Business Models and TV windowing strategies, well informed by our creative industry fellowship scheme.

CREATe supports Bazalgette’s call for a Creative Industries Observatory to be established to capitalise on the UK’s leading position in strategy, policy and measurement of creative industries. Our expertise has already helped to influence research initiatives internationally in this area, in ChinaKorea and parts of the Global South.

The unveiling of the review saw the launch of the AHRC’s Creative Clusters Programme, due soon to fund 8 Research & Development partnerships to specifically address challenges identified by the publishing, music, film, TV, design, architecture, performance, culture and related industries.

Responding to the review, the AHRC’s Creative Economy Champion Professor Andrew Chitty noted the “growing body of research that shows how the creative industries thrive in clusters, with collaboration the key to boosting productivity. At the heart of the clusters we’ll be funding will be university-housed labs that will bring together creative businesses and university researchers to solve industry problems and to develop new products and services… We believe the clusters must also foster a new kind of research – research for and with the creative industries not about them.”

CREATe and CCPR will continue to work with the UK research councils, the creative industries and the government to understand the forces shaping this sector of the economy.

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