Boost synergies between artists, creative people and technologists
Innovation, today, is as much about novel solutions that technology and design can provide as it is about understanding needs of society and ensuring wide participation in the process of innovation. In this context, the Arts are gaining prominence as a catalyst of an efficient conversion of S&T knowledge into innovative products, services, and processes.
The challenge is to accelerate and widen the exchange of skills of artists and creative people with entrepreneurs and technologists, thus creating a common language and understanding. This topic supports the STARTS (S&T&ARTS) initiative, fostering innovation at the nexus of 'Science, Technology and the Arts'.
The activities are structured in two lines: establishing a structured dialogue between creative people and technology developers and encouraging artists' integration into research and innovation projects, providing visibility of good practices and rewarding them.
a. Innovation Action establishing a structured dialogue between creative people and technologists:
First, it will identify the relevant regional, national and international agencies active in education, research and economic support of the Creative Industries and:
- establish a Europe wide sustainable structured dialogue, ensuring the synchronisation of the efforts; as well as
- promote the replication of successful initiatives across other industries and European countries.
Second, it will directly support creative people and technologists to work together and produce unconventional and compelling new products. Taking advantage of existing structures such as fab labs, creative and innovation hubs, the action should at least combine the following activities:
- Launch a yearly Europe wide competition for the best creative product ideas and ensure the financial support of their realisation. The action should cover the promotion of the competition, the selection process and support for the development of the selected ideas into fully functional prototypes. The competitors should be teams of creative individuals and technologists providing novel ideas to be evaluated according to their originality, feasibility and economic or social value potential.
- Promote the newly selected ideas as well as the prototypes resulting from the selection of the previous year, through highly visible actions addressing both the general public and potential investors across Europe[[It is recommended to also use established networks reaching out to SMEs like the Enterprise Europe Network and the NCP network for calls publications and awareness raising towards SME's.]].
- Develop a sustainability strategy to ensure the persistence of the experiences gained and the coordination mechanisms set up during the action beyond the funding period.
The action may involve financial support to third parties in line with the conditions set out in Part K of the General Annexes. The consortium will define the process for selecting the prototype developments to which financial support will be granted (typically below the range of EUR 50.000 per experiment). At least 80% of the funding should be dedicated to the prototype developments.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
b. Coordination and Support Actions
Proposals will cover one of the two areas defined below:
1. Integration of artists in research and innovation projects is encouraged across all ICT objectives in WP2016/2017. To facilitate this integration and help build silo-breaking partnerships between industries, entrepreneurs, and researchers in ICT with the Arts, a Coordination and Support Action will provide a brokerage service that will:
- Fund short-term residencies/fellowships in running H2020 projects or in institutions and sponsor ‘matchmaking events’ (workshops, hackatons, etc.) that will allow artists and ICT experts to develop common work practices and address concrete problems.
- Set up an online platform to match partners from the ICT and the Arts, identify concrete R&D&I problems that artistic practices could help address.
- Organise an annual high visible STARTS event with international outreach bringing together H2020 projects, industrial players and artists and showcasing successful interactions between industry, technology and the Arts.
2. Implementation of a 'STARTS prize' that will showcase vision and innovation in technology rooted in links with the Arts by giving visibility to the most forward- looking collaborations and the impact on innovation that they have achieved. rewarding outstanding contributions to innovation resulting from collaborations of technology with the Arts. The support action will ensure publicising the prize, handling of submission in a scalable manner, the evaluation procedure for the prize in liaison with the EC services, the award ceremony together with an exhibition and a (travelling) exhibition of shortlisted works.
It is foreseen to hand out two annual prizes (20.000Euros each) covering different aspects of STARTS, one honouring artistic exploration where appropriation by the Arts has altered (the use, deployment, or perception of) technology and one that honours works linking ICT and the Arts (technological or artistic) that open new pathways for innovation and/or society.
To achieve visibility and impact the STARTS prize must be a long-term commitment, must reach out to both technology/industry and to the art world. It might therefore be best linked to an existing high profile prize allowing leveraging existing resources and credentials. This action allows for the provision of financial support to third parties in the form of prize in line with the conditions set out in Part K of the General Annexes.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 4 million for area 1 and of about EU 1 million for area 2 would allow each area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Proposals should target a duration of four years.
- Provide the European landscape with sustainable structured dialogues between creative people and technologists.
- Increase the transfer of knowledge between the ICT and the Creative Industries.
- Contribute to a change of culture, appreciating the societal and economic added value of creativity, promoting more innovation-oriented mind-set rooted in silo-breaking collaborations between technology and the Arts.