Creative Cross-Innovations for Sustainability

Project Duration

October 2022 – December 2023


Explore the Policy Brief produced during the project here and read about the pilot’s outcomes here.

The NDPC has been granted small-scale project funding to support the emergence of creative cross-innovations in the Northern Dimension region. The project is funded by Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the funding instrument of co-operation in the Baltic Sea, Barents and Arctic region and will be implemented by the NDPC until 12/2023.

The project consists of two elements: (1) practical pilot and method development “Creative Residency for Sustainability” and its evaluation tool and (2) small-scale benchmarking process of creative cross-innovations in a global context.

About creative cross-innovations

We refer to creative cross-innovations as a cross-disciplinary process where professionals from the arts, culture, and creative fields (Culture and Creative Industries – CCIs) share and exchange information, working methods, skills, competency, creative approaches to other sectors and traditional industries to collaborate in new ways with professionals from other fields.

The aim of this type of cross-sector collaborations is to tap into the potential of creative know-how, to promote new thinking, exploring new ways of doing, boost product – process –  and business model innovation, creative co-creation and novel types of cross-innovations within society, e.g. in the fields of research & technology, health and wellbeing, business and industry, urban development, pedagogy, sustainability, peace and security, etc.

See mapping: Collaboration and Innovation in the Northern Dimension Countries (2021).

1. Creative cross-innovation method development and dissemination

As part of this project, the NDPC is developing and carrying out a creative cross-innovation method pilot. Under the auspices of this method, the process of artistic residencies will be reshaped in the context of non-CCI organisations. For three months, one artist will undertake an artistic residency in a non-CCI public or private organisation and explore topics of sustainability through artistic practice. The aim is to create new dialogues between the arts and organisations and approach sustainability in explorative ways.

The NDPC, in collaboration with project partners Havremagasinet (Sweden), Tromsø Art Academy (Norway) and BusinessOulu (Finland), will develop the method, prepare a tool for evaluating the value created and share the outcomes in a tool-box format. To further explore the topic and to engage diverse audiences (students, CCI developers, businesses and innovation networks etc.), several open events will be organised within the project. 

Read more about the partners and their roles: here.

2. Small-scale benchmarking of creative cross-innovations in a global context

The project will conduct small-scale benchmarking of creative cross-innovations in a global context. This information gathering exercise will locate creative cross-innovation developments in various continents. The process will provide knowledge about the locations of the latest capacity areas, clusters of excellence and key actors internationally. This process will be led by an external expert commissioned by the NDPC. 

During the first phase, a virtual benchmarking process will be carried out. On the basis of the results, the NDPC will continue the process by making two study visits to the most acknowledged hotspots. The results of the benchmarking will be shared during the autumn of 2023 in the form of an open webinar and online article.

Read more about the benchmarking process here.



Tromsø Art Academy