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Round 2: Open Call Building Talent 2021 for experienced design agencies
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Round 2: Open Call Building Talent 2021 for experienced design agencies

The Creative Industries Fund NL is looking for experienced design agencies within the disciplines of architecture, design and digital culture and every possible crossover that, with a contribution from the Fund, would like to enter into a collaborative programme with a talented, starting maker or designer this year for a period of approximately three months. In this second round, which is open until 13 September 2021, design agencies can submit a research proposal. There is scope to support approximately 69 agencies.

Note: this open call has ended.

By means of this open call, the Fund is offering experienced design agencies the opportunity to work with starting makers and designers on topical issues and design tasks. The programme involves a three-month working period, during which the design agency and the starter will work directly together to explore a specific subject in greater depth. The application is relatively quick and easy to prepare.

From the beginning of October, the starting design talents – who have been working in the creative industry for a maximum of 4 years – can subscribe to the selected research proposals through a new open call. An external advisory committee will then make a match between the agency and the designer. The Fund subsequently provides a subsidy to both the design agency and the starting designer or maker.

objective
The objective of the call is to strengthen the connection of starting makers and designers with the professional field and to support the work field by creating extra room for in-depth research and experimentation. In this way, the Fund aims to contribute to strengthening the knowledge, experience, network and entrepreneurship of starters.

Experienced design agencies can use the Building Talent collaborative programme to engage talented starting makers and designers to work on research and experimentation, and to create space for reflection and professional development.

two rounds
Building Talent has two rounds. Both rounds have a system of two open calls for submissions:

round 1:
Open Call 1: Experienced design agencies – 17 May to 21 June 2021 (closed)
Open Call 2: Starting designers and makers – 15 July to 31 August (open)
Period of collaborative programme: autumn 2021

round 2:
Open Call 1: Experienced design agencies – 9 August to 13 September 2021 (open)
Open Call 2: Starting designers and makers – mid-October 2021 (not yet open)
Period of collaborative programme: first half of 2022

Read here the most frequently asked questions about Building Talent.

For inspiration, view here the 31 selected research proposals from round 1.

Open Call Building Talent 2021 for experienced design agencies
• Total budget available for round 1 is € 862,500, which will allow for the establishment of 69 collaborative programmes.
• Amount available per collaborative programme: € 12,500 (€ 6,250 for the design agency and € 6,250 for the starting designer)
• Submit until 13 September 2021
• Duration of collaborative programme: three months (starting in the first quarter of 2022)
• Available to experienced design agencies from across the creative industries

who is this open call for?
The Fund is calling on design agencies from across the creative industry to submit a proposal. We define design agencies as all professional practices in the creative industries that have been in professional practice for more than four years. For instance: studios, architectural firms, collectives, game developers, fashion labels or other forms of professional design practices.

After completion of the selection of design agencies, the second open call of this round will follow in October, to which starting designers and makers can subscribe, in response to one of the selected agencies and their specific research proposal.

what do we mean by a research proposal?
In this second 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 design field. 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.

additional conditions
The design agency has had its own practice within the fields of design, architecture or digital culture for at least four years.
Within this round, an applicant can submit a maximum of one research proposal.
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.
There is no question of an existing commissioning-client relationship between the parties involved.

set-up collaborative programme
The collaborative programme is aimed at developing the knowledge and portfolio of both the agency and the designer. It concerns a part-time working period of three months, to be started in the first quarter of 2022.

During the collaborative programme, we expect a weekly commitment from both the agency and the designer, so that a research project can be started or experiments can be carried out in a constructive and substantive way. For the design agencies, a minimum commitment of one day per week is also assumed for guidance by an experienced designer during the entire period. For the starter, a minimum commitment of two days per week is assumed. In addition, the agency is expected to provide a physical workplace during the course of the programme. When setting up and implementing the programme, any limitations imposed brought by COVID-19 measures must be taken into account.

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.

online consultation hours Building Talent
Are you planning to submit an application to Building Talent and would you like more information, or do you have a specific question? On 18 August, 26 August, 3 September and 8 September, the Fund is organizing four public online consultation hours. Register here for the consultation hour of your choice and leave your question in the form so that it can be dealt with by Carlijn Limburg and Tibor Bijl from the Building Talent team.

submission
Design agencies can submit a proposal until 13 September at the latest. The proposal can be submitted via the Creative Industries Fund NL's online application environment. Select the round 'Building Talent 2021 – Round 2: experienced design agencies'.

Submitting the application is relatively easy and takes little time. In order to qualify for a contribution from Building Talent, we ask experienced design agencies to complete a project canvas of 1 A3 (see Building Talent project canvas + explanation). This should explain the design task, their own design practice and the proposed collaboration. We recommend that you download the project canvas and complete it with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information from the project canvas is also used to present the design task and the design agency to the starting designers and makers, who can then subscribe on that basis. For that reason, please be careful with privacy-sensitive information when filling in the project canvas.

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 concise portfolio of the agency (maximum 10 A4);
4. A 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.

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 and the portfolio of the applicant; and
3. the way in which the collaboration with a starting maker or designer is proposed by the agency and the explanation of the expected added value of this collaborative programme.

The assessment 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 assessment 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.

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.

how does the matching between design agency and starter work?
The positively assessed proposals from experienced design agencies are included in the open call for starting designers and makers. This call will follow in October 2021.

This second open call is focused on starting makers and designers with a maximum of four years' work experience in the Netherlands in the disciplines of design, architecture or digital culture. Both makers and designers who have graduated from a relevant design study, and makers and designers who have developed their professional practice without having completed a design study, can subscribe to one of the selected tasks from the design agencies.

Based on the motivation and profile of the starter, in combination with their choice for and alignment with the selected task, an external advisory committee will make a match between an experienced design agency and the starter. An introductory meeting will then take place to concretize and formalize the collaboration. Please note that these discussions should be scheduled by both parties during the first week of December.

In the event of a successful match, the Fund awards a grant to the design agency and the designer or 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 starting documents.

After a positive assessment of the starting documents by the Fund, the decision will be finalized and the collaborative programme can begin.

procedure
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.

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, j;
• Article 8, paragraph 3;
• Article 18, paragraph 2.

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

additional resources for makers due to COVID-19
Building Talent is part of the second support package for the cultural and creative sector. In February 2021, the Creative Industries Fund NL received additional resources from Minister van Engelshoven's second support package for the cultural and creative sector, to support makers in the design sector who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 situation.

more Open calls

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Open Call Fresh Perspectives #6

The Fund invites mid-career makers and designers from the creative industries to submit a proposal, together with a collaboration partner, which focuses on tackling a current social issue. By means of the Fresh Perspectives Open Call, the Fund aims to encourage designers with a good concept to enter into a collaboration with a renowned company, organization or knowledge institution. Submission is possible until Wednesday 27 October 2021.

The aim of this open call is to bring together designers and parties with a solid social or knowledge position. The Fund is challenging these parties to utilize this collaboration to achieve innovative, surprising solutions for today's design challenges.

Depending on the task, the results of the collaboration may assume a diversity of forms: a product, intervention or service, for instance. It is possible to work together with international partners. However, the applicant must be based in the Netherlands and there must be a predominantly Dutch interest in the project.

Creative Industries Fund NL is making € 270,000 available for this Open Call. The maximum contribution per project is € 45,000. Please note that this amount is granted in three phases.

phasing
The open call has three phases:

Phase 1: start-up phase – formalization of collaboration(s), funding, planning and research framework (3 to maximum 6 months). A maximum sum of € 10,000 per proposal is available for this phase. For the application for this phase, you describe the activities that contribute to focusing the content and organizational side of the project. In the initial phase, the partnership is perpetuated and substantive and financial support for the project in phase 2 is secured. The start-up phase is also there to conduct preliminary research, draw up collaboration agreements and possibly work out a first proof of concept.
Phase 2: implementation phase – further development and implementation of the project (maximum 2 years). A maximum sum of € 30,000 per proposal is available for this phase.
Phase 3: impact/presentation phase – possibility of additional funding to enhance the impact of the project outside the realm of the creative industries (maximum 6 months). A maximum sum of € 5,000 per proposal is available for this phase.

submission
The application for phase 1 can be submitted until Wednesday 27 October 2021 at the latest via the Creative Industries Fund NL's online application environment. Select 'Open Call Fresh Perspectives' from the drop-down menus.

The proposal consists of:
1. A project plan (max. 10 pages A4, portrait) containing:
a. A clear description of the social issue, problem or theme that the collaboration addresses. Place the proposal within current social developments and explain the social relevance of the project.
b. The maker's design vision and description of the project's content-related principles (including artistic principles). Postion the proposal within current design practice and explain the relevance of the project for the practice of the maker involved, and the maker's field.
c. Intended target groups: explain who the project is aiming at.
d. Planned approach: what methodology will be used and what are the intended results? Describe the activities that help to focus the content and organizational side of the project.
e. The collaboration: describe the motivation and added value of the collaboration for all the parties involved. In doing so, provide insight into the partner's knowledge and how the expertise of the maker and the partner complement each other.
f. An overview of the budgeted costs and the planning of the project for phase 1. The budget for phases 2 and 3 does not yet have to be submitted in a final version. Do include an estimate of the entire project costs (phase 1 and 2) in the plan. Indicate clearly which costs are incurred in which phase. Do you use phase 1 to perpetuate the co-financing / financial support for phase 2? In that case, include this in the coverage plan. You will find a sample budget on page 6 of the Grant Application Guide.
2. A portfolio of the designer/maker's work and information about the partner (max. 10 A4 pages);
3. CVs of the parties involved (max. 4 pages);
4. A recent extract from the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KvK).
5. Letters of intent from the partner(s) involved.

N.B.: If the application fails to satisfy the above, it will not be possible to evaluate the substance of the application.
N.B.: Please note: request your login details for the online application environment in good time. It takes one working day for a new applicant's account to be activated.

assessment
This Open Call has its legal basis in the Creative Industries Fund NL's Open Call Grant Scheme. Read this grant scheme carefully before submitting an application.

The assessment of phase 1 is based on a project plan. A committee of external advisers will be consulted for the assessment of the plan. This panel will prioritize a number of proposals above the others. The advisers evaluate the proposal to gauge the extent to which it is in keeping with the aim of this Open Call. The advisers base their judgement on the following criteria:

a. The social relevance of the chosen design task;
This criterion examines how the proposal is positioned in relation to existing knowledge about the social issue being addressed and the extent to which it adds value to that knowledge. Are surprising and relevant questions being asked or new perspectives being highlighted? Does the proposal challenge current thinking and practices, or does it instead build on these? How and in what direction will new knowledge be sought and what results and insights are expected?
b. The extent of the project's effectiveness in terms of structure, methodology and expertise involved;
The more practical implementation side of the project is also examined. The committee assesses the extent to which the objective and structure are in line with each other and on which target groups the proposal focuses. It also looks at the clarity of the planned approach, the effectiveness of the chosen methodology and whether the expertise involved in carrying out the project gives confidence that the collaboration will lead to innovative results.
c. the quality and form of the collaboration;
Among other aspects, the committee considers the position of the maker within the project and the contribution and motivation of the partner. Is the collaboration on an equal footing and is the designer involved across the whole of the project? What is the partner's input?
d. The artistically relevant quality of the project;
The assessment of the artistically relevant quality of the project is dependent on context and discipline. Design practices associated with the various (sub)disciplines are taken into account by the advisers. Among other things, the committee looks at the creative and cultural added value of design in the approach to the issue and whether this approach is in line with the design vision of the maker involved. What is the content-related goal or starting point of the maker and how is this translated into a research study, design task, form or other means? In doing so, the committee considers which step the applicant intends to take with the new project.
e. The extent to which the project adds to existing practice/design practice.
This criterion examines how the project is positioned in relation to existing knowledge and practices within the field and the extent to which it adds value to that knowledge.

The committee may attach one or more conditions to a positive recommendation for the first phase, with which the project must comply in a possible second phase. An essential pre-condition for the second phase is a collaboration agreement for the implementation of the project signed by all parties involved.

The applicant submits a phase 1 report justifying the grant awarded. The report answers the following questions:
What are the results so far? (reflection on phase 1)
How are these results being built on? (preview phase 2)
How have the conditions set by the committee been incorporated into the proposal?

The report forms the basis for a monitoring discussion between the Fund and the applicant (and collaboration partner). The question of whether subsidy is to be granted for the second phase will be evaluated internally by the Fund by checking against the conditions set by the committee.

During or after phase 2 (depending on the course of the project), a maximum budget of € 5,000 can be applied for (phase 3). This budget is intended to increase the impact of the project and can be used to better disseminate results and/or knowledge. The applicant may submit a proposal to the Fund for this purpose. These proposals are evaluated in a meeting between the Fund, the applicant and an adviser.

procedure
The assessment of an 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 assessment can be supported.

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 the regulations applicable to this grant scheme.

The following articles in these regulations do not apply to this open call:
Article 4, under f
Article 13. For this open call, any grant awarded for phase 1 will be paid out all at once. For phase 2, in the event of a grant being awarded, the Fund will pay out 80% of the amount awarded by way of an advance. The balance will be paid out following the decision to approve the subsidy at the end of the grant period, unless the decision to approve the grant specifies a lower amount.

The additional conditions stipulated by the Fund are as follows:
• The designer/maker is mid-career and has had their own practice within the field of design, architecture or digital culture for at least four years.
• The designer/maker submits the application, acts as the coordinator of the project and is involved in the entire process.
• Both parties are committed to the collaboration, and the collaboration was recorded in a collaboration agreement at the start of phase 2. Find more information about collaboration agreements here in Dutch.
• The expected added value of the collaboration for both the maker and the partner is clearly justified in the application;
• The project is currently in the start-up phase;
• There is no question of a commissioning-client relationship between the parties involved;
• All parties involved are aware of the Fair Practice Code. At the start of phase 2, the applicant provides an explanation of how the code is applied within the project.

selection
The selected proposals will receive funding from the Talent Development Programme.
The selection will be announced by 15 December 2021 at the latest, via the online application environment and on the Fund's website. From that moment on, the project can begin.

would you like to know more?
For questions about the Open Call and the procedure, please contact Hyun Vin Kaspers, h.kaspers@stimuleringsfonds.nl or call 010 436 1600.

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