Innovationlabs #2 – 17 projects selected

In 2022, the Creative Industries Fund NL and CLICKNL issued the Open Call Innovationlabs for the second time. The call was open to innovative and experimental projects to address current challenges in the cultural and creative sector and increase the resilience of the sector. Interest in the open call was high. From the 123 project proposals received, 17 projects were selected after two selection rounds.

13 April 2023

The selected projects address current themes such as inclusion, climate change, digital transformation and the utilization (or better utilization) of the power of cultural and creative thinking and making in social tasks. Many of the proposals centre on exploring new ways of sharing knowledge, content and data. These include archiving and digital accessibility of heritage, exploration of new forms of public interaction and development of new models for interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration.

Amsterdam Dance Event – Mixed Reality for Culture
Amsterdam Dance Event, Amerpodia, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ and Ravel are exploring how to use mixed-reality techniques to facilitate conferences. They are building on a previously developed digital platform, with the aim of offering an alternative to physical practice and linking this to a business model that can serve as an example for others working in the sector.

Archival Consciousness – Archiving the present
Archival Consciousness, Framer Framed and the Jan van Eyck Academie aim to improve the online accessibility of the archives and libraries of cultural institutions. Ten cultural archives serve as a starting point for their research into an open-source infrastructure that is geared to the associative way people access information online.

Cinedans – Moving Media Lab
Together with Nederlandse Dansdagen, Korzo, DansBrabant, VRDays, Eye and Design Academy Eindhoven, Cinedans is exploring how the utilization of film and mixed-reality techniques is changing the way makers of dance and designers create and perform. Involved in the project are researchers specializing in embodiment – the bodily experience of how you feel in the space, including virtual space.

Crafts Council Nederland – The Linen Project
The long-running The Linen Project aims to revive local production of linen. Together with Koninklijke Auping, Enschede Textielstad, New Tailor and the Lectoraat Nieuwe Economie, Crafts Council Nederland wants to realize two production chains, which give earning power to all involved while contributing to sustainability.

Documentair Theater – NIET VOOR DE BÜHNE
As an artist, how can you contribute to social change and what does that mean for your maker’s practice? Anoek Nuyens, Urgenda and Impakt Makers are jointly looking for an answer. From the ambition to offer a perspective for action to individuals, businesses and politicians in the climate crises, she envisages an innovative making process in which the public plays an active role.

Foundation We Are – Collaborations For Future
Based on the belief that an exchange between creative professionals and scientists is valuable in solving climate issues, Foundation We Are and Social Design Showdown/Afdeling Buitengewone Zaken are joining forces with researchers from various knowledge institutions. The aim is to develop new collaboration models that can serve as a blueprint for the societal challenges facing the Netherlands.

Innofest – Groen & inclusief voorwaarts
By means of a dozen innovation tests at festivals, a partnership of lnnofest, Oerol and DGTL/The Revolution Foundation aims to learn what it takes to successfully market innovative products or services while contributing to an agile and resilient cultural sector. Special attention is paid to the themes of sustainability and social inclusion.

Noord Nederlands Toneel – Venue of the future
Noord Nederlands Toneel, Substrakt, DEN Knowledge Institute for culture & digital transformation and Audience Labs are jointly exploring a virtual future for the performing arts. Parallel to the creation of a live dance and theatre show, they are experimenting with online and hybrid forms of audience interaction and commissioning for an online environment.

Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest – Music makes the people come togetherTogether with Erasmus University and the Erasmus Medical Centre, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra is investigating whether and how music affects people’s social, mental and physical well-being. The initiators see opportunities for orchestras and musicians to broaden their scope of activity while contributing to innovation in hospital care.

Stichting Digitaal Informatieplatform Podiumkunsten – De Publieksmonitor Predictive AI
Using predictive AI techniques, the initiators of The Audience Monitor Predictive AI aim to develop a tool for makers, programmers and marketers to make considered choices in programming and marketing. A digital tool for sector-wide collection, analysis, access and interpretation of audience and sales data is under development.

Stichting Pleinmuseum / – Fiera del Suono
DROPSTUFF MEDIA, Beeld & Geluid and Stadsmuseum Tilburg, in collaboration with the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Hogeschool Utrecht and Fontys Hogeschool Tilburg, are investigating the museum and autonomous possibilities of augmented audio. The approach of the project is that adding sounds to exhibitions and heritage sites contributes to public reach and audience experience.

Stichting SETUP – Gezocht: Talentvolle Gemeenten
Stichting SETUP, Bureau Ruimtekoers and Lobby Lokaal want to encourage the involvement of creative and cultural makers in municipal tasks. For this purpose, they invite municipalities to deploy artists to address current challenges that call for imagination. The intended goal is threefold: to inspire municipalities, remove barriers and develop tools.

Stichting TAAT – Maas Lab
By establishing a collaboration between human and non-human life, art collective TAAT and SoAP Maastricht are exploring new strategies for communicating, organizing and co-creating. They invite makers, scientists and local residents to see the River Maas as an equal voice in decision-making and want to use the knowledge gained to create a blueprint for multi-perspective design in the future.

The Need For Legacy – House of Legacies
The Need for Legacy, Allard Pierson and LFMC are collaborating to create an inclusive theatre archive in which performing arts of the past and present are included on equal terms and made accessible through an online portal. In the development, the emphasis is on the process: the portal is not the end product, but a phase in the process in which research and knowledge-sharing activities alternate.

Thunderboom Records – Innovatielab Cultuur Tech
Stichting Thunderboom Records, Reblika, Superposition and Beeld & Geluid want to make new technologies, such as agumented reality, AI and digital avatars, more accessible to Dutch musicians. By using prototypes and testing them regularly with end users, they aim to promote knowledge development and experimentation for and by the music sector.

Tulsa Studios – Act Now - Write Away!
Together with partners from the creative, cultural and academic sectors, Tulsa Studios is launching an incubator programme for makers of colour, based on the concept of a writers’ room. The essence of this research project is that this ‘writers’ room’ provides interesting insights concerning the organization of a making process within the triangle of makers, sector and audience.

Ulrike Quade Company – Center Stage Robotics
With this project, Ulrike Quade Company, Bram Ellens, Event Robotics and Utrecht University are continuing their research into industrial robots and robotics in theatrical and performative settings. The partnership aims to provide the creative sector with inspiration, knowledge and new ways of working, and also explore how knowledge from theatre can inspire the world of robotics.

In the coming months, the 17 initiatives will work individually on the implementation of their plans, but they will also operate as a group in sharing and making their knowledge and findings widely applicable. The Fund and CLICKNL are organizing an activities programme that is dedicated to learning from and with each other. In five to six working sessions, the participants are invited to contribute to thinking about the opportunities and obstacles in each other’s innovation projects, and stimulating each other’s expertise as a result. Throughout the programme, two coaches will assist participants as a ‘critical friend’, helping them to reflect on the process, asking questions and challenging them to look at things from a different angle.

The Innovationlabs #2 selection was spread over two rounds. In the first round, the advisory committee selected 50 proposals, which the applicants further developed with a writing grant. In a second selection round, these proposals were again assessed, chaired by Nathanja van Dijk. Eleven advisers – Annabelle Birnie, Dymphie Braun, Ernestine Comvalius, Roy Cremers, Anne Mieke Eggenkamp, Roel van Herpt, Frank Kimenai, Andre Schaminee, Meryem Slimani, Laurens Vreekamp and Martijn de Waal – assessed the project proposals based on the degree of innovation, the quality of the research plan, the quality of the partnership and the extent to which the intended effects are expected to strengthen the Dutch cultural and creative sector.

The available budget of € 4,500,000 is supporting 17 of the 27 positively assessed applications. The projects that achieved the highest average score on the criteria are included in the selection.

Innovationlabs #2 is a follow-up to the first open call launched in 2021 and has resulted in the selection of 17 projects. The outcomes from the first edition will be jointly presented during Dutch Design Week 2023 (21 to 29 October 2023) in Eindhoven. The programme is financed from the recovery plan for the cultural sector. The implementation of Innovationlabs is entrusted to the six national culture funds and CLICKNL, top consortium for knowledge and innovation in the Creative Industry. The Creative Industries Fund NL is the coordinator.