Ina Kessler has been appointed manager of the Germany's Initiative Musik export office, with effect from Feb. 15, 2008.

Kessler joins from "Berlin Partner", where for the past seven years she has held the position of senior international consultant in charge of the music and creative industry.

Initiative Musik is the brainchild of the German government and collecting societies GEMA and GVL. It is a not-for-profit public-private partnership with three principal objectives: promoting new artists, integrating foreign artists in Germany, and exporting German rock, pop music and jazz.

The German federal government provides total funds of €1 million ($1.43 million) a year to the project, while GEMA and GVL contribute a further €300,000 ($431,000).

"Together with the supervisory board and the shareholders, (Kessler) will make Initiative Musik the efficient support organization expected by creative people, politicians and businesses," comments Dieter Gorny, chairman of the supervisory board of the project and chairman of the management board of the Federal Music Industry Association (BPW).

The next task facing the supervisory board is to define the project's guidelines and determine the details of the support it will provide, meetings on which will be held at the beginning of 2008.

There are plans for closer collaboration with public radio broadcaster Deutsche Welle, and with the Goethe Institute, a non-profit language and culture bureau which has offices in over 100 countries. It is hoped such a tie-up could pave the way for German bands to tour foreign markets.

Says state minister for culture Bernd Neumann: "Together with the music industry, we want to develop an effective funding model for pop music. We all have an interest in ensuring that the music industry recovers from its current difficulties and, in this respect, Initiative Musik points the way ahead."