As an institute active at the European level, ecce not only promotes structure formation and information exchange between the Ruhr region and European partners, but also cultivates and strengthens international networks and promotes the visibility of the Ruhr as a creative location in Europe.

ecce represents the regional interests of the cultural and creative industries in Brussels, advises regional organisations on how to obtain support from Europe, promotes dialogue between regional creative companies and European markets and, by means of a variety of exchange projects and collaborations, supports international co-operation and the exchange of experiences between creative actors.

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Co-Create #FutureFER! Together we strive to develop a concept for the next creative conference with european focus in the Ruhr. Participate via Twitter,Instagram or in our Facebook group.

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9. European Creative Industries Summit

IMPACT!ECBN and Kaapeli present the 9. European Creative Industries Summit (ECIS) in Helsinki on 10 and 11 September 2019. 

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EU funding
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Funding opportunities for artists and creatives in the Ruhr region

ecce regularly informs and advises on EU funding programs in workshops.

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© C-Change
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Gelsenkirchen is acting as a representative of the Ruhr area in the C-Change European network with the objective of raising awareness of climate change and ensuring that sustainability strategies are given greater priority in cities and regions. In order to transfer the impulses from the European to...
© Plovdiv 2019
© Plovdiv 2019
Plovdiv is the first Bulgarian city elected as European Capital of Culture and shares the title under the motto #together with Matera in Italy. Since 1985, the title of European Capital of Culture has been awarded, recognizing European cities that make a special contribution to the diversity and...
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Forum Europe Ruhr

Forum Europe Ruhr is a European platform which brings together actors and organisations from culture, the creative industries, politics, science and industry in the Ruhr region. The aim is to initiate dialogues and collaborations on important topics and trends for cultural and creative industries.

With the objective of better harmonising the Forum Europe Ruhr considering European and regional needs, a redesign is on the cards for 2019. Using the motto, #FutureFER, the next edition will be co-created together with the target groups.

Future of the Forum Europe Ruhr


After the Forum’s six successful years, during which more than 1400 participants from 24 countries met in Essen, the next edition of the Forum Europe Ruhr will now be further developed, together with the target groups.

The aim is to create a new event format which will enable a practical exchange between artists, creatives, economy and politics and an even more intensive exchange between the participants themselves. Workshops are taking place in 2019 in which, in dialogue with the target groups, needs, added value and the formats of a future forum are being identified and joint stimuli decided for a #FutureFER.

#FutureFER – Workshops on the development of a European conference in the Ruhr area


In May and June, artists, actors from the cultural and creative industries, as well as representatives of municipal administrations from the Ruhr region and Europe, met in Dortmund in order to support ecce in the design of a future European forum in the Ruhr area. The workshops dealt with the follwing questions:  

  • What added values should a new forum offer to artists and creatives from the Ruhr region and Europe, and what formats can be used to meet these needs?
  • How does the Ruhr region want to present itself to it's European guests? Which of the current highlights in the cultural and creative scene in the Ruhr and Europe should be particularly emphasised?

  • What format should the future forum have to enable it to meet the needs and wishes of the different target groups?


These and other questions have been intensively discussed with local and European guests in small groups - initial needs and formats, as well as the new and previous target groups for a future Forum Europe Ruhr have been identified. As next step ecce will evaluate the workshops and develop a concept for the next edition of the Forum Europe Ruhr, together with the State of North Rhine-Westphalian‘s Ministry for Culture & Science.

Know-How Transfer

In order to strengthen the Ruhr region as a creative hot spot by means of international and European collaboration projects, ecce advises and supports cities, institutions and applicants from the cultural and creative industries in applying for European funding programmes. 

In regular workshops, ecce informs and advises actors in the creative industries on EU funding programmes and opportunities with the aim of making European funding programmes for artists and creatives more accessible and initiating new European partnerships. In addition to formal information on the application process and the overview of existing European funding formats, these workshops usually also present best practices which have already been funded and that provide practical tips on how to apply.


The following EU funding workshops recently took place:






ecce supported the following cities applying in EU programmes:






ecce currently offers consulting services in the following EU projects:

  • C-Change – Arts & Culture Leading Climate Action in Cities – URBACT European exchange and learning programme promoting sustainable urban development
  • CulTour is Capital, COSME programme of the European Commission

Strengthen Networks and Drive Discussion

ecce is an active member in European networks, some of which have been initiated and established by ecce itself.  
These include the Network for Innovation in Culture and Creativity in Europe (NICE), founded in 2013 by ecce, which annually awards the NICE Award to innovative projects from the cultural and creative industries. Moreover, ecce has been organising conferences and debates in Brussels, as part of the European Creative Business Network, since 2010 – initially the European Cultural Creative Industries Summit, and the ECBN Policy Forum which has been operating under the name of the European Creative Industries Summit since 2015 and takes place annually in different European cities. The ECIS 2019 is taking place on 10. & 11. September in Helsinki. Since 2015, ecce has also been a member of the European Network on Cultural Management and Policy (ENCATC).

International Exchange & Collaboration

In order to strengthen the Ruhr area as a location for international collaboration and to promote artistic exchange in practice, ecce supports various exchange projects and collaborations.