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Creative industries

By definition, creative industries is an economic sector that is based on individual and collective creativity, skills and talent, and is capable of creating welfare and jobs through the generation and use of intellectual property. 

Creative industries as a term emerged in the 1980s, but spread to Estonia and other European countries even later. In 2005, the first creative industries study was carried out in Estonia, in which the researchers also attempted to phrase the definition and determine the fields of creative industries. 
At a state level, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications are responsible for the development of creative industries. Thanks to the close cooperation between the two ministries, creative industries was added to the agenda of the European Union Structural Funds Strategy for 2007-2013.



  • The total production of creative industries forms nearly 3 per cent of Estonian GDP.
  • About 5,000 institutions and companies operate in the creative industries sector.
  • Over 28,000 people are employed by these institutions and companies.

Creative industry areas in Estonia


In Estonia, creative industries include ten areas.

Area Sub-area
Architecture architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, planning (related field of activity)
Audiovisual field film and video, broadcasting
Design design services
Performing arts theatre, dance, festivals
Information technology  entertainment IT
Publishing publishing, printing (related field of activity)
Cultural heritage
handicraft, museums, libraries
Arts visual arts, applied arts
music businesses and organisations
Advertising advertising, media intermediation

Creative industries and the European Union

Creative industries have been one of the priorities of the European Union in recent years. The importance of developing creative industries has been covered both in a Green Paper issued by the European Commission in 2009 and in a notice issued in 2012 on promoting cultural and creative sectors for growth and jobs in the EU.
In 2014-2020, a total of 20 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund plus own financing of project organisers will be invested into the development of the Estonian creative industries sector. 


Cultural industries

Cultural industries is a branch of the economy, which produces and distributes goods and services that are believed to have special properties, uses or purposes at the time of their development, which include or carry cultural value despite their commercial value. This includes theatre performances, the visual arts, cultural heritage, cinema, DVDs and videos, television and radio, video games, new media, music, books and printed materials.

Creative industries

Creative industries, as opposed to cultural industries, also include other areas of the economy, which use culture as an input and have a cultural dimension, but the output of which is mainly functional (i.e., architecture, design, fashion, advertising). In Estonia the term “creative industries” is used to denote the same meaning as the European Union term “cultural and creative industries”.


Last updated: 12 August 2015