Israel’s booming hi-tech and startup scene has now been long enough known to anyone connected to innovation, new technology and entrepreneurship. However, what most people will not have heard about is Israel’s growing creative industries sector. The explanation is clear - Israel's biggest tech success until recently has been with companies or products that most of you will not have heard about (or how many of you have actually taken apart your home computer's motherboard to study all its parts?). These companies thrived and made amazing contributions in telecommunications, cyber security and more - but again, they were very far from the end consumer.
A unique festival was held at the Shenkar College for Engineering, Design, Art (whose Department of Fashion Design was just ranked as one of the world's top 10 schools by the BoF for the second year) last month on the topic of Creative Economies. Organized by ACT Shenkar, Israel's first design accelerator and supported by the European Commission and other partners, the festival put creative industries on the map of the Israel economy. What's the impact of this event? Just as anything new in Israel - the Startup Nation - this is an initiative based on the innovative ideas developed by students and young entrepreneurs associated with ACT, which included connected and animated toys for dogs, smart fabrics and a car that can shrink to get in to a parking lot (btw - Israeli winners of this year's EU Creative Business Cup). Based on previous success stories, some of the above could hit stores near you in the near future.
Creative industries are the future and this is not just another sentence: In England creative industries produced approx. 76.9 million GBP in 2013, making 5% of UK’s economy and a yearly growth of 10%. The number of employment opportunities in British creative industries grew by 2.6% between 2012-2013, while British economy in general only grew by 1.6% (source BBC). Israel and probably many other countries aren't there yet, but it's about time to start taking all these graphic artists, fashion & accessories designers, UX developers seriously, as more and more companies are going to understand the need of integrating these experts into their work force to create more costumer-friendly and attractive products.
And once equal recognition, including salaries, grants and training opportunities for talents active in creative professions, is achieved, we could say that we have indeed made this world a more colorful place to live in.
If you like to hear more about Israel's creative industry - ping us for a dedicated intro.