Culture and creativity may well be the key to mastering the economic crisis in Europe: this idea had been lingering on for a few years and finally took shape in 2012, when an EU Communication asked to ‚promote cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU‘.
The text went on to state that the economic potential of ‚cultural and creative sectors in the European Union is still not fully recognised‘ and indeed can be regarded as ‚largely untapped resources‘. The message was not to be misunderstood: go ahead and cooperate to open up those resources, on all levels from local to European. And that is what N.I.C.E., initiated in 2013, is all about.
ecce played a decisive role in planning the N.I.C.E. network. During the preparations for the second Forum d’Avignon Ruhr in 2013, a group of stakeholders, from the region and from abroad, decided it was about time to take the regionally well-established idea of intense networking between various initiatives and players to a European level. Thus N.I.C.E. was born.
The 15 initiators of N.I.C.E. presented their project at the meeting in Essen, and they added a flourish by piloting the N.I.C.E. Award at the same time.
‚Time is ripe for new ideas‘, said Garrelt Duin, Minister for Economic Affairs of the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and he also presented the winners of the N.I.C.E. Award 2013. Such approval and support by a minister of economics, not culture, was duly appreciated.
The founding partners at the second Forum d'Avignon Ruhr in Essen after N.I.C.E. was born.
As a kick‐off for N.I.C.E., the pilot of the N.I.C.E. Award was held during the second Forum d'Avignon Ruhr in Essen.
Prof. Dieter Gorny, managing director of ecce, and Charles Landry at the first Workshop "Developing N.I.C.E." in November 2013 in Dortmund.