Grant Programme Upstream: Music x Design

Closing dates

31 march 2021

01 september 2021

Budget 2021: € 300.000

in collaboration with the Performing Arts Fund NL and Sena

With Upstream, the Creative Industries Fund NL, together with the Performing Arts Fund NL and Sena, supports innovative artistic formats and collaborations within Dutch pop/urban music. The Upstream: Music x Design grant programme is executed by the Creative Industries Fund NL and is intended for projects in which artists work together with designers and makers on new applications of design, visual culture and technology within music. With the help of Upstream, the Funds and Sena aim to broaden and strengthen the music industry in the Netherlands, to come across more strongly internationally and to stimulate crossovers into other disciplines. Talent development, professionalization, innovation and experimentation are central. The annual budget is made available in two application rounds of each € 150.000.

  • Who is this grant programme for?

  • The Upstream: Music x Design grant programme is aimed at supporting collaborative projects. Dutch partnerships formed by at least one pop artist and one designer or maker from the creative industry may submit an application for this grant programme. It is important that together they make a proven contribution to their disciplines, nationally or internationally. The applicant must be registered in the Chamber of Commerce trade register.

    In addition to Upstream: Music x Design, the Performing Arts Fund offers artists in pop-/ urban music the opportunity to invest in the development of their career with the Grant Programme Upstream: Music. For more information, visit upstreamgrants.nl (Dutch only).
  • For which projects can a grant application be submitted?

  • Under the Upstream: Music x Design grant programme, applications for subsidy can be submitted for projects aimed at innovative (artistic) applications of design, image or technology within pop music. The programme is intended for projects that will also be shared with a wide audience. Projects can result in both physical and virtual presentations, products, installations or interventions.

    development and realization application
    For the development and realization of projects, the maximum contribution per project is € 50,000. The contribution is intended to provide fair compensation for the artistic/content-related parties involved and for costs, including material costs, relating to development, prototyping and performance.

    starting grants
    Within Upstream: Music x Design a grant can also be requested for the start-up phase of projects. The start-up phase is a maximum of six months and is intended for carrying out preliminary research, preparing for the project and fleshing out the collaboration. Starting grants amount to a maximum of € 5,000 and must result in a detailed plan for realization.

    Applications must consist of a detailed project plan, time planning, budget, communication plan, CVs of parties involved, a (visual) portfolio and a collaboration agreement between the participating parties. Applications must be submitted by the party involved in the creative industry.

    The Board may choose to provide part of the contribution as a loan, based on the advice given by the advisory committee. This form of support can be applied if it is likely that the project, or part of the project, will lead to a revenue model. In this situation, a part of the contribution, determined by the Board, must be reimbursed within three years at the most. When a project does not generate the expected income, the loan is partially or entirely written off.

    for which projects can a grant application not be submitted?
    A grant application may not be submitted in the case of projects in which none of the collaborating parties is primarily active within the creative industry, i.e. the disciplines of architecture, design and digital culture. In addition, no applications may be submitted for projects that do not rise above regular practice, such as conventional video clips or stage concepts, merchandising and artist branding.
  • What are the evaluation criteria?

  • In evaluating the application, attention is paid to the consistency of the project's motivation in terms of objective, set-up, expertise involved and content. Projects are also weighted according to the following criteria:

    • Impact: the project investigates a sub-aspect of the pop sector in an innovative way and brings together parties with a proven track record from at least two disciplines.
    • Artistic quality: the artistic quality of the project is high and it is technically feasible.
    • Distinctive value: the project adds value to the existing range within pop/urban music.
    • Dutch interest: the project is a collaboration between two or more partners who have a clear link with the Dutch creative industry. The applicant is registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. If the immediacy is well-founded, collaboration with a foreign party is permitted.
    • Public reach: there is a clear vision on the project's public reach and the project is internationally scalable.
    • The project's premiere takes place in the Netherlands.
    • The application is accompanied by a detailed Intellectual Property Agreement between the participating parties that provides insight into the Intellectual Property relationships and the expected economic gain. The agreement on property rights, copyright and neighbouring rights must be signed by the parties involved when the request for realization is submitted.
    • The Intellectual Property Agreement guarantees the possibility of unimpeded use of the end product by the artist concerned after realization of the end product.
    • There is reasonable co-financing consisting of a personal contribution or a contribution from third parties.

    Only the first four criteria mentioned above apply to starting-grant applications: impact, artistic quality, distinctive value and Dutch interest.
  • Preparing the application

  • guidelines
    Refer to the Grant Application Guide (PDF) when submitting your application. The guide provides guidance with regard to the grant application and the drawing up of the project plan, budget and communication plan.

    General Subsidy Regulations and the Architecture Grant Programme
    The Creative Industries Fund NL has Subsidy Regulations that formally apply to the application, evaluation, awarding and final approval of a grant. Supplementary grant programmes have been drawn up with specific objectives and conditions. Read the Regulations (PDF) as well as the Grant Programme Upstream: Music x Design (PDF) attentively before submitting an application.

    online application environment
    The application should be submitted using the online application environment. You have to sign up and create an account to do so. Please note: do so in a timely manner, it can take up to 1 working day for the Fund to validate the account and this is only done during the working week.

    You can submit the online application form until 23:59 on the day of the closing date. Advice is to submit your application earlier because of the busy server.

    From April 23, 2020 it is not possible to submit draft versions of applications to the staff for advice. If you have other questions please refer to our FAQ.
  • Grant procedure

  • acceptance
    After your application has been submitted, the Fund office checks whether you comply with the formal requirements as listed in the Subsidy Regulations (PDF) and the Grant Programme Upstream: Music x Design (PDF).

    An advisory committee will evaluate your request on the basis of the Subsidy Regulations and the Grant Programme Upstream: Music x Design. In particular, it will assess the extent to which your application is aligned with the criteria listed in Articles 16 - 21 of the Subsidy Regulations (PDF) and the grant programme's specific objectives (Article 1 of the Grant Programme Upstream: Music x Design (PDF)). If the positive decisions in a round of applications exceed the available budget, prioritization can be applied. The committee will issue a recommendation to the Creative Industries Fund NL's Board. View the composition of the advisory committee for the Grant Programme Upstream: Music x Design here.

    It happens quite regularly that the available budget of a subsidy round is insufficient. The total amount of the grants requested by all the positively evaluated applications exceeds the round's budget, or subsidy ceiling. Prioritization must then take place. This is carried out in accordance with Articles 9 and 10 of the Subsidy Regulations. Article 10, clause 2 (a) applies in this case:

    'The available amount will be awarded to the applicants whose application is valued most highly, where the requested contribution can be awarded to the most highly valued applications, provided the total does not exceed the subsidy ceiling, and subsequently only the amount remaining up to the subsidy ceiling will be awarded to the applicant to whom awarding a grant would lead to the subsidy ceiling being exceeded.'

    The board will take the recommendation into account in their decision to award the subsidy or not. You will be informed of the decision 10 weeks after the closing date for the grant programme at the latest. You will receive a message with the result by email.

    If you do not agree with the Creative Industries Fund NL's decision you can submit a reviewed application or letter of appeal. More information is provided here.

    If you receive a grant from the Creative Industries Fund NL you will enter into obligations. Please read important information on your accountability here. Two weeks before your project ends you will receive a request by e-mail to submit your accountability in the online application environment.
  • Contact

  • For further information please contact:
    Ibrahim Alaoui Chrifi

    You can also call +31 (0)10 4361600.

    grants issued