At 25th of November, Alessia Usai from Italy and Annika Hampel from Germany were announced as the winners of the 2015 ENCATC Research Award on Cultural Policy and Cultural Management. The ENCATC Award exists to stimulate academic research in the field of cultural policy and management to explore, through comparative and cross-cultural research, contemporary issues at stake and possibly anticipate new cultural policy orientations. Moreover, it contributes to the process of creating an "infrastructure", a network of scholars who are competent in doing comparative research projects in cultural policy and management issues. The ENCATC Award targets emerging researchers in the field of cultural policy and cultural management up to 35 years of age from Europe and the rest of the world.
The award winners were revealed at the ENCATC Research Award Ceremony organised at the Mexican Embassy in Brussels in the presence of the Award's international jury, leading academics and researchers, representatives of the European Commission, cultural professionals, and artists. The award was be bestowed upon two young PhD researchers for their outstanding research: Annika Hampel, from the University of Hildesheim in Germany, for her PhD thesis on “Fair Cooperation. Partnership based cooperation in Foreign Culture Policy”. Alessia Usai, from the University of Cagliari in Italy, for her PhD thesis on “The Creative City. Cultural policies and urban regeneration between conservation and development”.
The 2015 competition was the first time two PhD researchers were awarded ex aequo: “The work of Annika Hampel because she analysed the process, the involved stakeholders and the outputs of Cultural Relations between Germany and India. Her focus on the relation between developed and development countries from an equal perspective and on the basis of reciprocity is very original and relevant. Her conclusions and recommendations contribute very concretely to the improvement of foreign cultural policy in general. The one of Alessia Usai because she uses a different and innovative perspective: her research is related to cultural heritage, landscape and urban planning. She analyses the relationships between cultural heritage and urban planning in order to identify best practices for the development of innovative cultural policies and new urban regeneration tools. From this perspective, she developed an interesting holistic model that takes into account the local cultural ecosystem and that can be relevant for local cultural policy makers,” said Annick Schramme, ENCATC President, to the ceremony participants.
The Award was given by Catherine Magnant, Deputy Head of Unit Cultural Diversity and Innovation at the European Commission. Speaking of the Commission’s commitment to supporting excellence in cultural policy and cultural management research, Ms. Magnant said: “Now more than ever, the European Commission needs solid evidence and independent analysis to inform its thinking, and evaluate the impact of its policies. ENCATC’s Research Award supports young researchers who will help us do just that. It is a most valuable investment into the quality of our joint thinking on the role of culture in driving Europe forward.”
The winners were extremely honoured and appreciative of this prestigious recognition: “The ENCATC Research Award represents to me a great occasion to widely disseminate my PhD research outcomes at the global level. Moreover, it is an opportunity to prove their scientific value thanks to the rigorous selection process managed by the Award’ scientific committee and jury members. In this regard, I would thank all of them for their professional and careful work and for all their suggestions as I advance in future research. I am sure the award ceremony is only the first step towards my work with ENCATC and I look forward a long and solid research collaboration with the network,” said Alessia Usai. To confirm the importance of such an initiative to promote the career of young researchers, Annika Hampel said: “I would like to sincerely thank the award's jury for their decision and ENCATC for the beautiful award ceremony. I feel very honored and I am grateful for the ENCATC Research Award 2015. Without my Indian interview partners this research would not have been possible. Thus, I am very much looking forward to sending them and my international colleagues the English published version of my PhD thesis in the near future.”
“It is extremely important to listen and to anticipate the needs of the cultural sectors and thus to be able to analyse and understand them with solid research methods. This research will allow academics to update their curricula and to properly educate the future generation of cultural managers and operators. The ENCATC Award and the Book Series project are precisely answering to this important need in a very concrete way,” said ENCATC Secretary General, GiannaLia Cogliandro Beyens.
Alongside the 2015 ENCATC Award winners were two shortlisted finalists: Fiona Hutchison of the United Kingdom for her PhD thesis “Socio-cultural Impacts of Museums for their Local Communities: The Case of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter” and Ann Overbergh from Belgium for her PhD thesis “Extended cinema in Kenya and Tanzania. Technological innovation and Related Trends in Local Audiovisual Storytelling”.
The ENCATC Research Award on Cultural Policy and Cultural Management was launched in 2014 by the European network on cultural management and cultural policy education, ENCATC, to reward the best recently published PhD thesis presented by a young researcher. The award is granted to a recently published PhD thesis exploring issues at stake and taking a step from evaluative (descriptive) to comparative applied research. In addition, the ENCATC Award is rewarded to a PhD thesis that can inform policymaking and benefit practitioners active in the broad field of culture.
Granted each year, the Award consists of the translation of the winning PhD thesis into English or French and its publication in the Cultural Management and Cultural Policy Education Book Series, a new series of publications specialising in topics related to cultural management and cultural policy headed by ENCATC. The international dissemination of the ENCATC Book Series is ensured by Peter Lang, an international publishing group based in Switzerland and operating throughout the world.
More information on the ENCATC and the Research Award can be found on the ENCATC's website
An article about the 2014 ENCATC Research Award winning thesis can be found in AMN Newsletter April 2015, together with contributions from presentations of the ENCATC Annual Conference 2014.