Creative United is proud to announce that Dr Victoria Barker has been awarded the 2019 EGRG PhD Thesis Prize

Supported by Creative United and the Centre for Business in Society at Coventry University, Victoria Barker’s thesis focused on recent cultural policy debates around the concept of  ‘creative ecosystem’.

Whilst ‘ecosystem’ is popular both as a metaphor and emerging framework for regional growth and innovation, to date it has not been used as a reliable tool to map any industry sector.

Through her studies, Dr Barker developed an original theoretical and investigative framework to explore the ecosystem of the UK creative industries. The research asked whether such an approach can improve both our understanding of the sector and the support for businesses within it.

Mary-Alice Stack, Chief Executive of Creative United, said “The approach Victoria has taken to mapping the creative ecosystem will be of particular interest and relevance to developing infrastructure and policies that support ‘culture’, and the civic role of arts within that context. We’re supporting the publication of the key concepts, issues and findings of Victoria’s research as a means of ensuring that this work is shared and understood as widely as possible.”

The investigation made a significant and detailed contribution to understanding the breadth and relational nature of ecosystem approaches, the creative ecosystem as a construct, and the value this holds for policy to support creative micro-enterprises.

The thesis was awarded by Coventry University in December 2018, and supervised by Professor Nick Henry and Dr David Jarvis.

The EGRG is o​ne of the largest and most active research groups of the Royal Geographical Society. 

The remit of the EGRG is to foster research in economic geography in the UK and beyond by organising meetings, seminars, developing networks among economic geographers and other social scientists, and promoting the publication of research.

The EGRG are now in the twelfth year of awarding annual prizes to recognise postgraduate research excellence in the broad field of Economic Geography.  The 2019 PhD prize is sponsored by Sage.

Victoria Barker said, “I am delighted to receive this prize for my thesis, and am looking forward to attending the RGS Annual International Conference in August to thank the EGRG committee. Excellent supervision from CBiS and the support of Creative United have made my thesis a valuable piece of research, which is already leading to collaborative work with local policymakers in my current post-doctoral role.”

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