Incubation Capacity Building

(1) Analysis & assessment of the game business and game incubation capacities across the BSR and identify areas for improvement

A joined analysis regarding game business and game incubation serves as baseline for incubation improvement. The analysis covers a screening of studies/surveys on game development and incubation locally, nationally, EU wide and globally, the identification of relevant stakeholders and the illustration of good practice within and beyond the BSR. The screening of current incubation schemes focuses on game-related support, but also involve tech and/or media schemes.

(2) Develop a concept for tailor-made game incubation and conduct capacity building measures for incubator staff

The objective is to identify an appropriate concept for game incubators subject to different framework conditions. Developing a game incubator needs to take into account different parameters to define the conceptual approach. For this reason, we examine existing approaches to implementing and organizing incubators as a whole. Part of this includes study visits of stakeholders involved in incubation to existing incubators and understand what good practices can be applied for one’s own region.

(3) Pilot 1: Incubation programming and financing

First pilot investigates both the requirements of regional start-ups, using their networks for input, and the preparedness of the industry and the public authorities to support such an endeavour. A project work group with experts from Denmark, Lithuania and Poland elaborates relevant incubation programmes (of which mentoring is only a part and being more closely dealt with in pilot 2) addressing game-related needs as well as identifies durable approaches for financing game incubators and their programmes. A set of incubation test rounds on the programme with start-ups are planned to take place in Krakow, Grenaa and Kaunas.

(4) Pilot 2: Mentoring system for game business incubation

The second pilot is conducted by a work group with experts from Finland, Latvia and Sweden. They elaborate on an experimental mentor network for game incubation. The work group surveys existing mentoring systems – not only game-specific but also good practice from other creative industries and the digital sector, draws tasks for and related requirements to a game mentor and develops approach for identification and acquisition of mentors and installs initial mentor groups.

(5) Pilot 3: Foster BSR-wide cooperation of game business and game incubators

A project work group with experts from Estonia, Germany and Latvia draws up measures to strengthen the international dimension and to bring promotion of BSR into correlation with national & local interests. The work group develops ideas for international exchange and cooperation regarding both the incubation actors and the game companies and discusses this with the incubators & stakeholders. A key aspect is the elaboration on opportunities for common marketing to promote BSR games and on ideas for a joint branding.

(6) Integrate the results from the pilots into a model roadmap for game incubation and disseminate it across the BSR

Feedbacks both from the incubation staff and the start-ups who were in the pilots are reviewed. The project partners discuss all findings and solutions with wider stakeholder groups and feed it into panels, workshops or other events of game industry, start-up networks, business development departments or agencies and business promotion events beyond games. Finally, they jointly assemble the well-working solutions into a roadmap, promote the approaches and disseminate them to wider stakeholder groups outside the partnership.

(7) Integrate game incubation services into local/regional business support

Finally, the project works on establishing a durable incubation support for game business in the 8 individual cities/regions. At local level, the project partners elaborate on individual business plans for game incubation in their city/region and draft a work-plan for setting-up and running such a structure, closely adapted to the specific local conditions. Additionally, they discuss harmonisation and how cooperation may become part of business planning. The partners communicate the planning with relevant decision makers, opinion leaders and game business representatives and initiate the installation of incubator services related to games.