4-year activity programmes for 2021–2024 – 6 institutions creative industries selected

The Fund is awarding a 4-year institutional grant to six leading cultural institutions within the creative industries. The selected institutions are an important link in the infrastructure for the creative industries. They function as hubs where designers, makers and other professionals come together in the context of a discipline or theme. The six institutions will together receive € 2.4 million per year in the period 2021-2024.

13 July 2020

In the spring of 2020, 35 institutions applied for nearly 48 million euro for the period 2021-2024. In total, a maximum of 9.6 million euro was available. With the grant scheme for 4-year institutional subsidy, the Fund anticipated the possible inclusion of some design institutions in the national basic cultural infrastructure (BIS), on which the Council for Culture advises. The BIS result is good news for the industry. The share of the creative industry has risen from a single design institution, Het Nieuwe Instituut, to a total of nine, with BioArt Laboratories, GOGBOT, Dutch Design Foundation, International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, State of Fashion, TextielMuseum, TETEM and Waag. This makes a structural amount of circa 5 million euro more available to the design sector each year. As a result, space is also created within the resources of the Fund for the sustainable multi-year support of institutions. The available budget for this purpose had for many years been under too much pressure, the Council for Culture and the National Cultural Funds Visitation Committee also concluded earlier.

The decision to enable the necessary growth at a number of institutions has led irrevocably to hard choices and prioritization of positively assessed proposals. This was, of course, a disappointment for the institutions that are now unsupported. Not being able to award budget to a positive recommendation, but also a negative recommendation under this grant scheme certainly does not mean that the Fund or the committee considers that the institution is not valuable for the creative industry, but rather that the institution fits less well within this 4-year grant scheme. From 18 August until 30 September 2020, these institutions can apply for 1 or 2-year support for their activities programme.

results Four-year Institutional Grant Scheme for the Creative Industry 2021-2024

In the same period that the Council for Culture was pronouncing on the BIS, the advisory committee set up by the Fund, chaired by Robert Winkel, considered – entirely independently – the 35 applications submitted to the Fund. Ultimately, six institutions were awarded grants, together receiving the maximum subsidy amount of 9.6 million euro for the period 2021-2024.

institutions where positive recommendation was honoured

- Sonic Acts
- iii
- Mediamatic
- V2_ Lab voor de instabiele media
- Playgrounds


The advisory committee greatly values innovation. For instance, the committee was impressed by the way Mediamatic has reinvented itself in recent years and has made the location on the Dijksgracht its own. Under the leadership of its new director, V2_ has also managed to recover after a difficult period and is working energetically on a new positioning within the Rotterdam and national cultural scene. IMPAKT has existed as an organization for 30 years, but is going through a special development now that they have a new permanent space in Utrecht. For years, Sonic Acts has succeeded in maintaining itself at the forefront of the creative industry with appealing and in-depth programmes that are able to reach an ever-growing audience. Finally, Playgrounds and iii are initiatives that have acquired a very strong position within the dynamics of the creative industry over a period of about eight years. The committee is confident that, over the next four years, they will continue to build on the quality they have shown in recent years. IMPAKT and iii join the four-year support structure as new parties, while the other four institutions can continue to grow with substantially higher annual contributions.

institutions with positive recommendation, no budget after prioritization

In total, the advisory committee of the Four-year Institutional Grant Scheme for the Creative Industry 2021-2024 gave a positive recommendation to eight applications, without budget being available. These institutions ended up missing out after prioritization.

- Baltan Laboratories
- Bureau Europa
- Crafts Council
- Next Nature Network
- Submarine Channel

institutions to BIS, no recommendation on application to Fund

Five institutions supported in the BIS had also submitted an application to the Fund. Because they received a positive recommendation with budget from the BIS, the processing of these applications by the Fund was discontinued.

- BioArt Laboratories
- State of Fashion
- TETEM kunstruimte
- TextielMuseum
- Waag

Apart from these five, there are also three institutions included in the BIS that were previously supported by the Fund under infrastructural grant schemes. These include the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, the GOGBOT festival and the Dutch Design Foundation.

institutions with negative recommendation

The remaining 16 institutions that applied received a negative recommendation for a variety of reasons. For many of these institutions, however, the committee certainly sees a place in the subsidized infrastructure of the creative industry. For several institutions, it felt the move to a four-year support structure was too soon. For others, they found, for example, the activities programme to be strong, but the position of the institution for the specific areas the Fund serves to be insufficiently prominent.

- Archiprix
- Architectuur Lokaal
- Cartoon Movement
- Design Museum Den Bosch
- Graphic Matters
- Home of Design Kazerne
- Independent School for the City
- Museum Boijmans van Beuningen
- Museumplein Limburg
- Onomatopee Projects
- Pakhuis de Zwijger
- The Beach
- What Design Can Do

advisory committee

The Board of the Fund adopted all the recommendations of the advisory committee and thanked the members for the tremendous tour de force in achieving good recommendations together during this Covid-19 period, often digitally. The committee noted that the positively assessed institutions do not represent a balanced reflection of the three disciplines that the Fund serves – architecture, design and digital culture – but that based on the quality of the proposals and the grant scheme’s criteria, the committee was unable to produce a different ranking list.

Executive director Syb Groeneveld confirms this situation:
‘Two institutions from the architecture sector, Het Nieuwe Instituut and the IABR, are supported in the BIS, but there is no institution from the architecture sector as one of the Fund’s 4-year supported institutions. That was a difficult decision, but at the same time we know that the picture of the subsidized cultural infrastructure of the design sector will not be final until the decisions of the 1 and 2-year grant programme are announced in November.’

new prioritization in 1 and 2-year activities plan

In August, the grant programme opens for the 1 and 2-year activities programmes. This grant programme applies to cultural institutions and organizations who promote excellent quality, development and professionalization of contemporary design, architecture or digital culture, and encourage interest in these disciplines, with an activities programme lasting one or two years.

Groeneveld explains:
‘We expect that, in this grant programme, the Fund will be able to support about seven institutions for a 2-year activities programme, and about twenty for a 1-year programme. It is likely that the total amount of the eligible applications will exceed the available budget. As a result, when prioritizing within this grant programme, the Fund will first award subsidy to the highest-rated application within architecture, followed by design and finally digital culture.’

‘In combination with the BIS and the institutions supported for 4 years by the Fund, this creates a strong and diverse foundation within all disciplines of the creative industries. I realize that this subsidized stability applies only to a limited group of institutions. They bear a great responsibility specifically now to independently provide a major inclusive stimulus and inspiration to our society in the coming years, within the unprecedented fall of the global economy.’

Institutions can prepare an application for a 1 or 2-year activities programmes from 18 August. The deadline is 30 September 2020. The Board submits the applications to a yet-to-be-appointed advisory committee for their recommendations and will communicate the proposed decision to the applicants in November. The grant ceiling for the subsidy programme will be published on 18 August.