On July 6, Catalonia’s Federation of Audio-visual Producers PROA organised an important event dedicated to disseminating the conclusions of ALICE’s first phase of ‘exploration’ as well as Catalonia’s short-term action plan for animation. The event, held in the gardens of the Palau Robert in Barcelona, was attended by more than sixty stakeholders including animation producers, broadcasters, political figures, Ministry of Culture representatives and journalists.

Ms Marisol López, General director of innovation and digital culture, from the Catalan Minister of Culture, made the introductory remarks. Then Iván Agenjo, chairman of ProAnimats, introduced the ALICE project, followed by Mar Sáez Pedrero, from PROA, who introduced ALICE’s new industry mapping methodology, the “Model for the study of the Animation sector value chain”. The presentations were completed by a short video of recorded interviews with Lucia Recalde, from Creative Europe’s MEDIA, Jordi B. Oliva, PROA’s Chairman, Marta Colucci, from the Puglia Region, and Philippe Reynaert, from Wallimage. The event closed with a reel showcasing recent animated works produced by ProAnimats’ members.

During the two-year exploration phase, the ALICE partners from Catalonia, Wallonia, the Hauts-de-France region, the Puglia region, Slovakia and the Rzeszow region conducted an in-depth study of the animation industries across Europe. This led to the development of solutions as well as to short-term regional action plans designed to overcome the barriers to European co-productions and ultimately improve the sector’s long-term competitiveness. The action plans will be implemented during the project’s next one-year phase which starts in August 2021.

PROA’s action plan for the animation industry in Catalonia is based on four short, medium and long-term priorities: deepen the knowledge of the sector, strengthen the industry, focus on internationalisation and improve training. First of all, PROA intends to create the industry data that is sorely missing in order to define solid growth strategies: using ALICE’s mapping methodology, they will perform an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, growth opportunities and threats (S.W.O.T) within the sector. The second priority, strengthening the Catalan animation industry, will be tackled through initiatives supporting digitalisation and the protection of intellectual property, as well as new public tools to promote the region as a production and research hub. To address internationalisation, the plan is to give greater visibility to industry actors and productions while fostering the dialogue between the producers, the investors and the broadcasters. Lastly, training programs will be improved through a stronger focus on the skills the market most needs as well as promoting finance and business competences. This action plan is in line with the goals of the European “Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan”, which guides the implementation of Next Generation EU and aims to help the European economy emerge stronger from the pandemic.

Supported by ALICE’s proposed actions for long-term policy change, PROA’s action can only be implemented in close collaboration with Catalonia’s government. It will lay the foundations for a strong and collaborative animation ecosystem in Catalonia leading to new business opportunities, increased employability of talent and easier co-productions with complementary regions across Europe.

The full video of the event is available here: www.youtube.com/watch