Startups and artists can now apply for equity free funding of up to €80,000 on innovative, creative and impactful ideas which address the issues of online misinformation and disinformation
The L3S-coordinated EU project MediaFutures, a Data Innovation Hub that brings together startups, SMEs and artists to solve challenges in the media industry, has announced that applications are open for its second Accelerator and Residency programme.
Startups, SMEs, artists and artistic companies as well as groups of individuals can now apply to become part of the European-funded project.
From 2020 to 2023, MediaFutures supports 51 startups and SMEs, and 43 artists across three Open Calls for applications, distributing a total amount of €2.5 million. Successful applicants will receive funding, mentoring and training.
Applications are opening for its second cohort, which will begin the programme in April 2022. Startups, SMEs, artists and artistic companies as well as groups of individuals have until 27 January 2022 to submit an application. MediaFutures is looking for ideas relating to quality journalism, transparency, democracy and science communications, all of which should look to counteract the negative impact of misinformation and disinformation within society. Artists can work from available datasets or work with their own, as well as reacting to current affairs, media stories or issues around media freedom and accuracy.
Applications are being encouraged from those groups who are not as well-represented in the art and start-up worlds, or face additional barriers to entry, including those from ethnic minorities, women and non-binary individuals, the LGBTQ+ community, those with disabilities and those in lower-middle income countries.
According to Alexandra Garatzogianni, Coordinator of MediaFutures and Head of Technology Transfer at the Leibniz Information Center for Science and Technology (TIB), “In MediaFutures, we advance and train entrepreneurs and artists to critically explore data and develop novel products, services and artworks, related to the role of media in our society with a focus on misinformation and disinformation. Our multidisciplinary training program includes equity-free funding and fosters creativity, critical thinking and collaboration between science, technology and the arts. To drive change and economic growth, it is crucial to support entrepreneurship. This ultimately leads to job creation, as innovative and improved products spur the creation of new markets. In this context, diversity and multidisciplinarity are key enablers for innovation and crosspolination among sciences.”
For more information on how to apply, visit: https://mediafutures.eu/opencall/.
MediaFutures has three programme tracks open for applications:
- Artists for Media - a six month Residency programme for artists with an innovative concept to explore data and technology, and its impact on individuals and society
- Startups for Citizens - a six month Accelerator programme for startups to build a product or service that encourages novel, meaningful ways to engage with media content
- Startup meets Artist - a six month mixed Residency and Accelerator support programme for teams of startups and artists to collaboratively develop new ideas around data technology and the arts
Some examples of the projects from the 2021 accelerator and residency programme:
- People Supported Intelligence: SURU Together Ltd. developed People Supported Intelligence, a community-focused platform, using data about coronavirus, to encourage conversations among diverse groups and meaningful discussions in small groups, to address community-level issues.
- PONTE: EZC.Partners and The Cynefin Centre have collaborated with visual artist Annika Varjonen. They combined technology platforms, narrative data and art to tackle division and radicalisation in communities. They also developed a plug-in to social media that points users to content that differs from what they usually see.
- Critical Climate Machine: visual artist Gaëtan Robillard developed a digital sculpture and sound installation that quantifies and reveals the mechanisms of misinformation on global warming.
You can find a description for all of the 12 graduated projects here.
About MediaFutures: MediaFutures is a three-year European innovation project that aims to contribute to high-quality media activities. Through three Open Calls, startups and artists will encourage citizens to engage more meaningfully with high-quality journalism, science education, and digital citizenship by using different pilots, artworks, and experiences.
The MediaFutures project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 951962.