START Prize ’16 – Open Call

startsprizebig-300x81Appointed by the European Commission, Ars Electronica is launching a prize to select the most pioneering collaborations and results in the field of creativity and innovation at the crossings of science and technology with the arts. This follows launch of a new activity in the European Commission named STARTS: Innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology, and the ARTS.

The “STARTS Prize” aims to showcase and celebrate visions and achievements at the interface between innovation and creation—driven by both science/technology and the arts as well as to honor the inspiring individuals and teams behind these achievements. By opening it to artists, creative professionals, researchers and companies from all over the world, the STARTS Prize targets to expand everyone’s horizon in order to work on new ideas and showcase best-practice examples. This international prize will highlight Europe’s power as a breeding ground for innovation and creative excellence.

STARTS Prize 2016: Prizes for artistic research and collaborative innovation

Two €20,000 cash grants will be awarded in conjunction with the STARTS Prize 2016: one for artistic research and thus for projects that have the potential to influence and change the mode of application, development and perception of technologies; and one for cooperative ventures teaming up industry/technology and art/culture in ways that open up new paths for innovation.

What can be submitted?

  • Trailblazing forms of collaboration and projects characterized by both technology and art; strictly artistically or strictly technologically oriented projects are not what STARTS is looking for.
  • Any and all artistic works and practices having to do with innovation in the areas of technology, business and/or society; furthermore, STARTS is not restricted to a particular genre such as media art and digital art.
  • Technological and scientific research projects that are inspired by art or in which artists are involved—this includes but is not limited to information & communications technology.

Who can enter?

  • Artists or artists’ collectives from throughout the world; in other words, STARTS is not limited to citizens of EU-member states.
  • Scientists and business people worldwide

According to which criteria are the entries judged?

  • Quality of the artistic research and its potential influence on technology
  • Quality and success of the collaboration between art and technology
  • Quality and intensity of the connection to innovation, education, social inclusion or sustainability
  • General criteria such as aesthetics, originality, convincing concept, innovation and the technique and quality of the presentation

Additional details about submitting an entry

    • All submissions must be made online. The submission platform (Web address: will go online February 1, 2016 and will stay up until March 4, 2016.
    • Every submitted project must be, at the time of its submission, either totally completed or far enough along for the jury to be able to assess its quality and the likelihood of it being successfully implemented. The same applies to collaborative arrangements—at the time they’re submitted, they must already be up-and-running and in the implementation stage. No consideration will be given to entries that are purely concepts, ideas or proposals for collaboration.
    • There is no fee to enter the STARTS Prize 2016 competition.
    • Every submission to the STARTS Prize competition can also be entered for Prix Ars Electronica prize consideration and vice versa. In other words, it’s possible for a single project to win both the STARTS Prize 2016 as well as a Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica grand prize. How does this work? It’s totally easy—at the end of the respective online submission, simply check the appropriate box!

What sorts of materials/documentation have to be submitted?

  • A video documentary (approximately 3 minutes in length)
  • Images (JPG, TIF, BMP, PNG) at the highest possible resolution; compressed files (such as .zip or .lzh files) are unacceptable.
  • A clear, detailed description of the artistic concept, the form of interaction and technical implementation; since specific prerequisites have to be fulfilled for an onsite presentation to take place (e.g. in conjunction with the Ars Electronica Festival), the project’s specifications as to hardware & software and spatial requirements should be as detailed as possible. Moreover, the entrant must specify what he/she can provide on his/her own in order to stage such an onsite presentation, and what must necessarily be furnished by Ars Electronica Linz.
  • A printable portrait photo and a biography of the artist
  • At the entrant’s option, additional material such as images, documents and drawings (as PNG or PDF) can also be submitted

When and how does the jury reach its decision?

  • The jury convenes on April 11, 2016. All STARTS Prize 2016 winners will be notified by May 10, 2016 at the latest.

Where and when will the winning projects be presented?

  • At the Ars Electronica Festival September 8-12, 2016 in Linz, Austria, and at the BOZAR Electronic Arts Festival September 23-25 in Brussels, Belgium; click here for details.

Submission plattform: