On September 30th 2021, a "matchmaking" event was hosted by DCCI with much support from advisory partner, Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen. Due to ongoing COVID restrictions, this event (2.5 hours in duration) was hosted online. It provided the opportunity for partners to meet with their stakeholders to discuss different good practices that may be potentially useful for their region and enhance their policy instrument.
As the host, DCCI introduced the session and gave an overview concerning the 6 Policy Instruments addressed by the projects itself. DCCI set out a comprehensive schedule, matching the owners of the different good practices with the interested partners. 10 breakouts rooms were created for the partners and stakeholders. As advisory partner, Hilde Hoefnagels from Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen took notes throughout the event, moving between breakout rooms, assessing whether the action plans and good practices choices aligned.
The good practices discussed in these breakout rooms were:
- Building Craft and Design Enterprise program. Finland, Spain and Hungary were interested in this programme. Finland plan on writing an Erasmus + project for next Spring's call in order to implement this good practice. Spain would like to insert it into their Action Plan, as would Hungary with the only difference that Hungary would offer micro loans.
- The Trading Online Voucher Scheme was of interest to Bulgaria who plan on requesting to be part of the Covid Recovery Fund in order to install the scheme in their region.
- Firenze Creativa Shop: Finland, Ireland
- Murate Idea Park: interest from Finland
- Needlecrafts Academy: this discussion was concentrated on the typology of specialised services delivered by the Needlecrafts Academy which comprise of high level specialised fashion techniques putting together tradition and high level unique competence. This reflects also on the maintenance of traditional works, a sector with whom many partner regions could relate to.
- Optimise: interest from Italy and Finland. The discussion was concentrated on specific assets of the Optimise national program comparing with the Pilot Action Call4Crafts approved by the Interreg Programme within the Crafts Code project. The main barrier encountered in starting the pilot is linked to the micro dimension of handicrafts enterprise. This represents a problem with regards to the delivery of mentoring fast programme.
- Tuscan Collections : The platform started May 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. The artisans factories on the platform create objects for home, accessories and jewels. The platform is dedicated to international buyers in a B2B channel. For the moment there are 100 factories from all over Tuscany and they are working a lot with digital events, called BE TALKS. It is a way to meet international buyers and to present his/her own activity without moving around. Artisans need to be educated in this and the group (3 persons + 1 expert) is going to give a special guidance in this activity – digital communication is very different from the traditional fairs. Finland were particularly interested in this practice.
- Festival of Folk Arts: Festival of Folks Arts was one of the first live experience after the pandemic period, that’s why has been really useful better understand how partners faced COVID restrictions, how they created specific procedures in order to realise the live event without risks. Finland and Italy were particularly interested in this practice.
- Thumbler with Rakia: Finland
- TALLERES ABIERTOS (app): At the moment this app includes about 600 artisans all over Spain, geolocalized on a digital map. Each artisan has got a page with pictures, a description, contacts and social networks. The application for an artisan is free, the download of the app is free as well. For the promotion of the app at the moment only web site, social media and a dedicated magazine: the office would like to promote it in the tourist circuit (hostels, museums, events). This difficulty in communicating the app is similarly shared in Florence, therefore, Italy were interested in the app.
- Artesania: Ireland
- Innovation Vouchers: Italy
- D-tool: Italy (here is also interest from others - Bulgaria, Spain: but only if D-tool would be in English)
- CreAction: Italy
In the following days, partners were requested to give DCCI feedback of the matchmaking session. Positive feedback was received; the session was a very useful exercise leading to increase networking not only among partners, but among stakeholders as well. Some doubts have been solved, new ideas and curiosity emerged. The virtuous cooperation, started on 2019, is developing and the quality of contents addressed is more and more specific. Stakeholders have been involved directly, in order to reinforce international relations and contacts.