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Media Futures

Media Futures call managed by ZABALA gathered 133 proposals from 34 countries

ZABALA will impart two webinars focused on Public Funding opportunities and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Media Futures is an innovation project supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme that aims at contributing to high-quality media activities. It establishes a data-driven innovation hub to offer grant funding and support for startups and artists through three Open Calls.

In January, the first call for proposals closed. Managed by ZABALA Innovation, Media Futures received 133 proposals from 34 different countries, which make it a very successful call. The countries amongst those proposals have been, in alphabetical order, Armenia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.

Media Futures first call got an interesting number of proposals which presented use cases of across different domains, rather than the traditional sector, and as of right now the evaluation process is being finalized and the applicants will be informed about the winners in the upcoming days. Selected companies will be made public after all legal details are sorted out.

Trainings for the open call

ZABALA will organize two trainings in the frame of Media Futures project:

The first webinar will be focused on Public Funding opportunities (+KAILA tool); this webinar will be about presenting the different opportunities for public funding at the European level and their benefits. It will also include a tool recently launched by ZABALA: KAILA. This tool allows you to identify opportunities for public funding, relevant projects, actors with whom to collaborate, as well as the most important actors in each field, monitor technological trends, individualized advice according to your interests, etc. Each team that reaches the BUILD phase will be provided with a free license for the entire program.

The second webinar will be about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) and Social Innovation This training consists of aligning the business models with the SDG’s established by the United Nations and thus establishing a methodology with social impact. Specifically, it will explain how to define social risks based on the business model and implement actions to avoid them.

This training will be composed by a webinar where the theoretical part of the SDGs will be explained and a case study of a technology company that has implemented this methodology. Afterwards, the participants will be encouraged to reflect and apply this to their business models. Later, a workshop will be organized (if possible, physically) to evaluate each practical case and help the teams.

Call for proposals

Throughout the project Media Futures will support 51 startups or SMEs and 43 artists through a total of three Open Calls, distributing a total amount of €2.5M. It will support the selected applicants through a 6-month Accelerator (startups & SMEs)/ Residency (artists) programme including funding, mentoring, and training.

Depending on the track the winners will receive a grant up to €40,000 for artists and up to €80,000 for startups, alongside expert consultancy and support to reshape the media value chain through responsible, innovative uses of data through the Residency programme, the Accelerator or the Startup meets Artist mixed Residency and Accelerator programme.

In April the START stage will begin. For one month the artists and startups will refine their project and present their business model, and collaboration project in front of a jury at the end of the month. This jury will select half of the teams to continue the support programme and take part in the BUILD phase. In the BUILD phase the artists selected for the Artists for Media track will directly start the residency programme; this will last for approximately 6 months, and it is the core part of the stage. During this period, the teams will focus on achieving the goals of their support projects.

And finally, in the EXHIBIT stage the teams reaching the required percentage of their Key Performance Indicators will access this final stage. A prize of €5,000 for artists and €10,000 for startups will be awarded for the most successful contestants, following the decision of a jury.

For those who didn’t have time to apply to the first open call, the 2nd will open between October and December 2021 and will be published on the Media Futures website.