Digital Transformation of Cultural and Creative Industries in the Republic of Moldova
On 21 July 2022, at the Artcor premises in Chisinau, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova officially launched the “Digital Transformation of Cultural and Creative Industries in the Republic of Moldova” project, in the presence of various stakeholders from the cultural and creative sector. This comes as a result of the UNESCO-Republic of Korea Funds-In-Trust for the Development of Creative Industries selecting the Republic of Moldova as one of its beneficiaries for the 2021-2022 cycle titled “Digital Creativity Lab”. This follows in its endeavour to support digital creativity in the spirit of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural expressions, ratified by the Republic of Moldova in 2006.
The projected activities will support the country’s effort to enhance its cultural and creative sector for sustainable development, with a special focus on the digital environment. This is in line with the National Strategy for Information Society Development, notably with regard to creating favourable conditions for the development of information and communications technologies. Furthermore, the project follows the country’s National Development Strategy, concerning the education system to labour-market needs in order to enhance labour productivity and increase employment in the economy.
Throughout the project, partners in the Republic of Moldova will be supported in their efforts to map the digital cultural and creative sectors, aiming towards the ultimate goal of establishing a multi-stakeholder national online register of the cultural and creative sectors, combining government institutions, private sector, civil society organizations, and individual entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, following the identification of gaps in digital skills and available resources in the cultural and creative sectors, the project will also support specific training programmes for cultural workers and entrepreneurs, in partnership with educational institutions.
During the opening of the kick-off meeting, Andrei Chistol, State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova, stated that competitiveness at European level can only be achieved if the right conditions are created for developing creativity and innovation. “Addressing the digital gaps in the cultural and creative sectors by strengthening skills and policy frameworks, in the face of rapid technological changes seems like a perfect opportunity for achieving this”, he concluded.
Matteo Rosati, Officer-in-charge of the Culture unit at the UNESCO Regional Bureau, highlighting that “this project is also a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which heavily impacted country and dramatically highlighted the relevance of digital platforms, tools and the need for the increased digital competences of cultural workers and entrepreneurs”.
The vastly diverse creative sector in the Republic of Moldova is a precious and partly untapped resource which deserves to be fostered and made more resilient. Through doing so the sector will be fundamental in stimulating dialogue, inclusion and the progression of sustainable development.
Rosati showed appreciation for the excellent cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Moldova, and commended the generous support of the Republic of Korea, and Artcor for hosting the kick-off event. The 30-year anniversary of strong diplomatic ties between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Moldova were venerated by Lee Jin-sik, Director General for Culture Policy from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, who addressed the audience in a video message and wished the Republic of Moldova successful implementation of the project.
Moldovan Creative Ecosystems
The Creative Services industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Republic of Moldova, developing at a rate of 11% each year. The sector encompasses everything from advertising and architecture to graphics and game design, and offers some of the highest salaries in the country.
The Creative Industries Association in the Republic of Moldova supports and represents the companies and NGOs of the creative industries sector in the country by ensuring their growth, education and connection at the local and international levels.
Vasil Braga, the general Director at COR, underlined that “the project must ensure the awareness and visibility of Moldova as a country with a high potential in the creative fields”.
The project launch event was held at the Artcor – Creative Centre’s premises, which is a collaborative project of the Creative Industries Association and the Academy of Theatre, Music and Fine Arts in the Republic of Moldova. Entirely designed and realised by local professionals, with the participation of students from the neighbouring Academy of Theatre, Music and Fine Arts, the new Artcor centre is a vibrant cultural hub offering opportunities for events, technical and vocational training, and co-working. It also has facilities to host creative start-ups, a library, meeting rooms, a book and design shop, a sound recording studio and rehearsal rooms.
Viorica Cerbușca, Executive Director at Artcor, presented recent achievements in the digitization of the cultural and creative sector, emphasizing that “Artcor serves as an engine of innovation that contributes to the development of creative entrepreneurship and stimulates the exchange of know-how and ideas”.
Cultural activities contributed to 6% of the GDP in 2014, with the large share of creative activities. However, to tap into the full economic and developmental potential of creative industries, current and future cultural operators and professionals must be able to acquire and develop artistic, creative, technical, managerial skills, and competences so that they may express and manifest their creativity – transforming it into economically viable activities, goods and services and effectively manage cultural businesses, institutions and events.
With the dynamics and recent rapid expansion of the cultural and creative sectors in mind, it is expected that this project will further contribute to the visibility of culture’s contribution to inclusive economic growth, social cohesion and Life quality, in line with the principles and aspirations of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its targets related to economic growth, education for sustainable development.