European Year of Creativity and Innovation

2009 is the European Year of Creativity and Innovation (EYCI). The main goal of the year is to enable individuals to embrace change as an opportunity and to face it as a challenge. The year will allow the rethinking of research, competitiveness and knowledge, the fostering of existing synergies and the creation of new ones.


“Europe needs to boost its capacity for creativity and innovation for both social and economic reasons,” stated Ján Figel’, European Commissioner for education, training, culture and youth.
The EYCI will be officially launched and inaugurated under the Czech EU Presidency on 7 January 2009, with a dedicated conference and cultural events where representatives of the European Member States as well as several Ambassadors of the Year will gather.
In the words of Commissioner Figel’, the Year will be “an effective way of helping to meet challenges by raising public awareness, disseminating information about good practices, stimulating education and research.”

Creativity and Innovation

Creativity and innovation appear to be two sides of the same process. Innovation is the realisation of new ideas, while creativity represents the essential condition behind this step. Nevertheless, the communities of creativity - like the artistic ones - and those of innovation - like the scientific ones - do not always appear well integrated. Therefore, an important contribution to the EYCI will be bridging them together, showing their linkages.
Not only producers but also users are involved in bringing about innovation. They contribute to modifying products and services, to finding new solutions and anticipating problems. Moreover, users and innovation are linked in a dynamic relation: consumers are the driving force of innovation and, at the same time, innovation influences consumers, requiring new knowledge and competences.

Learning to think differently

Can we learn to be creative? School plays a crucial role in stimulating and discovering problem-solving attitudes, curiosity and talents. While it’s difficult to teach creativity, it’s even harder not to damp it down. Creativity seems to have a decreasing share in the course of students’ education. This means that inventive skills must be cultivated from an early stage and carefully nurtured all through the lifelong learning process.
To become creative-friendly environments, schools seek new approaches. The activities proposed by Spring Day for Europe can contribute to spreading inventiveness across curricula, inspiring new approaches for learning and teaching Europe. The campaign supports motivation and the sense of initiative, encouraging a fresh view on European challenges.

Related information:
EYCI website

23/04/2009 by: Alessandra D’Angelo