Boost of over € 10 million for the power of design and talent in creative industries

Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) Ingrid van Engelshoven has made an additional one-off amount of over € 10 million available to the Creative Industries Fund NL as part of the second support package for the cultural and creative sector.

16 February 2021

As a result, in total the Fund will be able to support around 150 additional talents in 2021, and make possible several hundred commissions in which utilizing the power of design makes a tangible contribution to the quality of the living environment. An additional contribution will also be made to institutions being supported by the Fund for a number of years and extra budget will be added to several subsidy schemes for makers. All of this is intended as a way to tackle the adverse effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Syb Groeneveld, the Fund's executive director, responds enthusiastically: 'The additional funds give us the opportunity to provide extra impetus to building talent during this prolonged crisis and also to create new forms of commissioning that will strengthen the design sector in the post-COVID period as well.'

Start Spatial Design Vouchers on 1 April 2021
On 1 April 2021, the Fund will start a voucher scheme for local authorities and semi-public organizations, which will enable them to grant a clearly defined design-research commission to a designer, collective or coalition, within certain thematic lines that link up with the National Environment Vision (NOVI). One condition is that the accumulated knowledge must be made available to the public as much as possible. Some € 5 million will be available for this scheme in 2021. The Fund expects to give a strong impulse to the quality of design-research commissioning by means of the vouchers, and as a result to contribute to the quality of our living environment. After all, the Netherlands is faced with a number of complex transition challenges in areas such as vital inner cities, housing construction, climate and energy, agriculture and sustainability. These challenges have a major spatial impact and are in competition with each other for the scarce space in our country. This calls not only for an integrated approach, but also for radical new ways of collaborating, and for making smart combinations and astute choices. The connecting and imaginative power of design promotes the quality of collaboration within these often-complex transition challenges. The power of design enables parties and also departments to develop a common future perspective and to take the first concrete steps towards achieving it. The vouchers (up to an amount of approximately € 30,000) can be used precisely for this purpose.

Building talent
In 2021, the Fund will also create at least 100 places under the Building Talent Grant Scheme for young professionals in the design disciplines who want to participate in a collaborative project with experienced design firms. With an additional investment of almost € 2 million, the Fund aims to strengthen the connection between recent graduates and the professional field. In this COVID-19 period in particular this is extremely important, as many talents lack good commissioning clients. The new Open Call Building Talent will be issued in the spring. In addition, the number of one-year grants that can be awarded under the Talent Development Grant Scheme has been increased to 50.

Director Groeneveld: 'The challenges in this COVID-19 crisis are complex and cannot be solved by any individual organization or sector. We are very pleased that the minister has given us the space to fulfil this driving and connecting role in order to help makers in the design field to find innovative assignments. To do this, we are looking for collaboration with professional and branch organizations such as the BNO, the BNA and other parties such as Architectuur Lokaal, and in the network of the Federatie Dutch Creative Industries.'

Jann de Waal from the Topteam Dutch Creative Council adds: 'In the mission-driven innovation policy for the top sectors, the creative industry has a central role in upscaling and accelerating social transitions. These initiatives by the Fund fit in very well with that idea.'