Open Call

Open Call Announcement

Open call for recipients of financial support

DOORS, the Digital Incubator for Museums, co-funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101036071, foresees the provision of financial support for eligible activities geared towards achieving the objectives defined by third parties.

DOORS invites small and medium-size museums across Europe to submit pilot proposals for a two-stage incubation programme.

Incubation Stage I Call Closed on 13.02.2022, 23:59 CET

Incubation Stage II Call Open on 1.08.2022

Incubation Stage II Call Deadline on 30.09.2022, 23:59 CET
Deadlines will be strictly adhered to. Any submission past the deadline will not be considered.

For the present open call, museums (and collaborative tandems) must submit proposals for digital pilots that can benefit their institutions and help them set the stage for a long-term digital transformation.

  • 40 museums have been selected to take part in the first stage of the incubation programme focused on shared learning. Participating museums now have the chance to refine their proposals and apply for the second stage of the incubation programme.
  • 20 museums will be selected to continue in the second stage of the incubation programme with the practical implementation of their digital pilots.

Pilots must be developed in one of the four concrete innovation areas:

Innovating audience analysis and engagement

New content distribution and revenue models

Strategies for integrating infrastructures

Experimental ICT programmes

Why take part

The DOORS incubation programme is a unique opportunity for the strategic advancement of small and medium-sized museums interested in accomplishing a digital transformation, accessing international expertise, and funding to start and/or support their digital journeys.

The consortium will provide institutions with:

  • Access to a large pool of international experts, technological providers, and know-how from more digitally savvy industries.
  • Access to a broad range of digital assessments & strategy building resources for museums.
  • Tailored support for each piloting organisation’s needs to start its digital transformation.
  • Extensive knowledge exchange process to learn about other relevant digitalisation projects.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • Help with embedding new digital offerings in their established offer.
  • Financial support: €1.500 (of which € 750 is a mandatory workshop fee) in the first incubation stage and up to €27.000 to develop a pilot project if the organisation is selected for the second stage.

Who is the funding for

The following cultural organisations are eligible to participate in the open call:

  • Art museums
  • Design & applied arts museums
  • Natural history and maritime museums
  • Science centres and museums
  • Botanical gardens & herbaria
  • History & archaeology museums
  • Open-air museums and historical sites
  • Archives and libraries
  • Visitor centres with primarily cultural missions are also eligible, while showrooms and visitor centres with primarily commercial objectives, pop-up, mobile and temporary museums are excluded from the open call.
  • Other cultural organisations (such as art galleries, art centres, festivals, etc.) are eligible if they can prove a permanent and ongoing cultural activity for at least two years and justify a clear relevance of the pilot for their organisation’s overall strategy.
  • Purely online or virtual museums are eligible to participate as long as they have existed for at least 2 years and are of permanent character.
  • Alongside individual institutional applications DOORS strongly encourages collaborations and tandem applications. Tandem applications must define one principal applicant who will be fully responsible for undergoing the incubation program and further implementing the pilot.

For the second stage of the incubation programme, only institutions participanting in the first stage of the incubation programme are eligible.

Eligibility criteria

The call is open to all museums and cultural organisations listed above and formed as a legal entity for at least 2 years in one member state of the European Union (including the UK, their overseas departments and outermost regions) or H2020 associated countries (see full list here). The project’s main target is small and medium-sized institutions. To take part in any of the strands, institutions should match at least one of the following criteria:

  • Counting less than 200 000 visitors in 2019 (In-person audience – in situ activity and off-site -, or online audience for purely online/ virtual museums)
  • A yearly turnover or balance sheet total of less than €2 M for core museum operation

For the benefit of exchange and leveraging the knowledge and networks of bigger organizations, large museums (exceeding one or several of the above size criteria) are allowed to submit a proposal for any of the innovation areas in tandem with a minimum of one small and medium-sized museums as described above. Tandem applications must sufficiently demonstrate the benefit of the collaboration for the digital incubation program. For each tandem application, organisations involved need to choose one main applicant. This main applicant needs to comply with the eligibility criteria and will be responsible for the application. The applicant will also be DOORS’ contact point for all administrative aspects such as contracting and final reporting.

Eligible activities for the pilots

The call is for the development and implementation of pilot activities linked with the digital transformation of museums and cultural organisations.

What is a pilot?

In DOORS’ context, a pilot is a project related to museums’ digitalisation, conceived by institutions individually or in tandem and developed in collaboration with the tech and/or creative sector. A pilot can be a completely new project or a phase in a long-term transformation that reaches tangible results within the fixed period of the second incubation stage (i.e., 9 months). To carry out the activities needed for the implementation of the pilot, museums can receive financial support of up to €27.000.

Types of activities

Pilot activities can target different fields of digitalisation in museums, such as collections and asset management, content production and preservation, access control and mediation, marketing and sales, communication, administration and governance, human resources, technical and IT infrastructure.

Applicants can submit proposals targeting digital innovation for online services (digital presence on the web and mobile access), for onsite services (including ICT such as big data or machine learning for analysing day-to-day processes or audiences) and services that bridge online and onsite worlds.

The funding can be spent on personnel costs, equipment/infrastructure, staff training, services and any other cost items deemed eligible and of relevance to the institution’s digital transformation.

The grant cannot cover the maintenance of ongoing projects, however, can be allocated for significant strategic advancement and/or redevelopment with digital means. This implies that DOORS funding should contribute to an independent extension of the existing project.


Synergies with other sources of funding are encouraged if the grants are used for complementary, not overlapping purposes.

Innovation areas

All proposed actions in the pilot need to cover one of the 4 innovation areas:

  • Innovating audience analysis and engagement: Developing innovative (hybrid and online) audience engagement formats to strengthen audience participation and loyalty. Pilots should develop interaction, participation and mediation tools and technologies for presentation based, as well as hands-on & two-way communication formats. Experiments should include an appropriate audience analysis and assessment of the best engagement platform (web, social media, app, etc)
  • New distribution & revenue models: Pilots should experiment with digital technologies, tools, and existing platforms (developing web integration pilots) to enable novel ways of content distribution and revenue models (e.g., membership subscription, etc). Participants can work on increasing visibility of digital contents, metadata standards, digital narration strategies, digital distribution channels, low-tech presentations, or content varieties for different target groups (active vs. passive, digital vs. virtual) etc. Pilots in this innovation area will be encouraged to develop synergies and technical integration possibilities with major European cultural platform providers.
  • Strategies for integrating infrastructure: To ensure diversity in TRL (technology readiness levels) and include museums with no or few ICT (information and communication technologies) pre-investments – according to UNESCO still the major obstacle for digitalisation sector -, this innovation area will specifically target infrastructural pilots integrating ICT. While the priority clearly lies on the integration process of the technology (including roll-out support, data security, value chain integration), pilots can include a part of the infrastructural purchase in the overall budget (up to 40%) if duly justified and proportional.
  • Experimental ICT program: Sharing efforts and synergies within this collaborative innovation area should allow organisations to experiment with digital pilots one individual museum alone would be unable to. This innovation area seeks to encourage experimental pilots which change the use, application, or perception of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) innovation in the museum sector. Due to the collaborative nature of this innovation area, single-institution applications are not eligible.

Timeline for the pilot delivery

To ensure the sustainability of the pilots, the projects will be evaluated against alignment with the general institutional development strategy. However, the first tangible results respectively outlined/defined in the application, need to be achieved and presented at the Ecsite Conference (June 2023) and in pilots’ reports completed by the end of incubation stage 2 (July 2023). For more details about the eligibility criteria and the selection process, please download our Guide for Applicants.

How to apply

DOORS has already had a call for the first stage of its digital incubation programme. The present call is for the second stage of the incubation programme taking place from November 2022 to July 2023. Only the 40 beneficiaries selected in the previous call are further eligible to apply for the present call (1.08.2022-30.09.2022).

Application must be sent to before September 30th 2022, 23:59 CEST. To answer this call, institutions are required to follow the process outlined below:

  • Step 1: Check eligibility criteria listed above or in the Guide for Applicants.
  • Step 2: Check the Declaration of Honour and the Orbit page (coming soon) to make sure you do not have any conflict of interest with jury member(s).
  • Step 3: Prepare your pilot proposal (download template here). Please read carefully the “Selection criteria” section of this call to make sure you provide all necessary details in the description of your pilot idea and foreseen impact.
  • Step 4: Complete and email your proposal as a PDF file (max. size 10 MB) to before September 30th 2022, 23:59 CEST.

When applying to the DOORS open call, please also note that:

  • Only complete applications submitted before the deadline will be considered for review.
  • All mandatory sections must be written in English for the proposal to be eligible. Only parts written in English will be evaluated.
  • Organisations are allowed to submit only one proposal for each innovation area.
Online information session (only for stage I)

Two online info sessions about the open call will be held for institutions interested in applying to the programme. A recording of one of the sessions will be made available to applicants on the dedicated DOORS’ website page.

  • Info Session on the 22nd of December 2021. Click here to watch the recording.
  • Info Session on the 25th of January 2022. Click here to watch the recording.
  • Download Info Session Slides
Application Guidelines and Documents

Call identifier: DOORS_2022_01/02
The principal language of the project and, respectively, application submission process: English

For further information, you can email us at:

Open Call Stage I Statistics

Submissions by Country

Submissions by EU Region

DOORS – Digital Incubator for Museums,  co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement  No  101036071,  launched an open call  (call  ID  DOORS_2022_01/02)  for recipients of financial support. The call closed on 13.02.2022, 23:59 CET. A total of 128 proposals were received for this call. 40 proposals will receive funding for a total amount of 60000 EUR. In the first stage of the incubator, each recipient will receive a lump sum of 1500EUR. The evaluation and selection have been completed. All applicants have been informed about the evaluation results for their proposal for financial support.


The call was published on project DOORS – Digital Incubator for Museums’  website  (  and on the  Horizon  2020 Participants Portal ( on 15.11.2021. Full call details were published at: