Queen's University, Belfast, has launched a pioneering research centre that will investigate how to boost the value of the creative industries within the economy.
The Centre for Creative Industry, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom and Ireland, is led by Paul Jeffcutt, Queen's professor of management knowledge.
"The creative industries are at the leading edge of the knowledge-based economy, where the creative arts and the media and information industries converge," he said.
The centre will bring together academics from management and economics, humanities and engineering, with expertise ranging from music and creative writing to communications technologies and software engineering.
It aims to investigate what improvements could be made to the way the creative process is resourced and organised to help more good ideas turn into performances or products. It also hopes to determine how creative industries can best be supported to help boost cities and regions.
"The creative industries are a vital, exciting and rapidly changing sector of activity, yet this is a field where there is little in-depth knowledge, particularly surrounding the crucial relationships between creativity and innovation," Professor Jeffcutt said.
He said the creative industries were vital to the UK economy, employing 1.3 million people. They have a £112 billion turnover, £10 billion of exports and contribute 5 per cent of GDP. They are growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy.
Professor Jeffcutt added that in Northern Ireland, some 15,000 people were employed across 1,500 organisations in the province with a turnover of more than £500 million.