SMATH is a pilot program, funded by the Interreg MED Programme, which is aimed at supporting emerging projects in the artistic, cultural and creative sector. The project has ten participating teams in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, France and Spain. In our country, the Barcelona Institute of Culture and Barcelona Activa are local partners of this cross-cutting initiative.
SMATH, which stands for Smart atmospheres of social and financial innovation for innovative clustering of creative industries in MED area, seeks to improve connections within the artistic, cultural and creative sector. It promotes the creation of synergies that make it possible for two or more participants in the programme to undertake collaborative projects. These are so-called hybrid projects, bringing together various agents in the sector, which make it possible to create new, innovative cultural products and services with a positive impact on social cohesion, urban regeneration and responsible tourism, among other aspects.
The cultural and creative sector generates 4.2% of the European Union's Gross Domestic Product. It is an extremely dynamic sector with a vast economic return and social impact. However, this beneficial effect could be greater still and is cut short by a lack of interaction, joint initiatives and synergies between agents in this sector.
In this context, SMATH promotes new links between professionals, organisations and companies in the sector, covering a wide range of fields: literature, music, the performing, plastic and visual arts, museums, galleries, libraries and archives, advertising and marketing, architecture and town planning, design, digital technologies, games, fashion and science.
The strategy proposed to achieve this milestone consists of creating a community, the creative nest, which encourages joint creation dynamics that end up being transformed into final products. It is therefore a project intended to promote the sustainable economy within this sector through smart atmospheres.
The methodology will be based on group workshops and individualised monitoring of the participating projects to define a specific financing strategy that can be used in each case as a basis to present the project to financiers or the various local and international events that the projects will take part in to raise their profile.
SMATH has the following schedule:
Phase 0 - Information and expectation generation. May 2019 - June 2019. Open call for support of incipient projects that want to be promoted, for their evolution in contact with other cultural and creative agents. In this phase, 25 projects are selected. More information.
Phase 1 - Co-creation of hybrid projects. September 2019 - November 2019. To promote the creation of collaborative projects among the participants, the first phase of the project is dedicated to the co-creation of these hybrid projects. In this phase, 10 projects are pre-selected from the total number of participants and qualify for the next phase of the programme. More information.
Phase 2 - Feasibility of the hybrid projects. December 2019 - February 2020. The objective of this phase is to define a viability plan. The methodology is based on the participation to group sessions and workshops, and on the individualized support for each project. From the completed business plans, the projects move on to the next phase. More information.
Phase 3 - Search for funding and support for local and international visibility. March 2020 - June 2020. Its objectives are to prepare the projects to be presented to investors or other funders, to assess them in the process of seeking funding and to promote the opportunities for local and international visibility at specific events and large fairs. More information.
Among all the projects submitted to the SMATH call, 25 were selected to accees to phase 1. Of these, the 10 hybrid projects of SMATH that passed to phase 2 were finally selected.
The Interreg MED programme
SMATH is part of the Interreg MED 2014-2020 translational cooperation programme in which thirteen countries in the Mediterranean basin participate. Ten of them are member states, while the other three are candidates. This ambitious programme, funded with a total budget of €275 million, seeks to promote sustainable growth of the Mediterranean region through innovative practices, responsible use of resources and social integration.
The positive impacts sought by the programme include boosting innovation among all of the agents involved in green and blue growth, the creative industries and the social economy, with a 16% increase in innovative clusters participating in translational activities. Moreover, collaboration between SMEs, public authorities and research centres is one of the programme's priorities in order to promote sustainable and intelligent growth. The SMATH programme fits within this context.