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Despite Corona damper, creative industries still on growth track

Tenth Austrian Creative Industries Report Proves Relevance for the Entire National Economy

Despite being greatly affected by the pandemic, Austria's creative industries are generating value and employment far beyond their own sector during this challenging time. "The Austrian economy has benefited enormously from creative services during the crisis. In the pandemic years, numerous companies and industries have strengthened or even secured their business activities with instruments from the creative industries," says Martin Kocher, Federal Minister of Labor and Economic Affairs. The domestic creative industries have a strong leverage effect for the national economy. In addition, it is an important innovation driver for the entire Austrian economy. "The future of the economy will be characterized by new approaches, fresh cross-sectoral projects and a high degree of creativity in terms of internal and external processes, distribution channels and offerings, especially with regard to digital transformation, and we as the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber are companions with a full toolbox of services," adds Mariana Kühnel, Deputy Secretary General of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ).

With almost 50,000 businesses, the Austrian creative industries account for more than one in ten companies within the Austrian economy and, among employees, for around 5 percent of the total workforce (2019: around 170,000 self-employed and employed). After a decline of about 3.9 percent in the first crisis year 2020, employment in 2021 exceeded the pre-crisis value of 2019 by about 1.7 percent. This is shown in the Tenth Austrian Creative Industries Report, which is published by Kreativwirtschaft Austria with the support of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Economic Affairs (BMAW) and the WKÖ. The recovery is primarily attributable to the software and architecture sectors, which were already able to increase their sales during the crisis. The film and music industries, on the other hand, have suffered profound losses since the beginning of the Corona crisis. By contrast, areas such as design, photography, translation/interpretation, advertising, radio & TV, and publishing are on the road to recovery.


The Tenth Austrian Creative Industries Report can be downloaded here.


The creative industries are also a key driver of the digital transformation. In order to drive forward and professionalize transformation processes in a wide range of industries, the WKÖ has been offering workshops for further development since 2021 together with Kreativwirtschaft Austria as part of the BMAW creative industries strategy. Such customized open innovation processes have already been implemented for 20 industries; SMEs can now pick up the best results and insights at the digital Creative Transformation Summit on October 20.

2023 will also mark a new milestone in innovation policy for the creative industries. In addition to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bologna, Helsinki and Kosice, a location of the new EIT Culture and Creativity will be established in Vienna, for which WKÖ's Creative Industries Austria will act as host during the set-up phase. As a creative hotspot, the CLC (Co-Location Center) is to establish a regional hub for Southeastern Europe and the Alpine region and further develop the Austrian Creative Industries Strategy on a European level. "The establishment and development of this central co-location center in Austria is an important further step in the implementation of the BMAW's creative industries strategy," said the federal minister. The newly created EIT Culture & Creativity connects leading institutions from business, industry, innovation, art and culture, education and research in Europe.