creative industries fund nl
Open calls

Open calls

The Creative Industries Fund NL puts topical themes on the agenda by means of open calls that are prompted by its various programmes or by collaborations with other funding bodies. View the Open Call Grant Scheme here. The Fund is distributing new open calls via the newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter here.

Please note: the website is only partially translated. For a full version, please check the Dutch website.

more Open calls


Open Call Building Talent 2021 for experienced design agencies

The Fund is looking for experienced design agencies within the disciplines of architecture, design and digital culture that, with a contribution from the Fund, would like to enter into a collaborative programme this year for a period of approximately three months with a talented, starting maker or designer.

In this first round, which is open until 21 June 2021, design agencies can submit an initial research proposal. There is scope to support approximately 30 agencies. In August a repeat of the call is planned in which a further 70 cooperation processes are made possible. The application is relatively easy and quick to prepare.

Subsequently, in the second round in July, design talents can respond to the selected research proposals and a match will be made between agency and designer. The Fund then provides a subsidy to both the studio and the designer.

The objective of the call is to strengthen the connection of starting designers with the professional field during COVID-19 and to support the work field during this crisis by creating extra room for in-depth research and experimentation.

Open Call Building Talent 2021 for experienced design agencies
• Total budget available for round 1 and round 2 is € 375,000, which will allow for the selection of approximately 30 proposals.
• Amount available per collaborative programme: € 12,500 (€ 6,250 for the design agency and € 6,250 for the starting designer)
• Submit up to 21 June 2021
• Duration of collaborative programme 3 months (starting half September 2021)
• Available to experienced design agencies from across the creative industries

As a result of the coronavirus crisis, it is more difficult for design agencies to make time, space and resources available for self-initiated research and experimentation. In addition, it is difficult for many starting designers to find a connection with the professional field. By creating space for collaboration, the Fund wants to support starting designers and established agencies in this area. The purpose of the grant scheme is therefore twofold: firstly, the Fund aims to contribute to strengthening the knowledge, experience, network and entrepreneurship of starting designers. Secondly, the call offers an opportunity for experienced agencies to deploy extra design power for in-depth research and experimentation. There is a greater need for this, particularly now.

who is this open call for?
In this first round, the Fund is calling on design agencies from across the creative industry to submit a proposal. For instance, studios, architectural firms, collectives, game developers, fashion labels or other forms of professional design practices.

After completion of the first selection of design agencies in June, the second round will follow with a closing date of 24 August, for which starting designers and makers can apply, in response to one of the selected agencies and their specific research proposal.

what do we mean by a research proposal?
In this first round, the design agency submits a research proposal. This concerns a design task, research question or experiment formulated by the agency. Proposals can take as starting point a self-chosen theme, a fascination, a social task or an otherwise relevant subject, leaving a role open for the collaboration with a starting, talented designer or maker. The research proposals preferably have a social or societal character and are relevant for the creative industry. In addition to the task, the proposal also addresses the context, the profile of the organization, the expertise involved and the role of the intended starting designer. It is important that the research proposal describes clear frameworks and expectations with regard to the starting designer.

set-up collaborative programme
After selection of the starting designers and makers and matching them with the research proposal of an agency, an introductory meeting is held to concretize and establish the collaboration.

The Fund makes a subsidy of up to € 12,500 available per collaborative programme. Of this, € 6,250 is intended for the agency and € 6,250 for the starting designer.

During the collaborative programme, we expect a weekly commitment from both the designer and the agency, so that a research project can be started or experiments can be carried out in a constructive and substantive way. The collaborative programme is aimed developing the knowledge and portfolio of both the agency and the designer.

The collaboration involves a part-time working period of three months that has to be started between half September and December 2021. Concrete agreements will be made with the selected agencies before the start, including the assumption of a minimum commitment of one day per week for supervision by an experienced designer throughout the period. In addition, the agency is expected to provide a physical workplace during the course of the programme.

The additional conditions stipulated by the Fund are as follows:

• The design agency has had its own practice within the fields of design, architecture or digital culture for at least four years.
• A design agency cannot receive more than one grant for a single collaborative programme in this round.
• There is no question of an existing commissioning-client relationship between the parties involved.
• There must be at least one experienced designer involved in the supervision of the starting designer. This means that the supervisor involved has been professionally active in the field of design, architecture or digital culture for at least four years.

Design agencies can submit a proposal until 21 June at the latest. The proposal can be submitted via the Creative Industries Fund NL's online application environment. Select the round 'Building Talent #1'.

A proposal consists of:
1. A fully completed application form;
2. A fully completed project canvas (1 A3, see Building Talent project canvas + explanation);
3. A brief overview of the agency's recent projects (maximum 4 A4);
4. CV of the supervising experienced designer (maximum 2 A4);
5. A recent extract from the register of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce;
6. A representative image for communication purposes by the Fund, the image rights of which are held by the applicant.

If the reaction fails to satisfy the above, it will not be possible to assess the substance of the application.

N.B.: Create an account for the online application environment in good time. Activating a new applicant account can take one business day.

N.B.: When completing the project canvas, take privacy-sensitive data into account. Information from the project canvas will also be used to present the assignment and the design office to the starting designers who can register on that basis.

what are the assessment criteria?
For the assessment of submitted proposals, the Fund is advised by a committee of external experts with relevant expertise.

This committee assesses the proposals on the basis of the following three criteria, each of which will be given equal weight in the assessment:
1. the relevance of the chosen design task;
2. The extent to which the design task and the chosen approach are in line with the expertise/portfolio of the applicant; and
3. the way in which the collaboration with a talented maker/designer is proposed by the agency and the explanation of the expected added value of this collaborative programme.

The evaluation of this open call takes the form of a tender: this means that, within the available budget, a number of proposals are prioritized over other submissions. Only projects with a positive evaluation can be supported.

The positively assessed applications will be ranked on the basis of the average scores for the assessment criteria. The committee uses a five-point scale: 1. unsatisfactory; 2. moderate; 3. satisfactory; 4. good; 5. very good. If the total of applications with a positive advice exceeds the available budget for the round, priorities are set. The contribution advised by the committee is awarded to the most highly valued applications, provided the total does not exceed the subsidy ceiling. The applicant whose awarding of a grant would result in the grant ceiling being exceeded will be awarded the amount remaining up to the grant ceiling.

If, on the basis of the average final score, applications end up in a tie in the rankings and the subsidy ceiling is reached with these applications, the tied applications will be ranked according to the degree to which the social relevance of the chosen design task is most topical.

selection procedure
• confirmation and decision
You will receive confirmation of receipt by e-mail at the latest one week after the closing date. All applicants will be informed of the results of the open call within one month after the closing date. Rejected proposals receive a negative decision. The Fund will only communicate publicly about the selected proposals.

• follow-up procedure in the event of a positive decision
In the case of a positive decision, the selected proposals will be included in the open call for starting designers and makers in July 2021. They can subscribe to one of the selected assignments from the design agencies. After selection of the starting designers and makers and matching them to the research proposal of an agency, an introductory meeting is held to concretize and establish the collaboration.

• selection of starting designers & matching
In the event of a successful match, the grant will be awarded to the design agency and the designer/maker under the conditions of a collaboration agreement and a further-developed version of the design task. In this start-up phase, both parties work together to draw up these documents.

• start collaboration period
After a positive assessment of the starting documents by the Fund, the decision will be finalized and the collaborative programme can actually start. The collaborative programme must start within 1 month after matching.

The round #1 selection will be announced by 8 July 2021 at the latest, via the online application environment and on the Fund's website.

The processing and assessment of the proposals submitted is carried out within the framework of the Open Call Grant Scheme. Any subsidy is awarded on the basis of this grant scheme. The following articles in those regulations do not apply to this open call:

• Article 4, under f;
• Article 18, paragraph 2;

For questions about the open call and procedure, please contact Carlijn Limburg or Tibor Bijl at or via 010 436 1600.

Building Talent is part of the second support package for the cultural and creative sector. By means of this open call, the Fund aims to stimulate new forms of commissioning for the design sector and at the same time create new sustainable forms of collaboration to strengthen the position of designers both during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

additional resources for makers due to COVID-19
In June 2020, Minister van Engelshoven provided the Creative Industries Fund NL with additional resources to support makers in the design sector, who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 situation.

The aim of the Fund is to strengthen the connection of recent graduates with the work field, and to offer opportunities for artistic exchange in the context of topical social issues. In the COVID-19 period in particular this is extremely important, as many starting designers and makers lack good commissioning clients.

The Fund expects the impact of the COVID-19 crisis to make it extra difficult for starting designers and makers to connect with the work field, to find a position or training position within an agency, or to set up their own practice. At the same time, it will become more complicated for design agencies in the coming years to make room for experimentation and research. That is why the Fund wants to use extra resources to give an impulse to starting designers as well as to support design agencies.

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