The Ghent hub of the Creative Ring is currently led by the City of Ghent. Ghent is a pocket-sized metropolis combining the intimacy of a small city with the openness of a metropolis. Its ecosystem has many private and bottom-up initiatives. As a consequence, the ICT  & creative scene in Ghent is very dynamic and somewhat flamboyant  but also a bit disperse.

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Ghent is an open, inclusive, smart and child-friendly city. It connects all forces to develop the city into a lasting and liveable whole and in doing so shapes the future. Ghent wants to be a creative forerunner in the transition towards a climate-neutral city. We are building an eco-friendly and diversified economy that brings welfare for all. By doing so, we develop a community of responsible citizens who can develop themselves freely and who can count.

Ghent is a festive city including the Ghent Festivities, the largest street festival in Europe. It’s also a port city. The port of Ghent employs 65,353 people and generates 7.4 billion euro in revenue.

Ghent is host to a University, 4 University Colleges and 14 skills centers with in total approximately 70,000 students.

Ghent is a hotspot for Creative Industries. There are more than 3.600 self employed in the Creative Industries which is almost one fifth of all self employed (18%) in the Ghent region. On top of this, Creative Industries in Ghent are accountable for 4% of the total employment which equals +- 6.500 jobs.

While creating the consortium, the City wants to evolve from an initiator role towards a facilitator role and empower the bottom-up dynamic. A number of partners will be part of this project.

In 2014 the City of Ghent, the Province of East-Flanders and University College of Ghent joined forces and founded Ministry of Makers. Ministry of Makers is a real and virtual meeting point with a focus on design. Its goal is to fully exploit the potential of design in Ghent and East-Flanders to stimulate innovation, growth and job creation. In order to do so, Saskia Westerduin, Creative Director of Ministry of Makers, organises interactive lectures, link-ups and design thinking workshops.

Besides Ministry of Makers, the following communities, network organisations are also pillars of the Ghent hub.

  • Gent BC: Governmental organisation with focus on stimulating academic entrepreneurship, supporting tech transfer, creating awareness and visibility of the knowledge economy in the Ghent region;
  • Ghent Living Lab: A Ghent platform based on the principles of open knowledge and co-creation where citizens, users, companies, knowledge institutions, technologists can create and test innovative solutions;
  • Ghent Web Valley: Focus on connecting web-based companies and passionate ICT-workers in order to create more synergy;
  • De Krook: A project that consists of the new city library and the renovated Winter Circus. The opening of the new library is scheduled for the end of 2016. On the site of De Krook also many other organisations will find a new home. Main focus will be digital and media and entrepreneurship. De Krook will become a hotspot for creativity and technology;
  • Gent M: Gent M is a collective of friends, colleagues who question “changes” in technology, industry, society. They see technology as a ‘connector’. It’s a strong bottom-up movement that also organises meetings;
  • TimeLab;
  • BLOOVI: A platform for digital professionals – organisers of WebTommorow conference.

On top of these partners, the Ghent ecosystem is very wide and diverse. The Creative Ring will grow alongside the activities that it organises. As mentioned there are many organisations, who could all be, one way or another, partner in the Creative Ring.

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