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Culture and Creativity in the Picture: design for a measurement tool for the Brussels metropolis

Cultuur en creativiteit in beeld: opzet van een meetinstrument voor metropool Brussel
Culture et créativité : ébauche d’un instrument de mesure pour la métropole bruxelloise
Birgitte Martens, Jelena Dobbels, Lucy Amez et Walter Ysebaert
Traduction de Philippe Bruel
Cet article est une traduction de :
Cultuur en creativiteit in beeld: opzet van een meetinstrument voor metropool Brussel [nl]
Autre(s) traduction(s) de cet article :
Culture et créativité : ébauche d’un instrument de mesure pour la métropole bruxelloise [fr]


Au cours de la dernière décennie, la reconnaissance du rôle crucial joué par les secteurs culturels et créatifs (SCC) dans le développement économique régional n’a cessé de grandir. La Région de Bruxelles-Capitale, elle aussi, marque son intérêt pour ces secteurs et ressent la nécessité de disposer d’instruments de mesure permettant de recenser et de suivre leur impact et leurs activités. Le présent article répond à ce besoin en proposant une sélection d’indicateurs représentatifs de ces secteurs, centrée principalement sur la Région bruxelloise. Au contraire d’autres modèles de mesure, cette sélection a l’ambition d’être immédiatement applicable, en s’harmonisant au mieux avec des sources de données et les institutions bruxelloises existantes.

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Notes de l’auteur

The authors are affiliated to the Data and Policy Research Unit (OCDB) and/or the ECOOM cell of the Research & Development Department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where they carry out policy-relevant research linked to the development of new indicators, focused on the (social) impact of research, the social valorization of knowledge, the relationship between knowledge institutions and creative capital, the evaluation of artistic research, and the use of data for research and education policy in the knowledge institutions and in the broader social context.

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1Recent policy documents, such as the 2009‑2014 coalition agreement and the Regional Plan for Sustainable Development accord a special position to the cultural and creative industries (CCS) in the Brussels-Capital Region [Brussels Capital Regional Government, 2011; 2013]. The option for a policy of support for these economic sectors fits into a broader conceptual framework enjoying increasing popularity in (inter)national and regional administrative circles. Scientific research suggests that the cultural and creative industries play a crucial role in the development of the regional economy. Figures illustrate the growing employment and the share of these industries in the Gross National Product (GNP). Studies further show that the CCS play a key role in the expansion of regional innovation and regional competitiveness. Through partnerships with business or geographical proximity, CCS stimulate knowledge transfers, provide new ideas, have an impact outside of the industry or enable new business and work organisation models to fan out towards other economic sectors [Miles & Green, 2008; Villalba, 2013; Townley, 2009].

  • 1 In the English language “cultural and creative industries” is still the prevalent term.

2In recent decades, creativity has been approached using various terminologies, such as creative industries, cultural industries, creative economy, cultural and creative industries (CCI). Although in both policy and research contexts these general terms are frequently being used interchangeably, they are not necessarily identical in meaning. National or regional context often determines which industries will or will not be labelled as creative. For example, the British international status in the field of design and fashion led to the inclusion of the design and designer fashion industries in the British creative industries [Creative Industries Task Force, 1998]. Terms such as creative industries have strong economic connotations (the concept of “industry”). Recently, as growing attention is paid to non-economic (cultural and social) aspects, a new, broader term has been introduced: cultural and creative sectors1 (CCS). This term encompasses the following sectors: visual arts, performing arts, cultural heritage, audiovisual industry, gaming, print media - books, printed media - newspaper and periodical press, music, architecture, design, advertising and communication. In this article, this term will be used consistently.

3The significant economic role of local cultural and creative enterprises is a relatively recent conviction in political circles. Leaving aside some pioneers, the administrative recognition of the economic value of CCS dates from the late 1990s, a period in which the consequences of societal trends such as globalisation and technologisation on economic growth and employment became increasingly clear. The impact of CCS on employment and tourism was first noted in international reports on economic activity and productivity by consulting and policy supporting agencies such as the Institute for Statistics of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the European Commission [UNESCO, 2005; OECD, 2006; UNCTAD, 2008; KEA, 2006; ESSnet-CULTURE, 2012]. The pioneering role these reports attribute to the CCS in the development of innovative organisational and production models, contributed to the administrative appreciation of these sectors, which had previously received little statistical attention [Flew, 2010; Villalba, 2013; Guiette, 2011].

4The need for a stimulus policy encouraged the aforementioned supranational agencies to develop specific measurement instruments in order to record the activity and productivity of the CCS. These recording methods underwent a number of remarkable changes. The first models – the so-called mapping surveys – elaborated by OECD and UNCTAD, attempted to calculate the level of innovation and the extent of entrepreneurship on a national scale [OECD, 2006; UNCTAD, 2008]. Shortly afterwards, these institutions started using creativity barometers for the mapping of the existing cultural and technological infrastructure on a regional scale. The initial focus of the creativity barometers on measuring the level of national innovation and entrepreneurship shifted towards the environmental factors that determine the extent of regional creative activity and productivity.

5Yet there is a need for a broader measurement tool, recording creativity in all its stages and facets [Villalba, 2013]. According to experts of the EU Joint Research Centre such an instrument should take an even broader approach to the quantification of creativity, by addressing also the production of creative knowledge capital and the development of human capital, ensured by knowledge institutions [Villalba, 2013; Mould, 2009]. Regional policymakers also pay growing attention to the availability of comprehensive and reliable figures on the CCS, of which knowledge institutions form an integral part [Brussels regional government, in 2011; Comunian, 2011; Universities UK, 2010]. After all, only a geographically defined and mapped registration tool can enable policymakers to elaborate a targeted incentive policy for these sectors. The report "Creatieve metropool Brussels: ontwikkeling van een indicatorenprofiel voor de monitoring van culturele en creatieve sectoren in het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest" (Creative Metropolis Brussels: development of an indicator profile for the monitoring of cultural and creative sectors in the Brussels-Capital Region), commissioned by ministers Jean-Luc Vanraes and Guy Vanhengel, of which this article is a reflection, enumerates the indicators this tool for the monitoring and measurement of CCS in the Brussels-Capital Region should address [Amez, Dobbels and Ysebaert, 2013].

6This contribution first examines the importance of creativity as a policy theme. Next, it analyses the existing studies describing the CCS in the Brussels-Capital Region and trying to measure or measuring their impact. The insights provided by this comparative analysis, are the starting point for the design of a scoreboard, aligned with the recent holistic approach by (supra)national supervisory bodies. The scoreboard is elucidated by means of its underlying indicators and by using a proposed new methodology. It should be noted that the scoreboard was developed in order to be concretely useable for the mapping of the Brussels CCS.

1. Creativity as a policy theme

7Several policy documents emphasise the importance of the CCS in the Brussels-Capital Region and the need to support these sectors [Brussels Regional Government, 2011; 2013]. The present coalition agreement of the Brussels-Capital Region indicates the reasons for the administrative significance of these sectors [Brussels Capital Regional Government, 2011]. It first mentions the expression by the CCS of the diversity of the metropolitan, multicultural society and the associated challenges. The cultural and creative achievements of the CCS, the text continues, create an environment that promotes the recognition of the richness and cultural diversity of the Brussels Region. Thus, the involvement of citizens with the city can be realised or reinforced. Apart from this cohesion and inclusion promoting potential, regional policymakers emphasise the encouraging impact of purposefully organised cultural events on civic participation and social exchange.

8In addition to this social value, the policy documents also highlight the economic importance of the CCS [Brussels Regional Government, 2011, 23]. The “cultural and creative sectors” relevantly capitalize on the growth potential of the region in terms of turnover, employment and added value. According to the Brussels Regional Government, cultural and creative activities significantly contribute to the (inter)national visibility and perception of the region, which in turn benefits the turnover and employment of the local tourism industry. This dual status of CCS as a social binding force and economic incentive is also reflected in policy publications of the French Community, the Flemish Community, the Flemish Community Commission (VGC) and the French Community Commission (COCOF) [Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, 2012; Overleg Creatieve Industriën, 2011; Maes 2010; Madrane, 2013].

9The belief in the social and economic power of the CCS echoes the conviction spreading in the United Kingdom from 1997 onwards with the establishment of the Creative Industries Task Force, a think tank founded by former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair [Flew, 2002; Ross, 2008; Neelands, 2010]. This Task Force - composed of policymakers, academics and stakeholders - developed a new policy on art and culture, which was adopted in response to a number of recent economic transformations. The durability and desirability of government subsidies for the cultural industry, the rise of the Internet and the knowledge economy and the shift from a product-based society to a service society as the dominant economic model formed the blueprint for this new approach [Flew, 2010].

10According to the Task Force, in this knowledge economy the cultural policy needed to take a new shape, focussing not only on the traditionally subsidised cultural industry but also on new market-oriented culture-related activities, such as the antiques trade, fashion, design and architecture [Flew, 2002; 2010]. This broadening of the policy perspective was accompanied by the introduction of a new designation of the industries eligible for (in)direct policy support: creative industries. The analogy with the term cultural industry - used by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer as criticism of the industrialisation of culture in capitalist societies - is obvious. Yet its implementation deviated entirely from the vision of these thinkers of the Frankfurt School, who despaired the loss of culture in civilisation [Cunningham, 2004]. The inclusion of market-oriented industries in cultural policy borrows insights from studies that were made independently in the early 1980s by Augustin Girard, commissioned by UNESCO, and Nicholas Garnham [Garnham, 1987; Girard, 1982].

  • 2 See e.g. Peck, 2005 and Debroux, 2009.

11The members of the Task Force paid the CCS a hitherto unprecedented attention, both at policy and research levels, resulting in a stream of publications on a national and regional scale. Simultaneously more popular publications, with theories on the creative class [Florida, 2003] and the creative economy [Howkins, 2001] circulated. The direct link between regional economic growth and the presence of creative actors and companies is the main line of thought in the work of Florida and Howkins. But Florida’s theory is not undisputed. The author has been criticised repeatedly and fiercely for his methodology, his lack of attention to the negative effects of an incentive policy for the creative class (gentrification, social inequality, etc.), the artificial and commercial nature of his creativity rankings (using consulting agencies in order to climb in the rankings), etc.2 Earlier, in 1980, British artists such as Charles Landry had strongly stressed the positive impact of the arts industry on urban (metropolitan) development to policymakers [Landry, 1996]. Landry and his followers referred to various facets, ranging from the appeal of neighbourhoods with a high number of artists as residents to the growing share of the arts industry in urban employment. In the face of massive unemployment, local administrators in former industrial areas were sensitive to Landry’s call for a policy aimed at supporting the CCS. As any support policy implies insights in the existing situation and prospective development capacity, many national and regional extent and impact measurements were made. International bodies such as the Leadership Group on Culture, Eurostat [Eurostat, 2011], OECD [OECD, 2011] and the World Intellectual Property Organisation [WIPO, 2003] developed frameworks serving as conceptual lay-outs for internationally applicable measurement models. In line with this, the European Commission announced a comprehensive study of the European CCS in 2006 [KEA, 2006; 2009]. This need is also being felt in the Brussels Capital Region with its institutional, linguistic and socio-economic complexities.

2. Analysis of the existing studies of the CCS in the Brussels‑Capital Region

12The importance that policymakers attach to the activity and productivity deployment of the CCS has led to the availability of a number of studies of the extent and impact of the industry. One element immediately arrests the attention in the corpus of existing studies: the Brussels region is rarely taken as the main focus and is therefore often only partially examined. Depending on the client and the inspection body responsible for the analysis, the existing studies are characterised by a regional focus on Flanders and Wallonia, including respectively the Dutch or French CCS from the Brussels region in their analysis. This explains the focus of Flanders DC [Guiette, 2011] and Vlerick Management School [De Voldere, 2007] on the cultural and creative activities of enterprises indicating Dutch as their official language (Table 1).

Table 1. Overview of CCS studies in the Brussels‑Capital Region

Table 1. Overview of CCS studies in the Brussels‑Capital Region

13Only the study of the Walloon Region (Permanent Conference on Territorial Development - CPDT) [Surlemont and Aouni, 2012] provides a regional breakdown, using however highly aggregated data. Although this approach is understandable, given the institutional framework, the lack of proper definition of the area and absence of regional data collection severely restricts the opportunities of constructing a comprehensive, quantified image of the Brussels CCS. The main actors in the field, such as the Brussels Kunstenoverleg / Réseau des Arts à Bruxelles and UNIZO, have denounced the untenability of this data analysis. They have made suggestions for a more streamlined policy on the various institutional levels and for a comprehensive, uniform collection of data on the size of and employment in the Brussels CCS [Kampelmann, 2012; De Voldere, 2011; BKO & RAB, 2009].

14The fragmentation of institutional policies is not the only element complicating an exhaustive quantitative understanding of the Brussels CCS. With the growing policy interest in cultural organisations and creative enterprises, various sub-segments of the CCS also paid more attention to data collection. Bodies such as the Kunstenloket vzw, an organisation responsible for the training, support and employment of workers in the art industry [Loose, 2006], the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF) [Idea Consult and Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, 2010] and Arthena, the advocate and manager of the intellectual property of affiliate members in Belgium [PIM, 2009] started commissioning extent and impact studies of cultural and creative (sub)sectors. The general conclusion of these separate analyses confirms the administrative conviction. The collected and calculated figures show the manifest importance of the industry’s activity in terms of turnover, added value and employment. In this way, the value creation of the studied CCS has gained a quantified visibility – although, given the limited research focus of these sub-sector based studies, this visibility only applies to a fraction of the entire activity. Moreover the calculations of employment in the (partial) sectors of the Brussels CCS are extremely contradictory. The significant differences in order of magnitude of the calculations is largely attributable to different methods in terms of definition and comprehensiveness. Studies vary widely in the inclusion of industries as part of the CCS. Moreover, individual input is often only partially mapped. Thus the data sources containing information on self-employment, temporary work and other forms of part-time contract work – common employment contracts in the CCS – are incomplete and uncoordinated. As a consequence, researchers lack sufficiently reliable and exhaustive data in order to elaborate an overall picture of the size and activity of the CCS in the Brussels Region.

15The sector focus of the available research on the Brussels CCS is also a result of the vast diversity that characterises the various industries. Accordingly the size, turnover, employment and other economic aspects of for instance the audiovisual, publishing and fashion industries vary strongly. Indeed, even in the manufactured product type, the organisation, the division of labour and the scope there is a great diversity among the various industries designated under the umbrella term “cultural and creative sectors”. From a statistical point of view this inter-industrial variety poses a number of fundamental problems for the researcher [Flew, 2002; Guiette, 2011]. The existing value chain analyses clearly illustrate this research issue and show the great diversity between industries in their cycle from concept to consumer, and the role that different actors play in it. The extent to which the activities of the whole or part of the value chain are taken into consideration determines to a large extent the impact attributed to the CCS. In the British research tradition, these conceptual and analytical problems are a frequent recurring complaint.

16The determination of an appropriate sector definition is inextricable bound up with the classification system used to record and describe economic activity [Flew, 2002]. The classification of economic activity is based on a series of internationally recognised rules which enhance the compatibility of the collected data and enable regional and (inter)national comparisons. Concerning the CCS, the existing nomenclatures, used both on a national and on an international scale and imposed in the context of the preparation of national and regional accounts, causes a problem. Criticisms similar to the one that Terry Flew formulated towards the British Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), surface in existing studies of the CCS in Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels Capital Region. The organisational structure of the nomenclatures is in fact modelled on the economic activity of an industrial society [Flew, 2002]. The increasing importance of services and service activities in recent years, often through digital means and in new working relationships, has little or no place in these classification systems - such as the SIC, NACE and NACE-Bel. Because statistical data collection is based on such classification systems, real activities are accommodated to a planning system that in several aspects does not match the characteristic activities of the CCS. Several studies underscore the profound effect of this process, namely the distortion of the recorded data and calculations in relation to the true situation [Guiette, 2011; De Voldere, 2011].

17The clouded link between an industry defined by classification and the reality of its activities, led Flanders DC to calculate not only top-down collected variables, based on the NACE-Bel classification, but also bottom-up variables, based on proprietary figures. In this regard, the report Creatieve metropool Brussels calls for an organisational uniformity in data processing [Amez, Dobbels and Ysebaert, 2013]. According to the authors, this can be better ensured by elaborating a satellite account. A satellite account is a statistical framework providing a registration and analysis system which can be used for a detailed description and calculation of turnover, added value and employment (together with other values) for a single type of economic activity [OECD, 2008]. This type of account links micro and macro information and contributes to the consistency of concepts and methodologies, partially resolving the aforementioned problem with the description of the economic activities of the CCS. The satellite account follows the top-down attribution of codes for economic activity imposed by classification systems such as NACE, but also allows sufficient room for detailed descriptions and data. This enables a quantitative representation of both the characteristic uniqueness of the CCS compared to other economic sectors, and its great diversity. At the same time various economic dimensions, consumption side, production side, employment and investment are included in the analysis.

18In addition to the lay-out for a methodological framework for the monitoring and impact calculation of the Brussels CCS, the report Creatieve metropool Brussels examines a second aspect. The administrative attention to the CCS starts from the view that these industries act as drivers for regional economic activity and employment. In present thinking, the regional CCS also play a pioneering role in the area of product improvement and innovation. However, existing measurement tools and impact analyses of the CCS are limited by their focus on economic outcomes (output factors). This means that essential elements such as the presence of favourable conditions for innovation and the role of knowledge institutions in the creation of knowledge and the training of knowledge workers are being ignored. Recent international policy documents devote considerable attention to the role of knowledge institutions in the development of innovative thought, product innovation and improvement [European University Association, 2007; Ferrari, 2009]. Criticisms of existing international monitoring tools reflect this prominent focus on knowledge producing and training bodies [Villalba, 2013; Hollanders, 2013; Kimpeler, 2013]. The reconstruction of an exhaustive quantitative picture including input, output and environmental factors, assumes the integration of indicators on the size and the proportion of intellectual and human capital produced by knowledge institutions in the Brussels Region. The next section will discuss which indicators a measurement tool for the CCS of the Brussels-Capital Region should contain.

3. Design of a scoreboard of CCS in the Brussels‑Capital Region

19The above sketch shows that the existing measuring instruments and their results do not provide the policymakers of the Brussels Region with a comprehensive view and thus offer few administrative insights. In the Belgian system, employment and urban renewal, in which the CCS are seen as a driving force, are regional policy competences. Because regional policymakers consider CCS to be a job creating and innovation stimulating sector, the need for a scoreboard identifying the size and activities of the Brussels CCS is obviously strong. Using these indicators, the scope of a single economic industry or sub-industry can be quantified and compared with other industries or parts thereof. Traditionally, impact measurements calculate the added value and turnover of the CCS and compare them to the Gross Regional Product (GRP). Although their valuation is influenced by various methodological choices, these remain the primary variables. They are decisive in most international frameworks and ensure, albeit imperfectly, a degree of interregional or international comparability. Additionally, figures describing the productivity of the so-called copyright industries can be the touchstone in statistical calculations of the economic contributions of the CCS. The number of books published, the number of films produced and the number of music recordings created by the Brussels CCS, are a valuable addition to the figures for added value and turnover. They enable administrators to grasp the commercial productivity of vital Brussels creative industries. At the same time these figures map evolutions, allowing policy interventions that address the needs and requirements of these industries.

20The more economically inspired international frameworks focus on a valuation of the actual situation. Until now there has been little attention for the facilitating factors, the so-called enablers. The input factors considered to be the functional strengths of the CCS are human capital, knowledge capital and the financial support base. The attention to existing human capital is somewhat specific to the CCS-thinking and is mainly expressed in the vision of Richard Florida, in which the ability to draw from existing creative talent is seen as an essential determining factor for a flourishing creative economic activity. This is reflected in particular in the integration of variables such as the number of arts graduates (KEA creativity index). Less attention has been devoted to the knowledge capital, whereas economic theories do consider this to be an important input factor. Moreover, the relationship between knowledge and creativity is seen as an obvious link, but lacks empirical evidence. The relationship between these two dimensions is therefore not evident, as it results from complex cooperation structures between for instance knowledge institutions and industry. These translate in turn into various forms of knowledge transfers, which in the Brussels scoreboard are measured by the number of spin-offs or the number of inventions resulting in intellectual property rights. Finally, the presence of financial capital is an often overlooked third enabler. Adequate access to (starting) capital is a prerequisite for industry development [De Voldere, 2013]. This may involve access to private capital, sponsorship and government support. Especially industries at the core of the CCS – visual arts, performing arts and cultural heritage – are characterised historically by a larger public contribution, or rely on a level of sponsorship. The extent to which both of these are available, can be regarded as decisive for the further development of the CCS. Because of the complex Belgian power structure, this variable is difficult to comprehend, but it can be logically integrated as a component or the regional account of satellite account.

21The traditionally scarce attention for the enablers of the CCS is even more lacking for the impact of the development and growth of these industries on external industries. Not only does the demand for intermediate products (backward linkages) increase, but creative products can also provide input for the production process (forward linkages). This knowledge transmission can take the form of process innovation in Research & Development, design or artistic ideas. Very often the traditional innovation concepts do not sufficiently illustrate how the CCS favour external industries. In this context, studies often use the term hidden innovation to indicate that the transmission adopts a less formal character [Miles & Green, 2008], or soft innovation [NESTA, 2009] when the transfer is of a more aesthetic or conceptual character. Because of their intangible nature, these relationships are often difficult to identify. The volume of products protected by intellectual property rights can be a first criterion. Besides knowledge and product spillovers the UNCTAD Creative Economy Report mentions training spillovers and network spillovers. Geographic proximity has a positive impact on business to business relationships, which also applies to the transfer of trained creative personnel between industries. These environmental factors are also recognised in the scoreboard, albeit not in terms of geographical density but as a measurement of the existing cultural infrastructure.

22The proposed scoreboard attempts to comprehend these dimensions as fully as possible by examining the economic input-output relationship in a regional context of Brussels. The degree of cross-pollination between different actors, especially between knowledge institutions and the CCS, is specifically illustrated in terms of valorisation trajectories or contractual research collaborations. Knowledge economy and creative development are linked and indicators which could support a regional innovation policy are suggested. The scoreboard emphasises creative and knowledge goods in their dual function as both input factors and sources of inspiration for innovation. The classic variables, such as the industry’s added value, remain the cornerstone of the CCS monitor, but are flanked by other components, such as the total consumption and government spending, which in the context of a satellite account can be supplied in a periodic, institutionalised manner as building blocks for a policy supporting monitor for Brussels.


23In recent decades, administrative attention to the CCS as drivers of regional economic development has increased enormously. In consequence, supervisory agencies and policy bodies have developed monitoring and measuring tools for these industries, both on an (inter)national and a regional scale. In the Brussels-Capital Region also, policymakers stress the crucial role of the CCS in their latest coalition agreement. A durable policy requires a profound insight in the existing situation. In view of the complex institutional distribution of competences, the development of a monitoring tool for the Brussels CCS merits special attention.

24Based on an analysis of existing studies, a scoreboard was developed with special attention to the particular characteristics of the Brussels Region. This scoreboard integrates economically oriented indicators from international mapping studies but broadens the measurement spectrum with a number of indicators from creativity barometers. Output indicators gauging the extent and impact of Brussels CCS form a first main dimension of the scoreboard. Additionally, environmental indicators illustrate the appeal of Brussels as a creativity-enhancing region. Finally, the scoreboard integrates input factors of the regional availability of creative knowledge capital and intellectual capital. This links to the recent holistic trend in innovation and creativity research, which proposes creative and problem solving thinking as a precondition for innovation, emphasizing the importance of environmental factors. The scoreboard was designed with its concrete usability for the calculation of (the impact of) the Brussels CCS in mind. It therefore proposes to use the measurement framework of the satellite account. Although the suggested indicators cannot be currently calculated and not all statistical data and information are currently available, the scoreboard can be employed in the short term as a concrete monitoring and measuring tool by both policy makers and researchers.

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1 In the English language “cultural and creative industries” is still the prevalent term.

2 See e.g. Peck, 2005 and Debroux, 2009.

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Titre Table 1. Overview of CCS studies in the Brussels‑Capital Region
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Birgitte Martens, Jelena Dobbels, Lucy Amez et Walter Ysebaert, « Culture and Creativity in the Picture: design for a measurement tool for the Brussels metropolis »Brussels Studies [En ligne], Collection générale, n° 79, mis en ligne le 08 septembre 2014, consulté le 27 octobre 2020. URL :; DOI:

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Birgitte Martens

Dr. Birgitte Martens has been appointed senior researcher for the ECOOM-project “Onderzoek in de kunsten”(Research in the Arts).

Jelena Dobbels

Jelena Dobbels’ study topics include the non-academic valorization of research. In October 2014, she will start preparing a PhD on 19th and early 20th century Brussels building culture at the Department of Architectural Engineering of the VUB.

Lucy Amez

Lucy Amez is policy officer and analyst. She focuses on academic publication policy and bibliometrics. Formerly, she worked as a researcher specializing in the economy of the cultural, creative and tourism industries.

Walter Ysebaert

Prof. dr. Walter Ysebaert coordinates the ongoing research projects and is also attached to the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of the VUB.

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