[the next idea] voestalpine Art and Technology Grant

Ars Electronica bestows [the next idea] voestalpine Art and Technology Grant on new, not-yet-produced ideas that have the potential, once they’re brought to fruition, to make a fundamental positive impact on our future. This objective places [the next idea] at the opposite end of the Prix’s prize spectrum from the Visionary Pioneers category, in that the concept singled out for recognition with this grant is at the very beginning of its developmental path and recipients are out to prove that they have what it takes to make it a big success. The accent here is on ideas that take an active approach to configuring humankind’s future. Its aim is to honor excellent projects with a technological, artistic, scientific and social entrepreneurship orientation that have what it takes to launch new interdisciplinary approaches, as well as projects that have come up with novel ways of looking at social problems and deliver simple ways of going about solving them. [the next idea] is thus a key segment of the Prix arc extending from paying tribute to the Visionary Pioneers in the digital arts, to the Golden Nicas bestowed in the established disciplines in this field, and recognition of today’s young trailblazers. The winner receives a €7,500 grant and the opportunity to develop the idea further with support provided by Ars Electronica. To accomplish this, we seek artistic, scientific, technological and social entrepreneurship solutions to or modes of dealing with the key social issues the world now faces. The focus is on global themes such as energy, mobility and free access to information. Examples—that are by no means meant to be delimiting—are alternative models for dealing with energy and resources, concepts and ideas for a world that has gotten more mobile and more global, as well as measures and projects to foster equal opportunity and broader participation in the possibilities afforded by modern Information Society. We’re especially interested in contributing to the development of an idea raised in the context of one of these social issues, a project that entails a concrete, feasible, promising approach to a solution. [the next idea] offers the chance to submit a project that transcends the boundaries of discrete disciplines, to enhance/upgrade it in collaboration with an experienced crew, to effectively publicize it, and thus to take the project to the next level. Possibilities of Implementing [the next idea] voestalpine Art and Technology Grant The collaboration with Ars Electronica’s in-house specialists and global network of mentors can be structured in various ways, and will be custom-tailored to the nature of the selected project and the grant recipient. One possibility is to receive feedback about the project and its progress on a periodic workshop basis. Recipients can also opt to develop the project during a residency of up to three months at the Ars Electronica Futurelab, or pursue a strategy worked out with mentors on how to proceed, present and develop the project. Thus, the trailblazing recipients of [the next idea] grant gain access to Ars Electronica’s wide-ranging network. The collaboration can take place online or on site in Linz; the precise sequence will be coordinated with the recipient’s agenda. The recipient will be announced at a Prix Ars Electronica press conference and honored at the Gala during the Ars Electronica Festival. The recipient’s project/concept will be presented in the Prix Ars Electronica’s CyberArts catalog and at the Ars Electronica Festival later that same year. Furthermore, recipients of [the next idea] voestalpine art and technology grant are appointed as “Future Innovators” and invited to take part in the next Future Innovators Summit and a panel discussion with the winner of the Golden Nica for Visionary Pioneers of Media Art at the next Ars Electronica Festival. The awarding of this grant is made possible by voestalpine.

Details concerning Submissions

Every submission must include the following elements:
  • 3-minute video documentation
  • Concept description
  • Production plan
In the video documentation, the project’s producer will personally present his/her concept. The concept description should elaborate on the essential aspects of the concept, its fundamental theoretical considerations, the technical details of the hardware and software necessary for its implementation, and its production conditions and spatial requirements. The production plan should include a clear description of the steps required for the realization of the project (e.g. open questions to be investigated, necessary R&D activities, issues having to do with the project’s future direction) and should also specify whether a particular production step is to be performed by the project’s producer personally or by someone else (e.g. an Ars Electronica Futurelab staffer). Please bear in mind that the jury’s decision is essentially based on the video documentation, the concept description and the production plan. Thus, the information you provide ought to be as specific as possible.

What can you submit?

This competition is open to all types of innovative concepts and ideas in the following areas:
  • Art
  • Design
  • Technology
  • Social Entrepreneurship
An essential precondition is that the project deal with significant social issues and global themes such as energy, mobility and open access.

Evaluation Criteria

All entries will be presented (in the order in which they were received) to a jury of experts, and then assessed according to the following criteria:
  • The concept’s relevance to the creative community in art, technology and society, as well as
  • The content’s technical and/or artistic innovativeness, or
  • The originality and significance of the design, as well as
  • The feasibility of the concept
Strictly commercially oriented productions (in the sense of product promotion) are excluded from participation. Jurors are entitled to nominate candidates in addition to those who submit entries themselves.

Concept Realization and Presentation

The grant recipient’s project/concept will be presented at the Ars Electronica Festival. The project producer must assure that it will definitely be possible to present the project in conjunction with the next Ars Electronica Festival. The presentation must be coordinated in advance with the festival producer, who reserves the right to stipulate the presentation format by taking into consideration the entire festival program. The grant in the amount of €7,500 will be disbursed on a one-time basis to the producer of the project/concept selected by the jury. This lump sum is meant to cover travel expenses and the cost of accommodations during the residency and/or during the Ars Electronica Festival, regardless of whether the project/concept was submitted by an individual or a group. If the grant is awarded to a group, then participation in the residency is limited to three persons. Any costs or other outlays to be incurred in conjunction with the Festival presentation will be the subject of negotiations between the project producer and the festival producer prior to the beginning of the work at and/or collaboration with Ars Electronica, and the agreement those parties reach will be set out in a formal contract.