Culture, Arts and Tourism (CAT) are strategic and interconnected sectors in a complex ecosystem that do not exploit all the possible synergic effects. CAT are one of Europe’s greatest assets due to linkages to other sectors. According to Eurostat, cultural statistic in 2018, there were 8.7 million people across the EU-28 working in cultural related activities. These 8.7 million persons employed were equivalent to 3.8 % of the total number of persons employed within the whole of the EU-28 economy. Furthermore, tourism statistic always in 2018 points out that the tourism sector employs over 13 million people in the European Union contributing to 10% of EU GDP.
Indeed, CAT have impacts on the environment including the depletion of local natural resources and biodiversity as well as pollution and waste problems. These effects can gradually destroy the environmental resources on which tourism or cultural heritage depend. Thus it is important to study and adopt innovative models for fostering economic growth, job creation and sustainability of the CAT. The ability to analyze complex development issues that balance social, economic, and environmental development is a priority of European Union and UN Agenda 2030 and sustainable development goals (SDGs). Thus CAT are fully involved in achieving SDGs.
Thus it is important to have the vision on how to valorize the CAT sectors by creating a strong interconnection between didactic, research and business.
In this scenario the mission of the proposed alliance is to design frontier educational-research programmes for nurturing European talents and fostering a Disruptive and Sustainable Culture, Arts and Tourism (CAT) Exploitation, to stimulate employability, boost cooperation and improve social inclusion.
Seven medium-sized universities from regions across the European Union have joined efforts to designed a project proposal named CATIA, i.e. Culture, Arts, Tourism Innovations Alliance.
Alliance we aim to establish with this project is based on the Open Science concept. Open is not intended in the classic meaning of the term, (e.g. open software, MOOCs, etc.), rather in the sense of widespread and shared, in a more dynamic dimension, able to adapt and shape itself, overcoming physical boundaries in order to share objectives, educational paths and results more easily.
The long-term strategic goal is to create an integrated university education-research environment that involves developing professional profiles that can be immediately placed at European level within the CAT context. The European students of the future must be able to access this educational path, at any level, from any university location of the alliance, complete it without any restriction of mobility between the locations, acquire both regional and community skills, achieve a qualification recognized at European level, professionally usable throughout the community, thus becoming European professionals able to contribute to the growth of the European Union.