On January 29, 2021, the Ministry of the Culture of Slovakia hosted the third meeting with animation industry stakeholders within the framework of the ALICE project. The participants had productive online exchanges about ALICE’s first results and the positive outcomes of the project initiatives taken in Slovakia. They also further discussed the action plan for the next phase of the project.

The first part of the session was dedicated to presenting the initial achievements of ALICE’s working groups across the project territories. It included an update on the industry survey on training and education, the results of which are being used to create a common nomenclature of positions in animation as well as training programs adapted to the realities of the European market. Discussions also focused on the innovative Wonderland concept, a label giving access to a new funding program for early-stage collaborations on animated projects. As most of the stakeholders were already familiar with the concept, the session provided an occasion to get more into the details of the proposal and collect valuable industry feedback. The participants notably pointed out the value of becoming part of a wide network of Wonderland-labelled companies referenced online to grow their businesses.

The second part of the meeting focused on how integrated initiatives taken by the Ministry of the Culture have helped frame the definition of an action plan for the next phase of the project. These initiatives have aimed at creating space for exchange of ideas between public and private organizations active in animation. They include ALICE’s presentation and industry networking event organized at the animation festival Fest Anča in August 2020, the conduct of surveys to animation students at the Academy of the performing arts in Bratislava and personal interviews with stakeholders. The main lesson learned with respect to the ALICE action plan in Slovakia was that it should focus first on strengthening the already existing industry support schemes, organizations and events, as well as the links and relationships between the different animation players through workshops, promotional screenings and consultations.

On that note, the stakeholders were invited to give their opinion on the last draft of the Creative Media program for 2021- 2027, which aims at strengthening the competitiveness of the cultural and creative sectors at the European and global levels. Within the frame of a public consultation organized by Interreg Europe, ALICE’s Slovakian stakeholders will mostly focus on providing feedback on the new mini-slates development call that is intended to support the development of two to three projects, specifically in countries with limited audiovisual production capacities. This is a further step towards a more active dialogue between animation market players and decision makers within a long-term support plan integrating the vision of the industry.