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Chess and creativity

Higher Education Minister Morten Østergaard's speech at the conference "Creative Business Cup - international final" 20 November 2013 in Copenhagen.

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Your Royal Highness, ladies and gentleman, dear all participants.

It is an honour to open the Award Show for the Creative Business Cup 2013. It is a pleasure to see so many participants. And it is great being a part of the world championship for creative entrepreneurs.

Right now - on the other side of the globe - more specifically, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chennai, India, another World Championship is taking place.

It is the World Chess Championship. And it is a match between the current world champion – from India, Vishy Anand and the challenger – from Norway the young talent Magnus Carlsen. Twelve games are scheduled between the two players here in November.

Though the Chess Championship and the competition here in Copenhagen are very different - world class chess players and the competitors today share at least one common skill. That is creativity.

The ability to make an intelligent and surprising move is not only essential for chess players. The same goes for entrepreneurs in the creative industries.

You will not win a chess game if you do what everybody else is doing. And you will not succeed with creative business if you are not original and innovative.

Creative industries’ entrepreneurs are masters of innovation.

Growth and green in creative business industries

The creative industries have seen a strong international growth in the past decade. Factors - such as increased global prosperity and new information and communication technologies - have been the catalysts for this growth.

This trend is expected to continue in future years, not least keeping pace with the growing middle class in the emerging economies.

Greater demand for lifestyle and design products is a potential source of increased growth for the creative industries.

And at the same time, there is increasing focus on how creative industries, such as architecture and design, can contribute to the green transition. For instance by developing environmentally and climate friendly buildings and urban environments. Or through products and packaging that are produced from recyclable materials.

Green transition and sustainable production are also gaining ground in the fashion & clothing industry, which is currently one of the most polluting industries in the world.

The creative business industries do not only contribute to growth and new jobs – but can also help find solutions to global challenges.

Denmark’s creative industries are strong

Denmark’s creative industries are strong. And Danish design, fashion and architecture are known all over the world.

We have a long tradition in the creative industries and we have succeeded in fostering new Danish talents. From fashion designer Henrik Vibskov to the innovative architect Bjarke Ingels.

Furthermore, Danish films and TV programmes have won numerous international awards. Danish dramas such as “The Killing” and “Borgen” have won worldwide recognition and strengthen Denmark’s international brand as a creative nation.

The creative industries make up a significant share of the Danish economy. It employs around 85,000 persons in service as well as manufacturing, and it generates a revenue of about DKK 200 billion.

The creative industries thus represent 6-7 per cent of total revenue and employment in Danish business and industry.

In addition, the creative industries contribute to innovation and growth in the rest of the business sector.

In an intense global competition, businesses are increasing their use of creative competencies to develop, design and market their products and services.

For example, Danish businesses use designers to develop smart and user-friendly solutions which differentiate them from competing businesses. And which the customers are willing to pay a higher price for.

The music industry and the internet

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of participating in the Danish Music Award here in Copenhagen. It was an amazing evening.

I think there has been a common perception that the music industry is in an economic crisis. But looking over the last ten years, there has been no downturn in Denmark.

There are differences in how the music industry earns money today compared to ten years ago.

The physical sales have gone down. But the digital sales have gone up. And digitisation has actually helped artists and authors.

The challenge for composers and musicians has been to rethink their business models.

New services on the Internet have provided new opportunities. The winners are those who are creative and make the most of these opportunities.

Growth plan, research and education

Creative skills play a key role in fostering innovation and growth. And the creative industries have a strong potential for further growth in the future.

The Danish government supports this potential. In early 2013 we came with a growth plan for the creative industries in Denmark.

I see particular growth potential in making sure creative skills interact with other disciplines and professions to create new solutions.

At the same time it is vital for the competitiveness and growth of businesses that they have access to qualified labour. And that new knowledge can be translated into new products and solutions.

A number of initiatives have been launched in Denmark to strengthen innovation as a basic element in all educational programmes - from primary school to graduate school.

We want to boost the creative industries.To do that – not least – we need to develop and strengthen education and research in the area.

Meet, compete and improve

I warmly welcome the Creative Business Cup. It is a brilliant initiative.

And I would like to thank all the entrepreneurs and participants, the international jury and the many representatives for entrepreneurial organisations from across the world.

It is a pleasure to welcome entrepreneurs to Copenhagen from almost forty countries.

It is great that you meet and compete. And I hope you all during these days also have improved your business concepts and skills; Through seminars. Though interaction with investors. And though interaction with the international jury.

Let me just shortly return to the other Championship I mentioned; because Anand and Carlsen are still playing chess in India. Today is a rest day. Yesterday they played match number 8.

Until now 6 games has been without a winner. And the young Norwegian has won two games. So the score is 3-5 in Carlsen’s favour. It is still a close race. And the winner will probably not be announced before the end of the week.

But for all you participants in the Creative Business Cup there is just a few minutes to checkmate – and the announcement of the winners.

Before that happens, I want to say to all the promising entrepreneurs. Continue to be energetic. Continue to be ambitious. Continue to be creative.

And now go out and conquer the world.

last modified Dec 03, 2015