Shaping European future: STARTS program for science and art cooperation

Art, culture and modern technology are actively entering the European integration process. Established six years ago, the program supports creation of regional centers (so-called “residences”) as catalysts of perspective cross-sectoral cooperation. It is expected that synergies between art, science and technology shall help in regional development on a social, ecological and economic level by boosting creativity in industry and business.  

S+T+ARTS or STARTS is an initiative of the European Commission, launched under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program to support collaborations between science (S), technology (T) and arts (ARTS) – hence STARTS, as well as engineers, researchers and innovators from all walks of life.

STARTS: goals and philosophy
STARS’ concept is driven by the conviction that science and technology combined with an artistic viewpoint could open valuable perspectives for research and business through a holistic and human-centered approach.
The goal and philosophy of the STARTS program is to enable closer cooperation between technology, science, economy and arts in regional socio-economic development.
The core of a new movement towards art-inspired European approach to innovation lies in the regional STARTS’ centers, which have become catalysts of concrete collaborations of technology, artists, scientists and regional activists in a novel cooperative endeavor. Such centers are both the physical and coordination spaces in regional European activities. A core activity of the projects will be financial support of artists in STARTS residencies.
More in: https://starts.eu/about/

Some STARTS examples
In December 2016, STARTS launched Vertigo, the first STARTS project initiating the exploration of co-creative works; the 3-year project was fully dedicated to the funding and monitoring of science-tech-arts residencies, and has funded and successfully implemented a total of 45 residencies already by May 2020.
Launched right after Vertigo, WearSustain was the second STARTS project seeking to stimulate collaborations between scientists, tech and artists, which would be later known as “STARTS Lighthouses”. Specifically, between January 2017 and April 2019, the project provided knowledge exchange opportunities and encouraged cross-sector and cross-border collaboration in the field of sustainable fashion and smart clothes or “wearables”.
Finally, the project funded a total of 46 exciting and diverse projects among the EU-27 member states.
Since 2019, STARTS has enlarged its scope of activities at regional level: thus, STARTS Regional Centers supported about 100 “residencies” during 2020-2021.
Reference to: https://starts.eu/what-we-do/residences/

Present Commission’s call for new STARTS’ proposals is valid until the end of August for all EU member states; the “call for proposals” website explains the goals and the constraints for this call.
More in: https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/funding/art-and-digital-unleashing-creativity-european-industry-regions-and-society-1

Besides, the attached “Frequently Asked Questions-FAQ “is regularly updated based on questions received; there is also a possibility (with the description of an applied organisation) to get assistance in finding a suitable consortium.
There are certain complexities in applications: e.g. there should be consortia of four partners from a minimum of 4 eligible countries; this call is based on co-funding of the artistic residencies (40% co-funding) and all other costs (25% co-funding).
More in: https://starts.eu/article/

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