IN SITU: Place-based innovation of cultural and creative industries in non-urban areas

IN SITU is a four-year project that combines research and experimental actions to advance the innovation-related practices, capacities, and potential of cultural and creative industries (CCIs) based in non-urban areas of the EU countries.


Call for Proposals and Registrations are now open


20-24 September 2024

Zlarin, Šibenik-Knin County,


What is the rationale

The non-urban constituency of the CCI sector has grown in visibility and significance over the last decade in Europe and internationally but is still vulnerable due to the lagging attention of research and policy to its needs, characteristics, and potential. In parallel, a small but growing body of research is pointing to innovation taking place outside of cities, and emerging ideas and observations indicate that how innovation processes occur in rural areas differ from those in cities.

What are our objectives?

The IN SITU project aims to better understand the forms, processes, and governance needs of CCIs located in non-urban areas of Europe and to advance the ability of non-urban CCIs to act as drivers of innovation, competitiveness, and sustainability for the locales in which they are located. A core defining aspect of IN SITU is the interlinking of research and practice through place-based IN SITU Labs – hubs for networking, training and capacity building, and monitoring case studies in six non-urban regions across Europe, located in Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Latvia, and Croatia.

Involving both Europe-wide research and place-based experimentation, we aim to provide an in-depth knowledge of the direct and indirect effects, cross-sectoral connections and spillovers, innovative strategies and systems, and the needs of CCI practitioners in non-urban areas. We plan to generate new empirical and conceptual insights of value to academics, CCIs, and policymakers. We also aim to contribute to a more informed and enabled future for practitioners in cultural and creative industries based in non-urban areas.

IN SITU will contribute in
four dimensions:

1.Strengthen non-urban CCIs in the EU

IN SITU will:

  • Catalyse new business models and approaches in non-urban CCIs;
  • Strengthen capacities and connectedness of non-urban CCIs; and
  • Enable non-urban CCIs to contribute to the growth and advancement of the broader CCI sector.

2. Advance inter-connection between innovation and cultural policy

IN SITU will:

  • Assess how territorial innovation policies can enable and strengthen CCIs;
  • Examine how territorial innovation strategies and cultural policy can be aligned to strengthen CCIs in non-urban areas; and
  • Demonstrate how CCIs can be leading drivers of both economic and social innovation.

3. Demonstrate and strengthen the capacity of CCIs to contribute to the well-being and sustainability of non-urban communities

IN SITU will:

  • Examine how CCIs contribute to cross-sectoral spill-over effects in other spheres;
  • Study and demonstrate the ability of CCIs to address actual local issues, and contribute to culturally-sensitive local sustainability; and
  • Promote and foster new cross-sectoral collaborations.

4. Inform the CCI sector 

IN SITU will:

  • Demonstrate how place-based specificities can generate value within cultural and creative work in Europe; and
  • Analyze how cross-sectoral collaborations involving CCIs and other sectors can be advanced in practice.

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