The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia is officially establishing «Design & Interactive Media» as a fully-fledged division offering long-term support to Swiss creatives in these two branches as of 2021.
The creation of a new division «Design & Interactive Media» comes as the highlight programme «New models of collaboration – Culture and Business» draws to an end. During the financing period 2016-2020, «Culture and Business» offered targeted support to up-and-coming talents in the two disciplines, enabling them to strengthen their networks and achieve their professional objectives – a necessity for these creative artists who have to find their place directly within a competitive international market.
With respect to design, calls for «Culture and Business» projects have encouraged over 70 projects in the course of these past 4 years, offering support from concept through to marketing. Under the banner Design Switzerland, presentations and exhibitions by young designers were organised within events such as Milan Design Week, Shenzhen Creative Week, London designjunction and Vienna Design Week.
For interactive media, since the initial programmes «GameCulture» (2010-2012) and «Mobile» (2013-2015), then with the highlight programme «Culture and Business», Pro Helvetia has supported this growing sector with calls for projects and the organisation of SwissGames delegations at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Gamescom in Cologne and the Nordic Game Conference in Malmö.
The very positive results of «Culture and Business» encourage the Foundation to pursue the development of these measures. Based on consultation with the studios supported, an evaluation carried out by Olivier Glassey (Professor IDHEAP, University of Lausanne) indeed underlines the fact that the instruments put in place over these past four years have met the needs of creatives and provides recommendations for long-term support of the two disciplines. Accordingly, the support strategy that takes effect from 2021 and is included in the new Federal Cultural Policy Statement 2021-24 maintains as its focus research and access to the market for the two branches. Among the support measures that were successfully tested during the highlight programme, the following activities and instruments are maintained: encouragement through calls for projects is continued and expanded, the existing offering of formats for coaching, matchmaking and mentoring programmes is broadened, and priority is given to organising delegations to major international gatherings.
The creation of this new department within Pro Helvetia has been welcomed by Philippe Bischof, Director of Pro Helvetia: «This inclusion crowns years of work and dialogue in the two domains. The great cultural potential of design and interactive media in Switzerland is widely recognised, and it is essential that their promotion be part of Pro Helvetia’s support strategy».
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Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 1 December 2020