Newsletter #2

We’re very excited to share with you the progress we've made in the last months.

Overcoming skills gaps in the cultural and creative sectors

We’re very excited to share with you the progress we’ve made in the last months. Despite the challenges linked to the COVID-19 crisis, partners have strengthened their efforts to deliver on the ground and provide effective support to the cultural and creative industries.

A quick recap: what are we all about

DeuS is an Erasmus+ vocational educational training (VET) project that focuses on unlocking the potential of the cultural and creative sector. The project aims to co-create an innovative training path in design, critical thinking and entrepreneurship in response to local challenges.

DeuS builds on the work of the Open Design School pilot initiative, an open design laboratory which was pivotal to the successful implementation of European Capital of Culture Matera 2019. It is a laboratory of interdisciplinary experimentation and innovation that aims to introduce a more holistic, long-term attitude to the process of cultural investment, seeking to emphasise the benefits of skills creation and networking.

10 partners from 9 EU countries (Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Slovakia, and the UK) have joined forces to cover a wide spectrum of the European VET landscape and provide sustainable solutions to the cultural and creative sector. We all look forward to having you onboard for our journey.

You can follow along on our website www.deuscci.euFacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Have you followed our first EU event?

We are happy to present the outcomes of our first EU event. As part of BRIGHT, a 5-day online conference on creative industries, entrepreneurship and innovation, we held a vibrant policy round table on ‘Creativity: The Missing Link Between Innovation and Traditional Industries’. You can watch the full panel here on our Facebook page.

We have of course also summed up the most important aspects for you right here:

  • We must overcome the separation between the arts, science and technology.
  • We must work on both sides not only to reinforce the business skills of creative industries (not least their network skills) but also to make traditional industries more aware of the added value of arts and culture.
  • We must improve the education system to bring together people from different disciplines so that they can learn from each other while working together on concrete challenges.
  • We must strengthen our efforts to involve all relevant stakeholders more closely when designing policies.

Have you heard of the Creative Platform Challenge? You can still apply until 2 October!

In our ambitious search for closing the skills gap in the creative economy, we launched a challenge for startups that will take us one step closer to reaching our goal. We are looking for innovative technological solutions (products or services) that provide new ways of connecting the creative ecosystem online to help creatives to work and collaborate, more specifically to co-create, upskill and network. If you have the answer, keep reading and apply by Friday 2 October at here.

Discover our work to build an Open Design School Alliance

To understand the landscape, partners have undertaken a stakeholder analysis which takes a broad look at the cultural and creative sectors. The picture uncovered is complex the sector is extremely diverse, covering firms and activities ranging from handmade traditional crafts to cutting edge computer games design.

Although governments place high value on the creative economy, working in the sector can be frustrating and individuals can be isolated. Besides being creative in their chosen field, workers also require a host of additional skills to make their businesses successful (e.g. project management, finances, networking and communication, and IT).
But skills training is not a ‘one size fits all’ problem. The diversity of the sector means that individuals in different industries need and use very different skills mixes, so training options need to be responsive and flexible and this will be a key challenge for the DeuS project as it progresses.

Another key theme identified is that of collaborative working. Co-working or co-making spaces propagate many benefits by sharing resources and nurturing cooperation and stimulating innovation. So, this way of working will be a critical characteristic for the project as it moves forward and for proposed solutions.

Read more here.

Introducing our Steering Group

One of the most interesting talking points of the first DeuS steering group meeting was how creative industries could be helped during the Covid-19 pandemic and how DEUS as a project could help creative economy at the European level to build something new and help entrepreneurs. A group of like-minded people around Europe met and discussed the pandemic and the project in general. It was great to experience how they shared their views regardless of their diverse contributions and skill sets. The steering group consists of project partners’ stakeholder representatives. The group will be continuously engaged to provide inputs and feedback on the skill needs of the CCI industry and enhance the visibility and positive impacts of the project.

In the meeting, the steering group was introduced to the DeuS project plan and discussed the main issues at hand. Besides discussing the Covid-19 pandemic, the group talked about what it means to be an entrepreneur and why creative people even want to become entrepreneurs in times like these. One comment was that some entrepreneurs are currently leaving the creative sector and returning to their old jobs. The challenge of helping creative entrepreneurs is what DeuS aims to help with by co-creating a European-wide learning and training model.

The steering group meeting was a beneficial opening for larger cooperation with the project stakeholders and reports of the progress made will be presented on this website. The next important steps in the project will be the release of the stakeholder analysis, national validation workshops, and the second EU event called: “Creative Futures – The 10th European Creative Industries Summit ECIS”, which will be held on 21 October. The steering group will meet next time in January 2021 to hear more about the project achievements.

Don’t miss our next EU event

On 21 October DeuS is part of the 10th European Creative Industries Summit, which is hosted online this year.

You can already now pre-register and save a seat at here.

Things that inspire us right now

In this section we’re curating and highlighting articles, projects, people to follow or initiatives to join that we’re fascinated by at the moment. If you want to contribute to this section reach us at

European Cultural and Creative Cities in COVID-19 times

What: Although Europe has entered into a de-confinement phase, many cultural places remain closed or subject to stringent physical-distancing measures. In these new circumstances, one main condition for the sustainability of most cultural and creative sectors has been almost entirely disrupted: the possibility to have a public ‘live’ as a source of revenues to meet operating costs, putting more than seven million jobs at risk in Europe.

Why: Explore the solutions found by both EU Member States and city governments to maintain alive Europe’s cultural capital, while giving cultural institutions, companies and workers the time to get prepared to post-COVID times.


What: A major cross-disciplinary workspace championing collaboration and experimentation in the centre of London. Their 2 aims are to build and run spaces for makers including co-working space and workshops with equipment and tools, and provide learning programmes for their members.

Why: Makerversity is a very good example of a methodology similar to the Open Design School in Matera.

Guiding resilient financing systems for the cultural and creative sectors

What: The Creative FLIP project has published an analysis report which aims at a more crisis-resilient access to finance eco-system for the cultural and creative sectors.

Why: Along with lack of skills, access to finance is often cited a major barrier to developing a business.

Author: Deus

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