Call for proposals 2020 - Preparatory Action - Art and the digital: Unleashing creativity for European industry, regions and society Connect/i.4/2020/4611098 Closed!


The objectives of the present call for proposals are two-fold:

(a) Networking and Policy framing:

  • Nurturing a network of pertinent actors in cities and regions (local authorities, foundations, businesses, art organisations, technical institutions, investors, etc.) willing to promote initiatives for art and technology collaboration as a driver of urban and regional development. Engage a dialogue between public and private actors how to setup, fund, manage, and use existing and emerging local art and technology centres.
  • Lay out a policy framework in order to support emerging and expanding regional STARTS centres. Establish synergies and draw up recommendations on links to regional funding schemes or foundations willing to support such centres and to EU funding schemes like Horizon Europe including the newly created digital innovation hubs.

(b) Funding artistic experiments and other seed activities

  • Funding of STARTS residencies with the aim to promote among others artistic experiments. This will be done via third-party funding given to artists willing to work with local economic, technology and institutional players. Some of the partners should create or offer existing local infrastructures (buildings, institutions etc.) or be willing to fund and facilitate such artistic experiments.
  • Raise funds and attract sponsors to create exhibitions and installations that showcase innovation rooted in art-technology collaboration, in particular results of the promoted artistic experiments.
  • Organise other seed activities that promote the goals of this call at the nexus of digital, art and regional development


Eligible activities must clearly involve artistic expression and use of digital technologies with a goal to promote local regional development and uptake of digital via artistic experiments. Proposals can include the following activities:

Networking/Community building:

  • Mentoring activities (e.g. teaming up with investors, discussing possible support with local foundations).
  • Activities (workshops, talks, exhibitions...) that further collaborations of actors at the nexus of art-digital-regional development.
  • Networking events of stakeholders in cities/regions already at the forefront of this movement and those starting activities in this area (local authorities and business, foundations etc.). Digital players should whenever possible be included.
  • A website (in collaboration with and hosted by open to artists and interested companies that can serve as a gathering point.
  • Events co-funded with non-consortium partners that help enlarge the community to not yet included regions and industry sectors

Artistic experiments and exhibitions:

  • Residencies of artists in companies/institutions from the digital and/or other sectors targeting uptake of the digital to work jointly on artistic experiments.
  • Experiments on uptake of the digital by local businesses inspired by artistic expression and enabled by digital technologies (mainly don via artistic residencies).
  • Art works/installations that inspire policy makers, local business and citizens to engage towards a more humane and empathic use of the digital.
  • Art exhibitions presenting works that contribute to the idea of art-driven technology innovation promoted by STARTS.
  • Educational workshops: Team up technology and the arts to make the digital more accessible to citizens in particular the young generation (digital skills and critical thinking) in the spirit of ‘STARTS academies’.

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the call for proposals is:

  • 1,80 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 30 October 2020 - 11 months ago (Deadline for the presentation of proposals)

Further information about the call

Official webpage of the call

Useful documents

  • Call for Proposals (Legal base)

Organisations eligible to participate

Opened to the following bodies or institutes with legal status established in the covered areas:

  • Any legal organisation

Covered areas

Bodies or institutes must have their registered legal seat in one of the countries taking part in the Programme which are:

  • European Union (EU)

Directorate-Generale responsible


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