The European Commission’s STARTS Prize: Submissions open from today

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STARTS Prize on the Ars Electronica Blog
STARTS Prize photos on Flickr

(Linz/Brussels, 9.1.2020) From today, scientists, technologists, artists, institutions, labs, and companies can submit their lighthouse projects for this year’s STARTS Prize of the European Commission. The aim is to find pioneering work at the interface of science, technology, and art that contributes to scientific and social innovation. In addition to the coveted STARTS Prize trophy, the winners can look forward to prize money of 20,000 euros each as well as prominent appearances at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, at BOZAR in Brussels, at Waag in Amsterdam, and at various events organized by partner institutions. Entries can be submitted until March 2; participation is free of charge. The STARTS Prize 2020 is announced and overseen by Ars Electronica, BOZAR, and Waag. The competition is part of the STARTS initiative of the European Commission.

Two competition categories
The STARTS Prize is awarded in two categories: The “Grand Prize – Innovative Collaboration” honors innovative collaboration between industry or technology and the artistic, cultural, and creative sectors that open up new avenues for innovation. The “Grand Prize Artistic Collaboration” is awarded for artistic research and works whose adoption by art has great potential to influence or change the use, application, or perception of technology. The nominations are evaluated by a jury, which selects two winning projects and up to ten special mentions.

From “parasites” for smart home systems to 3D-printed steel bridges
The projects honored in the past illustrate the great diversity of the works submitted to the STARTS Prize: These range from a control organ for smart home devices and a fully functional 3-D printed steel bridge for the city center of Amsterdam to a do-it-yourself kit for breeding lactobacillus bacteria for vaginal flora and to fashion design that blends nature and technology. Since its introduction in 2016, the STARTS Prize has been awarded to the Artificial Skins and Bones Group, Iris van Herpen, Gramazio Kohler Research, ETH Zurich and Self-Assembly Lab at MIT, Etsuko Yakushimaru, MX3D & Joris Laarman Lab, Giulia Tomasello, 300.000 Km/s, and Bjørn Karmann und Tore Knudsen.

The European Commission’s STARTS Initiative
In order to withstand global competition and to shape society in a positive and sustainable way, Europe is dependent on innovation. With their alternative research methods and critical points of view on technology, artists can make a decisive contribution to innovations and technologies that are human-centered and sensitive to society. In this way, the arts can act as a catalyst for the application of scientific and technological knowledge about new products, services, and approaches in society, research, and business. The European Commission has launched the STARTS initiative in order to fully involve artists at the interface of science, technology, and art in European innovation processes.

STARTS Prize Trophy / Fotocredit: Peter Verplancke / Printversion