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Fund takes measures due to the coronavirus

28 september 2020

Last update

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting and disrupting society as a whole, and its consequences will be felt worldwide for a long time to come. The aim of the Fund is to contribute to reducing the impact on the Dutch design sector. We will therefore continue to process and evaluate applications for all the grant programmes (with the exception of applications for projects physically taking place abroad). For applications you submit to the Fund from April 2020 onwards, the advisory committee's evaluation is based on the assumption that the reality of COVID-19 has been taken into account in the plans, as far as possible.

In addition, we are in constant consultation with the government, fellow cultural funds and the field so that we can take appropriate measures. The paragraphs below set out all the measures being taken by the Fund.

adapting the working method of the Fund and advisory committee
Since the beginning of April 2020, there has been a very substantial increase in the number of applications for the Fund's grant programmes and open calls. The quality remains as high as ever, which means that the advisory committees will have to make very difficult choices and will probably have to prioritize in each application round. For the same reason, as of 23 April, it will not be possible to submit draft versions of applications to staff members for advice. Specific questions about the procedure, budget or a project plan can be sent to the Fund by e-mail. You can find the correct contact details on the page of the relevant grant programme.

accommodating approach: supporting measures for makers, institutions and festivals
With regard to projects currently being supported that are dealing with the consequences of the coronavirus, the Fund is taking an accommodating position. This means that postponement (up until the end of 2021), modification, relocation or cancellation of the project will in principle be accepted. This also applies to the reimbursement of obligatory costs already incurred and eligible for subsidy if the project can no longer be carried out. The Fund will not compensate the loss of income of freelancers in connection with hours still to be worked within a subsidized project that is no longer being carried out. For this, we refer you to the government's additional support for people who are self-employed on this page.

The following is applicable:
• If your event or project has been definitively cancelled or rescheduled, please inform your contact person at the Fund by e-mail.
• If you receive an automatically generated message from the Fund about final accountability, but your event or project has been cancelled or rescheduled, please e-mail your contact person to let them know.
• You do not need to contact the Fund if there is any doubt about whether or not your event or project will go ahead. You should only e-mail your contact person in the event of a definitive cancellation or rescheduling.

€ 300 million extra for culture
On 15 April, the cabinet made an additional 300 million euro available for the cultural sector. This support will help cultural institutions that are vital to the sector through the financially difficult first months of the corona crisis. By supporting precisely these crucial cultural organizations now, they can ensure that after the crisis, the flow of assignments, including those for freelancers, will get underway again. The Minister aims to start implementing these measures as soon as possible. The extra resources will be used, among other things, to increase the subsidies for institutions that are now receiving support for a number of years from the Creative Industries Fund NL.

focus on makers
The makers in the design sector benefit from contracts and grants. In 2019, the Fund supported a total of 654 projects by makers (mostly carried out by freelancers) for around 10 million euro, in addition to support for 98 institutions to the tune of 6.1 million euro. All 11 grant programmes will therefore be continued in 2020, as will most of the open calls included in the 2020 annual plan. However, it is not possible to apply for projects (ranging from research to residency) abroad as long as there is a negative advice for international travel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On the other hand, (new forms of) international cooperation (without the need for a physical presence) are in fact being stimulated within the different grant programmes and, where possible, within the open calls.

We will make every effort, with the limited possibilities we have, to minimize the impact of this crisis on the sector as far as we can. This means that in the run-up to 2021, we will deploy additional initiatives to give the sector a boost in order to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Fund accessibility
The Fund is still operating and accessible by mail and telephone, despite the fact that Fund staff will be working from home as much as possible in the coming period. We are doing our utmost to ensure that all activities run as normally as possible.

• The secretariat can be reached by telephone and can put you in contact with the right colleague, but as a rule it is more convenient to mail your contact person directly.
• The closing dates are unchanged and can be found in the information on grants on the website.
• The committee meetings will continue as planned, but will mostly take place in the form of a video conference.
• All the Fund's information sessions, workshops and events on location have been postponed until at least 1 September 2020.
• The processing time of an application remains unchanged. You will receive an e-mail informing you of the decision 10 weeks after the closing date of the grant programme. Please note that your project may not start before you have received the result.

Read also the Frequently asked questions and answers about the consequences for the cultural and creative sector on the Government's site.