Thursday, December 08, 2005

iMMovator Café (2): Northern Wing

Preceding the iMMovator Cross Media Network Café discussion on making money with cross media, a former colleague of mine at TNO, spoke. Paul Rutten is presently professor at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, lector at the Junior college INHolland in Diemen and consultant creative industry at TNO in Delft. He dealt with a subject I looked into some years ago: the distribution of creative companies, in my case multimedia companies. I got onto this subject in 1997 during a multimedia workshop with Peter Leisink, now professor at the School of Governance of the Utrecht University, and Allan Scott, who wrote in that year the paper Patterns of Employment in Southern California’s Multimedia and Digital Effects Industry. In 2004 Allan Scott wrote the book On Hollywood: The Place, The Industry.

In 1999/2000 I got a chance to see how the multimedia companies in the Netherlands were distributed regionally, when I was involved in a survey of GOC with Peter Leisink and Jos Teunen (GOC), which was published as Multimedia: De Pioniersfase voorbij (Multimedia: Beyond the Pioneers’ Phase). We had the statistics translated into maps. From the mapping it was clear that there is a corridor from Haarlem, Amsterdam, Hilversum and Utrecht. I called it at that time the Amsterdam Multimedia Corridor (see map).

Paul Rutten took a closer look at what he called the Northern Wing, which appeared to correspond to the Amsterdam Multimedia Corridor. Northern Wing sounds less sexy than the Amsterdam Multimedia Corridor, but it indicates that there is also a Southern Wing. He took more distance by looking at the creative industry as linked with ict. (I personally think that the term digital creative industry fits better).

With INHolland he is looking into the opportunities for innovation in this area. Eventually this research should be translated into policy for the provinces and cities in the area. He produced some statistics:
- 34 per cent of all jobs are in the creative industry and ICT;
- 77 per cent of these jobs are the 10 largest Dutch cities;
- 32 per cent of these jobs are located in Amsterdam.
The growth in jobs in the creative industry and ICT in the Northern Wing is remarkable. In ICT there is an annual growth of jobs of 2,4 per cent for the whole country, but 3,8 per cent in the Northern Wing. Also a growth of jobs up to 3,8 per cent in the creative industry can be found the Nothern wing over against 3,5 for the whole country. Amsterdam was the fastest growing city in terms of jobs in the creative industry and ICT. Haarlemmermeer, the city around Schiphol Airport, is also a fast grower; this is probably due to the HQ of the magazine publisher Sanoma. Zaandam does hardly grow as far as the creative industry and ICT are concerened.

He also ranked the cities in the Northern Wing:
1. Amsterdam
2. Utrecht
3. Hilversum
4. Amersfoort
5. Haarlemmermeer
6. Haarlem
7. Almere
8. Nieuwegein
9. Amstelveen
10. Zaanstad

In this list Amsterdam, Utrecht and Hilversum are also the real content cities.

The maps are part of the report Multimedia: De Pioniersfase Voorbij (Multimedia: Beyond The Pioneers'Phase) written by Dr Peter Leisink, Drs Jos Teunen en Jak Boumans BA, MDiv. and published by GOC. The adaptations are based on the data by Paul Rutten.

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