An opportunity for worldwide innovators to exhibit their talents online: the first International Design Contest 2020 in the Shanghai – Yangtze River Delta is officially recruiting now and will be held from 25-29 November, 2020. Designers have the chance to gain money prizes, showcase opportunities, project investment funds and business opportunities.
The inaugural edition of this contest is organised by the Creative Economy Cooperation Committee (CECC) of the Shanghai – Yangtze River Delta, also member of the Districts of Creativity Network. With the contest the organisers wish to encourage and support international collaboration in innovation and creativity, promote green technology to underpin a sustainable future and contribute to designing a green world.
From March 2-4 the Reverse Mission 2020, the annual work visit to one of the DC Network member regions, took place in Karnataka, India. Declared by the government as the most innovative region of India in 2019, Karnataka is home to a unique innovation ecosystem.
The Karnataka innovation ecosystem
The first day of the Reverse Mission started at the Indian Institute of Science with a general introduction to the region and its capital Bangalore. Bangalore has a long tradition of being an early adopter in innovation. In1905 Asia’s first electric streetlights appeared in Bangalore. Later on in the eighties state-owned enterprises such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) became a catalyst for innovation in aerospace.
In 2005 Karnataka was the first region in India with a start-up policy program and a state funded VC-fund. Nowadays Bangalore is the only city in the world with 100.000 PhD’s. It hosts more than 500 R&D centers and is home to the innovation hubs of major companies such as Airbus, Walmart, Google, Accenture or AB Inbev.
But the region and its capital also face challenges. In a vibrant talk architect Naresh Narasimkan of multi-award winning architecture firm VA Associates advocated the urgent need for more public space, better mobility and creating more sense of ownership of the commons among the citizens of Karnataka. According to the architect, the existing governance structures often overlap and do not communicate well enough.
The afternoon session continued with a series of short presentations of promising start-ups, such as Bellatrix Aerospace, working on solutions to bringing down the cost of access to space and Renalyx, a health start-up creating innovative solutions for renal care.
Two other projects that were showcased were “Chitra Sante”, the biggest art festival of Bangalore and the Thayir Sadam project, a band that creates a blend of Indian classical, electronic and world music. They have conducted workshops with over 5000 school children so far, teaching them global music and promoting social initiatives. One of the initiators, Bindu Subramaniam, finished the day with a warm plea for cross-disciplinary innovation.
In the evening all guests were treated to a spectacular concert of Indian classical music blended with western fusion elements.
From rural creativity to high tech research
The second day took us outside of Bangalore to a local CS Pura village school for an insight in how creativity is applied in a rural context with limited resources.
After holding our annual member meeting, we continued the third day of the Reverse Mission with a tour of several research labs of the Indian Institute of Science. Dr. Hardik J. Pandya of The Biomedical and Electronic Engineering Systems Lab showcased research projects on i.e. new sensors to demarcate benign and cancerous breast tissue and other new types of bio-sensors.
Dr. T.V. Prabhakar demonstrated the Zero Energy Networks Laboratory (Zen lab), where his students and project staff work on building embedded electronic systems for application areas such as airplane cabin, healthcare, smart homes, and other IoT applications.
The final day of the Reverse Mission 2020 ended with a visit to the famous Lalbagh gardens of Bangalore.
From high tech aerospace innovation to cultural interdisciplinary projects and rural creative thinking: this Reverse Mission has shown the extraordinary diversity within the Karnataka innovation ecosystem.
From 21-23 May 2019 the Districts of Creativity Network’s tenth Reverse Mission took place in Baden-Württemberg, hosted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing of the state of Baden-Württemberg. The Steinbeis Europa Zentrum supported the agency with the planning, organisation and realisation the Reverse Mission. The main theme of this fact-finding mission was focused on creativity and urban development in the Stuttgart-region, one of Europe’s most innovative high-tech regions and an important financial centre.
This year’s annual Reverse Mission of the DC Network will be hosted by are fellow member in Baden-Württemberg. The annual study visit focuses on creativity and urban development. Delegations of all the member regions will take part in a three-day fact-finding mission to exchange and learn about local projects, companies and organisations.
Baden-Württemberg, home to international market leaders and hidden champions, is known first and foremost as an innovative technology base and for its high-quality industrial expertise. However, alongside this, the region also plays host to a distinctive cultural and creative scene.
The Film Academy Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg is one of the top ten film schools in the world for visual effects training. Many of the scenes in the series “Game of Thrones”, which has won awards internationally, were made in Stuttgart. When it was founded, the University of Popular Music and Music Business in Mannheim was the first state higher education institution for popular music and music business in Germany. And Stuttgart State Opera has already won the title of “Opera House of the Year” several times.
This year, Baden-Württemberg has an outstanding project underway in the area of urban development and landscaping with the BUGA Garden Show in Heilbronn. CyberValley in Tübingen is one of the largest research collaborations in Europe in the field of artificial intelligence.
At 2018 Shanghai World Creative Economy Summit the Chinese Creative Economy Cooperation Committee (CECC) and the international Districts fo Creativity Network (DC Network) officially confirmed their strategic cooperation. CECC will from now on be the representative organisation for Shanghai within the DC Network, which unites regions all over the world that focus on stimulating creativity and creative industries.
“The ambitions and achievements of cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou to develop their creative industries are impressive,” says DC-Network coordinator Carlo Vuijlsteke. “We look forward to learn from each other and increase cooperations”.
A visit during the summit to Artinno Town, a creative hub and incubator of 3,5km2 in Hangzhou demonstrated the development of creative industries in the region. The hub is surrounded by the renowned China Academy of Art, several museums and a music conservatory. It already houses 1800 creative companies and hosts several creative events such as the China International Cartoon & Animation festival.
The next upcoming activity within the DC-Network to which a Chinese delegation will be invited will be the 2019 Reverse Mission on creativity and city development, hosted by member-region Baden-Württemberg in Germany.