1-2-3: Three First Interview-Days in Sweden

Our first 3-day-stay in Sweden was organized around the ambitious plan to meet our Swedish project partners from Tillväxtverket in Stockholm (thanks also to Klas Rabe and Nikola Leijon!) and then to fly south to the Skåne region to conduct four interviews in two days and in three different cities.
In the end we managed to even squeeze in a fifth interview and a really delicious fish dish in Helsingborg, and flew back home with a buzzing head full of new insights and impressions, new ideas and many new tracks to pursue. Somehow the best really is what happens off the track … ;)
Many thanks again to our interview partners from Minc, The creative plot, The Nordic Game ProgramBoost Hbg and stpln!

Minc

Minc was founded in 2003 and is situated in close vicinity to the Malmö högskola’s library, Svenska TV and Media Evolution City at the entrance
to the Western harbour district, Malmö’s new vibrant media hub. The incubator exists for ambitious entrepreneurs with knowledge-intensive business ideas with scope for innovation and high growth potential and aims at changing the Malmö region into an attractive knowledge-based region.
Minc’s vision is to
 become the leading innovation environment and an attractive meeting place for entrepreneurs, industry and commerce, and researchers. Minc should be the given centre in the region for the development of entrepreneur-run companies within the areas of ICT, media, design and industry, as well as a service concept with high levels of knowledge content.
In 2012 Minc was voted amongst the 6 best incubators in Sweden by a jury within the government. We are not surprised that they were!

The Creative Plot

The Creative Plot is an incubator for the creative industries in and around Lund, the famous university town in the region Skåne. It has only been established in last November 2011 and has since developed a close collaboration with Ideon sciencepark, where it is located. As a joint initiative of the business department and the culture and leisure department of the city of Lund, the project is designed as a 20 months pilot. This pilot scheme has started in 2012 and will end in June 2013. Just in time to be properly evaluated within the scope of our research, too ;)
However, The Creative Plot is in a comfortable situation as the municipality has already decided to continue the incubator after this period.
In its pilot phase the project is about finding out which differences there really are between creative and other entrepreneurs/companies and which the specific needs are in the sector. It’s mission is twofold: the promotion of companies on the one hand, change the way of the promotion of the sector on the other hand.
The target group are creative entrepreneurs with at least 10 years of professional experience. We are curious to see what differences they will find and how they are going to specifically target those.

The Nordic Game Program

The Nordic Game Program has its office in the Media Evolution City next door to Svensk TV in the Western Harbour District of Malmö. It was initiated in 2006 by the Scandinavian ministers of culture and goes back to the insight that all Nordic countries, though being net exporters of games, were for a long time underrepresented in the local markets. To change that, the program addresses the prime concerns of the industry: market access, finance and access to skilled labour.

Consequentially, the goals of the Nordic Game Program are

  • internationalization (making it easier for Nordic Games developers to sell games internationally)
  • recruiting skilled labour
  • ensuring quality in Nordic computer games for children and young people (<18 years)

Boost Hbg


BoostHbg is a 3-year initiative founded in 2009 and based in the old harbor city of Helsingborg, north of Malmö, that nurtures exceptional emerging talent within the moving image industry in Skåne. As Brandenburg has a strong focus on media as well,  we were especially interested in learning more about the Cross Media Talent program, a pioneering program that aims to develop new storytelling techniques in close cooperation with the various branches, industry professionals and rising trends.

It is rooted in the observation that filmmakers usually have much more material than they can use for their (documentary) film(s). They are challenged by the question which other media they can use to make this material accessible to a broader audience and/or to stakeholders who can build ongoing work from this material.

The program is targeted at people, usually with a background in film production – either employees or freelancers with professional experience – who apply at Cross Media Talent to receive a grant to develop a prototype.

stpln

Back in Malmö, we had some unexpected free time left before heading back to the airport and home to Germany. We remembered how our Swedish project partner from Tillväxtverket in Stockholm and later also Finnur Sverisson from Minc had told us about stpln, a place we apparently had to absolutely check out. As the weather was good and our mood as well (thanks to all the nice people and great interviews we had already conducted), we decided that this was our chance to discover something off the track and headed to the Western Harbor District, once again.
At first, we didn’t find what we were looking for and wandered around in the what we thought were industrial ruins. And then, we finally found it: stpln. An old stocks ground that was previously used for launching ships to the sea and which is now a skatepark – overground – and an open culture center – underground – with a coworking space, a bike workshop, a fab lab and much more, that attracts the young and creative scene of Malmö.
Oyuki Matsumoto, one of the project leaders, was so friendly as to give us a spontaneous guided tour and patiently answered to all our questions. What stroke us most was the participatory approach that gives all users open access and responsibility through ownership in return.

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