ESR10: Creative hubs as drivers of change in peripheral business ecosystems; a comparison between Germany and Austria

Host: Saxon Association of Cultural & Creative Industries, Dresden, Germany, Supervisor: Christian Rost (SACCI)

1 PhD position, full-time

Duration: September 2021 – August 2024

Cultural and creative industries are a driver for growth and innovation for European economies. While the sector is still mostly discussed as an urban phenomenon, attention has shifted more recently to CCI as a driver for structural change also in rural regions. In Saxony, for example, almost every second CCI firm is located beyond the three major cities in the region. This ESR- project will concentrate on the role of creative hubs in developing and maintaining creative business ecosystems in German and Austrian areas facing structural change, by using qualitative methods. Moreover, the focus will be on the role of multiscalar networks and the ways networks are augmented in creative hubs, in organizational and practical terms.

The fellow will be integrated in the PhD programme of the Graduate School Global and Area Studies of Leipzig University.

Secondments are foreseen at the University of Vienna and Otelo, Austria, and at the Leibniz-Institute for Regional Geography in Leipzig, Germany


  • Development of theoretical and conceptual framework of the study
  • Design of case studies approach and data collection
  • Comparative (meta) analyses of case studies
  • Knowledge synthesis, development of conceptual models, discussion and policy relevance
  • Contribution to practical exchange between projects in rural areas of Saxony and within the overall promoting creative industries ecosystem


  • Masters’ degree in business studies, geography or another discipline corresponding to the topic of the project
  • good knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • fluent in English and advanced knowledge of German
  • good knowledge of IT-based communication tools
  • readiness to participate in secondments, conferences and workshops
  • excellent communication skills
  • strong interest in interdisciplinary collaboration and in working in a cooperative and flexible team environment

The fellow should contribute to the outreach of the project, especially by:

  • Elaborating a PhD thesis
  • Active participation in progressing the ITN’s publications (WP monographs, journal articles)
  • Active participation in scientific conferences, policy workshops etc. at national and EU level
  • Participation in media communication, in the development of a web-based glossary, in creating video clips and podcasts and in disseminating project information at the EU level using the European Commissions’ communication tools 

For further information you may contact:

Cristian Rost,

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 955907.