What is MediaFutures?

MediaFutures, Data-driven innovation hub for the media value chain, is a European project funded by the European Commission under the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 951962.

MediaFutures will create a transnational European data innovation hub that will bring together Startups, SMEs and Artists in the media value chain to deliver a programme that expands on standard models to come up with novel, unconventional ways for people to engage with quality journalism, science education and democratic processes.

The final aim of MediaFutures is to facilitate the creation of products, services and digital artworks and experiences that will reshape the media value chain through innovative, inclusive and participatory applications of data and user-generated content.

How can MediaFutures help me?

MediaFutures can help you through a clearly defined set of free technical, legal, ethical and business services to develop a product / service / artwork and reach commercial and/or investment agreements with corporates and/or private investors as well as for the artists public diffusion of the artwork.

Is there any support for applicants without a selected idea?

No. Only the selected beneficiaries will be benefiting from MediaFutures services.

What are the services like for the selected projects?

MediaFutures will offer different services at each phase. Check section 3 ‘Why join MediaFutures of the Guidelines for Applicants’ for further information.

So, are you financing my initiative?

Your project idea could be financed if you are selected in any of the MediaFutures calls. Conditions are found in the Guidelines for Applicants. A selected project could be funded up to €80k.

What kind of projects are you looking for?

We are looking for commercial products, services and digital artworks and experiences that will reshape the media value chain through data and user-generated content. Think about your business model and/or artistic exposure as well as the technical stuff. The sustainability of what you propose is as important as the technology.

Where does the funding come from?

Funding is given by the MediaFutures consortium under a Sub-Grantee Agreement signed by the selected third parties and Leibniz University of Hannover (MediaFutures Project Coordinator) on behalf of the MediaFutures consortium. The funds are given by the European Commission (Horizon 2020 Framework Programme), which uses the MediaFutures project as an intermediary.

What if I secure funds from other public of private sources for the same project?

The funds of the project come from the H2020 Programme. This means its regulation will apply to the funds. If you get additional public funding from other entities it will be your responsibility to assure the compatibilityof the different sources of funding. Private funding sources shall also be mentioned in the applications.

How does the funding mechanism work?

The aid provided is relying on a cascade-funding scheme involving H2020 funds. The scheme is based on a Grant Agreement signed by the European Commission and the MediaFutures Consortium partners. The Consortium partners as such receive the H2020 funds which are then transferred to the winners of our open calls based on the rules and regulations explained in the Guidelines for Applicants available at our website. This means that funds that will be received by the call winners are H2020 funds.

Due to BREXIT, is there any effect for UK companies or individuals to be able to apply to EDI?

There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK will continue to participate in programmes funded under the current 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) until their closure.

Meaning, UK participants are eligible for funding under the MediaFutures 1st open call.

How to Participate

Who is eligible in the calls?

The targeted applicants for the MediaFutures Open Calls are artists and/or startups in the form of SMEs or group of individuals (that is, a startup may be legally incorporated or not):

  • SME: A SME will be considered as such if accomplishing with the Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC and the SME user guide. As a summary, the criteria which define a SME are: I) Headcount in Annual Work Unit (AWU) less than 250 and II) Annual turnover less or equal to €50 million or annual balance sheet total, less or equal to €43 million.
  • Group of individuals: When there is not a constituted SME, the applicants could be a group between 2 to 4 individuals legally established in an eligible country according to section 5.2 and with a written commitment to have set up a legally registered SME if reaching “BUILD” phase.
  • Artists: A physical person, a collective of individuals or a company whose main activity, as professionals or students, is of artistic nature. The artist must have produced enough artworks for the jury to evaluate its artistic experience.

*For the SmA track, a combination of an artist and a startup is mandatory. A matchmaking process between artists and startups will be organized by the MediaFutures team.

Only applicants legally established, and working, in the case of groups of individuals, in any of the following countries will be eligible:

  • The Member States (MS) of the European Union (EU), including their outermost regions;
  • The Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) linked to the Member States;
  • H2020 Associated countries: according to the updated list published by the EC
  • The UK applicants are eligible under the conditions set by the EC for H2020 participation at the time of the deadline of the call.

*Note that individual artist applicants will be eligible from any country in the world provided that they are able to travel to Europe for the MediaFutures programme and always provided that Covid-19 situation allows it.

How do I apply?

The F6S platform is the entry point for all proposals at https://www.f6s.com/mediafutures1stopencall/apply. Submissions received by any other channel will be automatically discarded.

Remember to read the Guidelines for Applicants to get all the information you need to apply successfully.

How can I apply?

MediaFutures offers you 3 different ways of participation depending your profile:

  • Startups for Citizens track (SfC): Startup/SME
  • Startup meets Artist track (SmA): Startup/SME + Standalone artist or Artistic company
  • Artists for Media track (AfM): Standalone Artist or Artistic company

What type of challenge will I solve?

MediaFutures offers you 4 different challenges to be addressed:

  • Challenge 1: Viral complexity
  • Challenge 2: Building Bridges
  • Challenge 3: Media-tors
  • Challenge 4: Open challenge

Read the Challenges section (https://mediafutures.eu/opencall/#challenges) for further details on the requirements.

How does MediaFutures work?

MediaFutures is divided in phases. After the open call for proposals, the selected teams will join the programme comprising 3-phases of acceleration/residency:

  • START – up to 51 projects (from SfC and SmA tracks) will access this phase (considering the three open calls)
  • BUILD – the best 22 projects from START will access this phase. In addition, up to 15 projects of artists (AfM track) will directly access this phase. (considering the three open calls)
  • EXHIBIT – up to 9 projects will win the final prize (considering the three open calls)

How does matchmaking work?

The matchmaking is only devoted to applicants planning wondering to apply for the Startup meets Artist track (SmA). The matchmaking will be done online through the platform provided by MediaFutures (Deal Room Events)
All you have to do is create a profile, add your description, take a look at the rest of the participants, talk to the most interesting ones and book a time-slot with them for the matchmaking days that will take place on December 17th, 2020 and January 13th, 2021 at 1:00 PM (CET).

Can I submit several projects?

Only one proposal will be accepted for funding per entity, individual or F6S user.

In the case of a multi-submission by an entity, individual or F6S user, only the last one received (timestamp of the system) will enter into our evaluation process, being the rest declared as non-eligible.

If the last submitted proposal is declared then not-eligible or fails the thresholds of the evaluation, the rest of proposals will not be considered for evaluation in any case.

In the case of groups of individuals:

  • The same individuals forming a team will be selected for funding only once, as in the case of SMEs.
  • Only the last submitted proposal by the same individuals forming a team will be evaluated, as in the case of SMEs.
  • If an individual is taking part in several teams:
    • The members of the other teams will be informed about the participation of an individual in multiple teams.
    • The individuals participating in multiple teams will be requested to select only one proposal and will be removed from the others. This may affect the eligibility condition of the proposal, if the number of individuals goes under 2.

Can I submit the same proposal to other programmes?

No, it is not possible. Double funding is not acceptable.

What’s the deadline for the MediaFutures 1st Open call?

28 January 2021 at 12.00 (noon) CET. There will not be deadline extensions unless a major problem, caused by MediaFutures and not by the proposers, makes the system unavailable.

Are you sharing any information about my proposal?

Yes. The proposal’s information will be shared within the MediaFutures consortium and MediaFutures Advisory Board. A summary of the proposals and the participants will be shared with the EC. Moreover, we will publish an Open Dataset with the beneficiaries of our open call including their basic information data and funding received in our project website and social media accounts.

All the information that will be made public is clearly indicated in the official documentation of the call. Unless you want to, no technical insights will be published anywhere.

What are your funding criteria?

Every eligible proposal will be evaluated by two different experts. Check ANNEX 1 ‘Evaluation criteria” of the Guidelines for Applicants for further information.

When filling in the application, should I fill all the fields?

It is very important to fill all the requested fields. All the fields not filled will not be considered and therefore, this will negatively impact the evaluation.

Which type of information should I include in the market section?

Information of the market/potential market of your company

What does a good team look like?

Please note that to be eligible, founder commitment is required. Therefore, the first team member to be listed must be a founder.

Please make sure to include both technical and business profiles in your team to have a balanced and capable team.

Filling in Team Members #1 and #2 is mandatory. Filling in Team Members #3 and #4 is highly advisable.

Can I have access to my application answers?

You should be able to view and access all your applications on F6S. If you run into any issues accessing your applications or account, please contact support@f6s.com.

What if I need to change the answers to my application?

If you have submitted an application and would like to change or update any information please email us at opencall@mediafutures.eu. Let us know what you would like to change along with the name of your project on your application.

When will I hear back regarding my application?

Our goal is to notify applicants approximately one month after the call closure.
Selected Participants

When are we going to be paid?

During the negotiation phase a payment calendar will be included in the Sub-Grantee Agreement that will be signed by the selected teams and the MediaFutures coordinator. As a general rule there will be no pre-financing, but payments will be divided through milestones across the different phases.

Do I have to keep track of my expenses for justifying the costs?

Not for this project. Payments are a flat rate, which are released if some conditions are met (check the guidelines). Some examples:

  • For the START phase all teams in the Face-to-face pitch contest event will be awarded with €5,000.
  • Payment linked to the BUILD phase depends on the accomplishment of the list of obligations defined.
  • Payment linked to the EXHIBIT phase depends on the award prizes for most successful projects selected on the final event.

If you spend more or less is your business.  So administratively speaking, this is easy.

Is subcontracting allowed?

Subcontracting is not encouraged. The general rule applicable to MediaFutures project is that selected third parties must have the appropriate resources to implement the full set of tasks needed within the project. This means it is not allowed to subcontract key parts of the project.

Examples (not restricted to) of subcontracting activities that could be appropriate if needed are technical support (e.g. app programming), marketing measures (e.g. creating videos), legal services or design services.

In addition, the subcontracting amount should not represent a relevant amount of the total budget and should be justified on the submitted proposal.

Is it allowed for the beneficiary to change team members during the project?

If you participate as a team of individuals, you have to stick to that team. Only new members can be added to improve the team but not to change the initial team. If you are participating as an entity, you are free to add new employees from the firm to the team.

What is the live pitch contest?

The live pitch contest will be an event held in the START phase where at least a couple members of the team should be working on the challenge but also competing in a business pitch in front of a jury. For Startup meets Artis (SmA) track, teams will aslo have to present how they envision artist-startup collaboration, and what the arts outcomes will be. You are paid €5,000 to cover expenses. This is thought as an effective way to meet the teams that will enter into the BUILD phase described in our process and that if selected after the pitch can get up to €80k.

Is physical presence needed at any time for the applicants?

If the Covid-19 situation allows, and if you are a selected third party, physical presence is required to participate in MediaFutures programme physical events and activities.
The Data

Is the data in the public catalogue open?

Every dataset in the public catalogue (https://data.mediafutures.eu) contains its legal restrictions so please check the corresponding license in the original source.

Is the data in the public catalogue the only data we will have access to?

The public catalogue contains open datasets that we find of interest for the open call challenges. However, start-ups, SMEs and artists could gather more data for their projects in collaboration with the MediaFutures’ staff responsible for the experiment support.

What about the intellectual property of my app/tool/software/artwork?

You are free to decide the type of licensing you will provide. Just consider the data you are using to build the mock-up or MVP might have copyright restrictions you will need to sort out with the data provider.

The artwork is the property of the artist.

Is there a common database with all the data?

Each of the Challenges can be addressed via the use of any dataset or combination of datasets, from those provided by MediaFutures (https://mediafutureseu.github.io/datasets), or other open or shared datasets.

Is it allowed to add external data to enrich the proposed solution?

The catalogue of open datasets is just a list of recommended sources for the project, but you are free to use any data coming from other sources that you have legal acces to.

Can the results obtained during the project (methods, algorithms) be published in a research paper?

There is no problem to publish papers with the results. Beware that if you disclose snippets of the dataset you might need permission from its owner, i.e. data provider.

Should I use the datasets at proposal stage?

At the proposal stage, we are just listing existing open datasets to help you to define your proposal and explain how you will solve the challenge.

MediaFutures has concluded and our social media channel will no longer be active.

Explore the project's outcomes and access valuable resources on the website.

MediaFutures was part of the S+T+ARTS ecosystem.

MediaFutures is part of the S+T+ARTS ecosystem.