Colin Mercer: Towards Creative Iceland

Colin Mercer has been Director for the project ‘Towards Creative Iceland: Building local, going global,’ Iceland’s first national creative industries mapping project, which is now nearing completion.

Mercer’s results, while still unofficial (research is ongoing), indicate very positive growth in all the creative and cultural sectors in Iceland over the last decade. After outlining the project’s aims and methods, he showed – among other things – that Iceland has the highest percentage of employees in the CCI in the EU/EEA in relation to the total labour force, with a government turnover in the sector a massive 23.6 billion Icelandic Kronur (unofficial figures) – bigger than the agricultural sector.

Breaking down the findings so far, Mercer showed how the largest or more productive of the sector Creative Industries are the audio-visual (software, gaming, TV radio) at 35%, then the Performance sector (23%, among the highest in Europe), Visual Arts and Design (13.5%) and Books (9.2%). He showed that the rise in all these sectors has been significant in the last few years and , despite the inevitable dip in 2008/2009, are already starting to show an upturn again.