British Council Funds 35 New Int'l Partnerships to Develop Creative Economies

A new British Council program, ‘Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Program,’ will fund 35 new international partnerships between higher education and creative institutions in the UK and Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The winning partnerships, including Georgian cultural institutions, are: Creative Georgia and the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, to partner with Advantage Creative; Georgian Technical University to partner with Keele University; Creative Georgia with the University of East Anglia, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University and V.Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire with the University of Essex Change School and Ilia State university with University of the West of England in Bristol.

This initiative has been developed in response to an underdeveloped creative sector and a demand for entrepreneurship training in these countries. The UN has previously recognized the creative economy as one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy. Creative Spark aims to give the next generation opportunities to develop skills required to compete in a global job market.

Each partnership will be granted a maximum of £50,000. Representatives from the UK and all program countries involved will meet in Georgia for the first time on 20-21 November to kick off their plans.

The partnerships will focus on giving young people improved access to international networks, markets and resources. Over the course of this year, partners will work together and deliver enterprise skills training packages to students and creative entrepreneurs. Topics covered will range from pitching ideas and starting a business, to protecting intellectual property and securing financial support. Skills will be developed further through a ‘video pitch’ competition, open to 100,000s of students across the program countries next summer. Prizes will be UK-based professional development courses.

The British Council will deliver an English Learning Program with a range of new digital language learning content. This will include online learning packs on the English Channel platform, online courses and new Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) focused on English for entrepreneurship.

Richard Everitt, Director Education and Society, Wider Europe, British Council comments: “We received over 100 applications, so will be offering a package of support for those who wish to keep engaged with the Creative Spark and did not receive grant this year.”

By Katie Ruth Davies

08 November 2018 19:19