Lorna Buttimer attended a meeting of the Medi@tic Project in Cork, which is seeking to develop a Creative Digital Network for Cork.
The Cork film community has taken a bit of beating recently. The Cork Film Centre is in a perilous postion after it recieved notice that its allocated funding has been cut by 50%, with all support being withdrawn next year. The services of the Cork Screen Commission, a joint initiative of Cork Country and City Councils have, for the most part, been withdrawn. With such news, one would think that there was no film scene in Cork or any development of one being fostered. Nothing however, could be further from the truth.
The 28th of Feburary saw the second meeting of the Medi@tic Project. Nurtured by the Cork Institute of Technology, and led by industry representives, the project aims to develop a Creative Digital Network for Cork. The purpose of this network is to develop and grow Cork’s film and associated digital creative industries. The project is co-financed by the Interreg IVC Progamme; a European-wide initiative to take a focused look at how digital media and new technologies (regarded as the Creative Digital Sector) can progress and grow into the future. A recent policy plan published by the Eurpoean Commission recognises the growth and demands of the sector but stressed the need for policy makers to ensure that the right framework of conditions are in place to help the sector grow on an EU-wide basis. CIT has entered the fray on behalf of Cork and the South.
Last October saw the first meeting of the project. CIT called in as many representatives as possible working in the Creative Digital sector in the South to attend a conference at the River Lee Hotel. Each attendant was asked to take part in a S.W.O.T. analysis, where they were questioned on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that exist to the local industry. From this, a detailed discussion was held, in which Orla Flynn, Head of the Crawford institute and a leading player in the project, duly noted with her colleagues what industry representatives had to say.
As a result of the feedback, a plan was developed and presented at the second meeting. The research had recognised a number of needs, namely to strengthen networking and to heighten sectoral visibility. A need for an incubation centre for start-ups was discussed, which would help job creation and create links between the industry and education and training centres. To take action on these, CIT has created short-term, mid-term, and long-term plans for each recognised need and opportunity. The meeting also acted as a form of redress where those in attendance would offer feedback and advice on the plans presented.
Dr. Patrick Collins, a lecturer from NUI Galway, was in attendance. He presented his research from a similar project called Creative Edge, which examined the creative industries in the West of Ireland. His detailed research showed the need for the Medi@tic project to take a clear inventory of all the creative digital industries in the South to fully cater for and help the whole sector. This is now the agenda of the project going forward; to take stock of the southern creative industries, build a network amongst them and implement with them a consulted plan to develop the industry. More funding and resources will also be sought to help the project in the coming months and years.
This project has been meet with growing interest and support from the film sector of creative industries in Cork. This, along with the newly launched Cork Screen Partnership (a committee to promote the region as a film location, and develop it as a hub for content creation), proves that Cork is taking action. While many public funding bodies seem to have abandoned Cork, the local film industry has not. It is getting organised, dusting itself off and going on to prove what talent, creativity and filmic might the city and wider area has to offer.
For more information about the project contact Miguel Valero at firstname.lastname@example.org