about the fund
Creative Industries Fund NL is the Dutch cultural fund for architecture, design and digital culture, as well as every imaginable crossover.
The Fund strives to make a substantial contribution to the quality of professional design practice within and especially between the disciplines of architecture, design and digital culture. Part of this endeavour is the interdisciplinary interplay between the cultural, social and economic domains. The Fund supports exceptional and innovative projects and activities of designers, makers and cultural institutions in the creative industries.
Aims and objectives
The aim of all the grants and programmes is to enrich the creative sector and through cooperation to strive towards a culture- and knowledge-driven creative economy. The Fund promotes the production and presentation of architecture, design and digital culture from the Netherlands at home and abroad. At the same time the Fund contributes to the formulation of broadly supported design solutions for societal issues through its grants and programmes.
The Fund has an annual budget of about €15 million. The greatest portion of this budget comes from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), complemented by a budget from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BuZa) for internationalization, and a budget from the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (IenM) for three stimulation programmes − Innovative Forms of Commissioning, Healthcare Environments and Education Environments − within the Action Agenda for Spatial Design (Actieagenda Ruimtelijk Ontwerp). This means that the Fund is operating within several policy contexts. It supports hundreds of projects in the Netherlands and beyond every year. The Fund employs 25 members of staff and is advised by more than 100 experts in its evaluation of applications. The executive director is advised by a selection committee of three members for the nomination of new committee members.
Results achieved in 2016
Over 2016 the funds available within the nine grant programmes were shared almost equally among the disciplines of architecture, design and digital culture. Over the last year the number of applications grew from almost 1,100 to less than 2,100, of which 32% were awarded a grant. The proportion of first-time applicants was 47% and their success percentage was comparable to that of experienced applicants. All the Fund’s grant programmes were financially oversubscribed, so applications that were evaluated positively were often awarded a grant on the basis of prioritization.
Core role of grants
Since the establishment of Creative Industries Fund NL in 2013, it has used its initial years to develop a new model of practice for funds in association with designers, makers, institutions and civic partners. It has set up a package of grants, which has gradually been refined, to provide financial support for excellence within the disciplines of architecture, design, fashion, games and digital storytelling. There are opportunities for support for talent development, artistic and professional development, practical enrichment such as research, experimentation, analysis and reflection, and for projects focused on social engagement and public activities. Presentation venues, cultural institutions and design labs can submit grant applications for their programming and collaborative projects.
More than grants alone
Equally important for the Fund is its package of programmes, which functions as the laboratory for new forms of working and collaboration, as well as for the exploration of urgent issues. The programmes are organized around content-related themes or a specific objective. A grant can be part of a programme, as with Talent Development and Internationalization.
The interdisciplinary Talent Development Programme provides leeway for artistic development for creative talents, in combination with professional coaching from top-notch creatives to establish their own practices.
The Internationalization Programme continues to evolve into a cohesive, demand-driven programme that fosters the internationalization of proven talent and successful projects in order to expand the knowledge, network and impact of professional practice. Individual designers, makers and bureaus, as well as cultural institutions, can participate in the Internationalization Programme.
Designers can export their knowledge and expertise with the Fund’s support, thus expanding their sphere of activity. For example, in the previous policy period a joint venture was established with UN-Habitat, which involves Dutch designers advising local governments around the world about urban development. The knowledge that designers gain in the process leads to further development of the discipline, in the Netherlands too, and offers opportunities for international market development.
Three programmes, namely Innovative Forms of Commissioning, Healthcare Accommodation and Education Environments, are part of the Action Agenda for Spatial Design (Actieagenda Ruimtelijk Ontwerp) and concentrate on how designers can contribute to the quality of our surroundings.
Open Calls can be issued within the context of the various Grant Programmes and Programmes, e.g. for participation in national and international events, research into a specific task or participation in a specific fund programme. The Open Calls are effective and lower the threshold for new applicants.
Cooperation between cultural funds
Over recent years the cultural funds in the Netherlands have strengthened their mutual cooperation in order to increase their effectiveness. This involves the sharing of knowledge, joining forces on those points where the spheres of activity overlap, improvement of cooperation on the work floor and the learning of ‘best practices’. The staff of the funds consult regularly about specific realms, such as legal affairs, finances, communications, staff representation, research and evaluations. The directors maintain structural consultation about strategy and development (of policy and otherwise). For applicants who operate at the intersection of the funds’ spheres of activity, the funds attune their schemes and/or cross-refer applicants as appropriate.
The Fund is also involved in:
The Non-fiction Transmedia grant programme, in association with the Netherlands Film Fund
The Literature on the Screen and Literary Games programmes, in association with the Dutch Foundation for Literature
Joint support of two studios – in Seoul, South Korea, and in Arita, Japan – in association with the Mondriaan Fund
The Get a Grant Event, a series of informative meetings for academies of art and design, in association with the Mondriaan Fund
Providing advice for the Prix de Rome award for artists and architects, in association with the Mondriaan Fund
Strengthening entrepreneurial skills, in association with Fonds Kwadraat
The Fund explores the boundaries of the creative industries in association with external parties. The impact of the programme outcomes is reinforced by entering into long-term joint ventures with relevant partners from culture, education and civil society. This intrinsic collaboration with diverse partners does justice to the development of working practices within the creative industries, where crossing boundaries is the order of the day and innovations are often found in crossovers, interdisciplinary collaborations and exchange. Examples of this include:
To make the sphere of activity of the creative industries as robust as possible, the Fund works with cultural organizations and institutions, as well as practice-based and educational institutions.
The Fund works together with the Top Team (figureheads from the creative industries), the Dutch Creative Council, the Federation of Dutch Creative Industries and CLICKNL within the Top Sectors policy, with cultural policy as the substantive framework.
The Fund works together with Het Nieuwe Instituut on shared themes and reinforcement of stakeholder ties, including the New Year’s reception that is organized every year.
The Fund works with embassies and consulates in order to strengthen the international position of the design sector.
The collaboration with UN-Habitat in the Global Network of Urban Planning and Design Labs focuses on sustainable urban development in cities situated in emerging economies.
healthcare, education, research
The Fund initiates joint ventures between care providers, care professionals and designers in order to investigate means of improving the quality of healthcare and living environments in the care sector.
The Education research programme involves collaboration with institutions within intermediate vocational education (MBO), higher vocational education (HBO) and tertiary academic education (WO) in order to renew professional training for young people.
The Fund works together with academies of art and design, universities of applied sciences and universities in the development of design by research.