MCB and emma bring experts together

Marlen Komorowski News and events

On May 10, leading experts were invited to present their research and insights on different media clusters from all over Europe and world-wide. This unique seminar was co-organized by Media Clusters Brussels and took place in Ghent. As part of this years’ conference of the European Media Management Association (emma), the seminar had the title “Creative Clusters, Media Hubs and everything in between. Putting theory to the test”. The seminar attracted more than 50 attendees to discuss and learn more about media cluster theory and practice.

The Presentations

Experts in the field including not only leading scholars but also practitioners presented divers media cluster cases including the European Creative Media Clusters project, De Krook in Ghent, Creative Hubs and Cluster policies from the Netherlands, the Mediapark.Brussels case, Mediapolis in Tampere, Mediacity Bergen and Filmcity Aarhus. You can download all presentation by clicking on the title:

Session 1: High ambitions, uncertain outcomes? Translating creative clusters in policies

Session 2: Creative clusters: outcome and effectiveness, lessons from case studies

About the Seminar

In the past decade, research has increasingly focused on the dynamics and specificities of media clusters, and the ways in which policymakers facilitate the concept. The field of media cluster research has also proven to be a diverse and interdisciplinary one, with contributions from media scholars, economic geography, and urban studies. Policymakers on national, regional and local levels have increasingly explored the potential of the agglomeration of media activities. While much is already known on the conceptualization of such clusters, much more challenging for research is to assess the effectiveness of media clusters, and to grasp how geographic proximity also leads to effective collaboration or better value of services and content.

The research seminar specifically set out to hold theory against practice. The goal was to transcend the hype of media clusters, by looking at what comes out of them.

The invited Experts

Marlen Komorowski, Media Clusters Brussels Researcher, imec-SMIT, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Marlen Komorowski is researcher at Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) and works at imec – SMIT (Studies on Media, Innovation & Technology), where she has been involved in European and regional research projects. Her research currently focusses on the Media Clusters Brussels (MCB) project, a four-year collaborative and interdisciplinary research project of the three leading universities in Brussels, VUB, ULB and USL-B. Within the project, she is in charge of the project organization and leads the analysis of the local media industry while exploring the development of media clusters. She works in close collaboration with the local development agencies and media stakeholders in Brussels.

Her expertise lies in quantitative research methods as well as statistics and advanced research methodologies while focusing on media economics. Marlen’s work on media clusters has been presented on numerous conferences and in acknowledged international journals including “European Planning Studies” and the “International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics”.

Lizzie Jackson, London South Bank University
Professor Lizzie Jackson is Head of the Division of Creative Technologies in the School of Arts and Creative Industries at London South Bank University. She is responsible for the overall operation and development of the Games Design, Sound Design, Journalism, Web, and Visual Effects (VFX) BA/BSc Degrees. Lizzie is also a media and communications scholar researching into emerging forms of public service media. She is an advisor and policy-maker to the Council of Europe on public service media, digital culture, and the empowerment of citizens and an advisor to the UK Intellectual Property Office. Lizzie was co-author/Editor of Public Media Management for the Twenty-First Century with Dr Michal Glowacki, published by Routledge (2014).

Before becoming an academic Lizzie worked for BBC Radio and BBC New Media and Technology where she developed and managed the BBC’s online communities, first live streamed events, and Internet safety initiatives. As Managing Director of Soundbite Productions Limited 80% of her radio documentaries were critics’ choice of the day. She was named ‘One of the 100 innovators of the UK Internet Decade’ by NOP World in 2004 for her work encouraging the development of Online Communities in the UK, and Internet Safety.

Michal Glowacki, University of Warsaw
Dr. Michał Głowacki was the Programme Advisor to the Advisory Group on Public Service Media Governance at the Council of Europe in 2010. He has been involved in several large European research projects including ‘Media Accountability and Transparency in Europe’ and ‘Journalism in Change: Professional Journalistic Cultures in Russia, Poland and Sweden’. Michal has been awarded scholarships by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, the Swedish Institute, the Research Council of Norway and the Polish-American Fulbright Commission.

His research interests are media policy, public service media, accountability and innovation culture. Michal researches and teaches at the University of Warsaw.

Wim Dewaele, CEO Eggsplore & Former Director of iMinds
Wim just launched B-Hive (formerly Eggsplore). B-Hive is a collaborative innovation platform connecting the dots in digital finance which is supported by all major financial players in Belgium. Before B-Hive, Wim was Chief Executive Officer of iMinds for over 10 years. iMinds was awarded the second place in UBI Global’s ranking of ‘Top University Business Accelerators’ as Flanders leading market-driven digital research and incubation organisation. iMinds has now merged into imec, creating a unique digital research organisation in Belgium. Wim is member of the Connect Advisory Forum, the European advisory group to DG CONNECT of the European Commission. He is also on the board of several start-ups.

Wim lives in his town of birth, Ghent, where he obtained his master degrees in Economic Sciences and Computer Sciences at the University of Ghent in 1987, and to which he returned after having worked in Germany and the United States. He takes a keen interest in culture and media and as such he is involved in several non-profit initiatives.

Erik Hitters, Associate Professor, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erik Hitters is Associate Professor at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication of Erasmus University Rotterdam. He has founded and is managing director of ERMeCC, the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture. He lectures for the MA programme in Media Studies and IBCoM, the International Bachelor in Communication and Media. Erik’s research interests lie in the broad field of transformations in the media and cultural Industries. His research and publications deal firstly with the changing logics of institutional and field dynamics in the media and cultural industries, including the film, music and broadcasting industries. His second interest is in local, regional and national creative industries, clustering and creative cities.

He is project leader of the NWO funded Creative Industries Strategic Research Project “Cultures of Innovation in the Creative Industries”. Lately, his work on popular music has resulted in an NWO funded Smart Culture Strategic Research Project on live popular music. He also co-founded and is board member of the International Music Business Research Association (IMBRA).

Sari Virta, PhD candidate, University of Tampere and Jönköping International Business School
Sari Virta (MSc.) is an advanced PhD Candidate completing a double degree in communication studies and business administration respectively at the University of Tampere (UTA), Faculty of Communication Sciences, Finland, and Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), Media Management and Transformation Center (MMTC), Sweden. The international media management programme at UTA is unique and highly ranked in Finland. JIBS is among the elite double-accredited (EQUIS and AACSB) business schools worldwide, and MMTC is the world-leading research centre on media management, with a special research focus on digital innovations and business renewal.

Virta’s research interest concerns creative content development and innovation management in media companies and their collaborative value networks. Virta’s previous work experience in the industry is extensive, covering managerial positions, as well as consultation and development. Virta has presented her academic work at numerous conferences, and her publications appear in well-regarded outlets in the media management and general management fields including Journal of Management & Organization, Journalism Practice, Communication Research and Practice Journal, and a RIPE@2015 book published by NORDICOM. She regularly serves as a reviewer on media management, including for the Journal of Media Innovations.

Ole J. Mjøs, Professor at University of Bergen, and Academic Director of the University’s branch in Media City Bergen
Ole J. Mjøs is Professor in Media Studies at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, and Academic Director of the University’s branch in Media City Bergen, Norway. He specializes in the fields of international communication and global media.

Ole is co-author of The Media Welfare State: Nordic Media in the Digital Era (University of Michigan Press), and the sole author of the books Music, Social Media and Global Mobility (Routledge) and Media Globalization and the Discovery Channel Networks, also published by Routledge. He is currently working on his next book An Introduction to Global Media (under contract to Palgrave Macmillan). Ole’s work has appeared in journals such as Media, Culture and SocietyFirst Monday, Communication Research and Practice, and International Communication Gazette, and he has presented his work at many conferences internationally.

Anne Marit Waade, Professor, Aarhus University
Anne Marit Waade is Associate Professor in Media Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark. Her main research interests include mediated places, creative industry and promotional culture, e.g. how locations are used in TV series production, place branding, landscapes and cartographic aesthetics in travel series and travel journalism. More recently she has been focusing on the export of Danish TV drama, location studies, transnational television drama industry and media tourism. Most recently she has published Locating Nordic Noir (2017, with Kim Toft Hansen), Wallanderland (2013), ‘Local Colour in German and Danish Television Drama’ (2015, with Susanne Eichner) and ‘When Public Service Drama Travels’ (2016, with Pia Majbritt Jensen and Jakob Isak Nielsen).

Waade’s research has been funded by the Danish Research Council DFF, the British Research Council AHRC, Aarhus University Research Fund AUFF and The Danish Innovation Fund on projects such as Crime Fiction and Crime Journalism in Scandinavia, 2007-2011 (, What Makes Danish TV Drama Travel? 2014-2018 (, and, Rethink Coastal Tourism, 2016-2019 ( Waade is the director of the Research Programme Cultural Transformation at Aarhus University,