N.I.C.E. Award Call 2016


N.I.C.E. Award -
A European Award for Innovations in Culture and Creativity


Under the leadership of the european centre for creative economy (ecce) in Dortmund the Network for Innovations in Culture and Creativity in Europe (N.I.C.E.) was initiated in 2013 by a consortium of 15 cities, universities, agencies and personalities from 10 countries. It is a non-profit initiative funded by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

The yearly N.I.C.E. Award, financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, aims to promote innovations from the cultural and creative sectors especially those that spill over into the wider economy and society. The winners are decided by an independent jury. 2016 jury consists of Charles Landry (Comedia, UK), Michal Hladky (Creative Industry Kosice, Slovakia) Prof Kurt Mehnert (Folkwang University of the Arts, Germany), Dr Anne Stenros (Aalto University School of Business, Finland) and Dr Marcin Poprawski (Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan, Poland).

For more information about the network and the award please go to www.nice-europe.eu

The N.I.C.E. Award 2016 Theme:
Solving the World’s Major Challenges – A Call for Innovations

The 2016 award challenges the cultural and creative sectors to propose surprising and experimental innovations that are solutions to difficult global problems with special, but not exclusive, attention given to digital innovations.

Since its foundation in 2010 ecce examines the impulses of Cultural and Creative Industries on politics, economy and society. These so called spillover effects are often subject to evaluation, definition research and debates. The N.I.C.E. Award addresses projects of cross sectorial character that often demonstrate spillover effects of the arts, culture and the creative industries. For more information about the spillover concept please see the publication “to be debated SPILLOVER” or visit the website of the European research partnership on cultural and creative spillovers.

The following examples give an idea of the breadth of the call and it is not limited to these examples:

– Cities are both growing exceptionally and also shrinking. Many are in danger of becoming dysfunctional and less liveable and sustainable. Which innovations coming from within the culture and creativity domain can help stop or turn around these trends? What is the role of digital innovations, such as creating seamless connectivity, re-designing mobility, enhancing information systems, improving way finding, monitoring health, 3-D printing – just to name a few.

– Migration – cities are melting pots and migration either by choice or forced by wars and poverty is a growing phenomenon of our time and a major challenge for Europe. Among others it increases cultural and ethnic diversity. This is a double edged sword as it both enriches our lives but also creates misunderstandings, fears and violence: How can the cultural and creative sectors contribute to resolving these challenges and foster mutual understanding? Is there a special potential for digital innovations from ebooks for children in native and foreign languages to new kinds of performance or events in traditional or unusual settings? Can the digital world enrich our experience of culture, and if so how? Can it help increase our understanding of diversity of culture or of the potential of a more open society? Can it help make the arts and culture world more inclusive?

– Work – the digital revolution is radically changing work and the divide between work and play is breaking down as 24/7 schedules become more dominant. What does this mean for cultural consumption? It shifts our sense of self and how and where we consume culture from cinema-going to attending concerts to experiencing urban art. In a digitalized world without dedicated spare time what is the new shape of culture? Is it visiting cinemas or using a streaming platform? Do you visit museums or access it via the google art project? How could or must the cultural creative institutions (re-)act?

– Social innovation – How can culture and creativity have an impact on social challenges such as increasing poverty, social and financial insecurity, political indifference or climate change? Do new digital solutions open novel ways of providing education, sense of community, economic and social prosperity? What other fields can the cultural and creative sectors have a positive impact on? For instance in supporting new models of intergenerational understanding or for the challenges of health and especially for the elderly?

The list above is not exhaustive. Other suggestions and proposals from within different fields and topics with effects across sectors are welcomed.

Who can apply: Eligible Entries to the N.I.C.E. Award 2016

Entries eligible to the N.I.C.E. Award can be single individuals such as artists and researchers; or organisations such as companies and public institutions or agencies, non-profit foundations or initiatives as well as research institutions from within the cultural and creative sectors. Teams, even those without legal personality, can also apply.

The entries can be single projects that have already been realised or implemented; as well as policies and other innovative activities, such as planned research or proposed projects. Projects older than three years cannot be submitted.
In order to take part, applicants are asked to add a short promotional film (1 minute max.) to the application giving an insight into the project and/or idea.

How to apply: Online Submission


The application, incl. the promotional film, has to be in English (or English subtitles in the promotional film). In addition to the submission form you can add complementary material as PDF and JPEG. Please follow the instructions of the form carefully. Your application can only be accepted if filled out correctly.

Procedure and Timing: Jury-Meeting, Award Shortlist, Interviews and Ceremony 2016:

Up to 15 projects will be nominated for the award by early June 2016. These will constitute the N.I.C.E. Award Shortlist 2016 and be presented during the N.I.C.E. Award event and exclusive N.I.C.E. Industry Network Dinner on invitation of Minister Garrelt Duin on 24th August 2016 in Essen, Germany.
The jury will select a maximum of four winners from the shortlist by interviewing all nominees on 24th August.
The Award Ceremony will be held on 25th August and hosted by the Minister of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia Garrelt Duin in the Philharmonie in Essen.

The Prizes:

The Award total is 20.000 Euro. Its distribution amongst the four winners is to be decided by the jury.

Additional benefits include:

a.) Projects will be published on www.nice-europe.eu as well as promotion in the social media throughout 2016 / 2017
b.) Published in an English / German catalogue
c.) Presentation of the project to potential partners and a special network event with policy makers and stakeholders from the cultural and creative sectors in the Ruhr region.

All nominees are invited to participate in the N.I.C.E. networking dinner with companies from various industry sectors in North Rhine-Westphalia on the 24th August in Essen.

Inna Goudz
european centre for creative economy
Phone: +49 231 2222 7520

City of Bochum
City of Dortmund
City of Essen
City of Gelsenkirchen