European Commissions’ STARTS Prize 2018 for Innovation in Technology, Industry and Society stimulated by the Arts

2018 STARTS Prize

Application Deadline: March 2nd, 2018 (11:59 PM, CET)

On behalf of the European Commission, Ars Electronica in collaboration with BOZAR and Waag Society is issuing an open call for entries to a competition that will determine the third recipients of STARTS Prize, prestigious and—with two €20,000 prizes—highly endowed awards. Expressly encouraged are innovative projects at the interface of science, technology and art.

Science, Technology and Arts (=STARTS) form a nexus with an extraordinarily high potential for creative innovation. And such innovation is considered to be precisely what’s called for if we’re to master the social, ecological and economic challenges that Europe will be facing in the near future. The role of artists thus is no longer seen to be just about propagating scientific and technological knowledge and skills among the general public but much more as a kind of catalyst that can inspire and trigger innovative processes.

The artistic practice of creative exploration and experimental appropriation of new technologies has a wide reaching potential to contribute to the development of new products and new economic, social and business models. Accordingly, the STARTS Prize focuses on artistic works that influence or change the way we look at technology, and on innovative forms of collaboration between the ICT sector and the world of art and culture.


  • Artists / creative professionals or the researchers / companies involved from throughout the world; STARTS is not limited to citizens of EU-member states.

What can be submitted?

  • groundbreaking collaborations and projects driven by both technology and the arts. Purely artistic or technologically driven projects are not the focus of this competition.
  • all forms of artistic works and practices with a strong link to innovation in technology, business and/or society; furthermore, STARTS is not restricted to a particular genre such as media art and digital art.
  • all types of technological and scientific research and development that has been inspired by art or involves artists as catalysts of novel thinking.


Two prizes, each with €20,000 prize money, are offered to honor innovative projects at the intersection of science, technology and the arts: one for artistic exploration, and thus projects with the potential to influence or change the way technology is deployed, developed or perceived, and one for innovative collaboration between industry/technology and art/culture in ways that open up new paths for innovation.

Grand Prize—Artistic Exploration
Awarded for artistic exploration and art works where appropriation by the arts has a strong potential to influence or alter the use, deployment or perception of technology.

Grand Prize—Innovative Collaboration
Awarded for innovative collaboration between industry or technology and the arts that opens new pathways for innovation.



  • Projects can be submitted both to the STARTS Prize and a Prix Ars Electronica category.
  • An artist may submit more than one work.
  • Entrants are requested not to submit irreplaceable originals since submitted materials cannot be returned.
  • If your entry is awarded a prize, your material will be used for the catalog, DVD (CD) and the Prix Ars Electronica website or any communication purpose from Ars Electronica, BOZAR, Waag Society or the European Union (see Rights), so we ask you to prepare your picture and text material carefully.
  • If you send in additional material pertaining to your submission via post, please mail it by the submission deadline (date of postmark is determinative) to:
    Ars Electronica Linz GmbH & Co KG
    Ars-Electronica-Straße 1
    4040 Linz, Austria
    Code: STARTS Prize

Public Nominations

  • Works can be nominated online for prize consideration in the individual competition categories until March 2, 2018.
  • Public nominations are recommendations; thus, nominated projects are not automatically entered in the competition. The nominated artists will be contacted by the organizer before the jury convenes. Projects must then be formally submitted by the artists themselves prior to the entry deadline and in accordance with all competition criteria in order to be entered in the competition.


  • Jury sessions
    (April 19–23, 2018)
    All entries will be judged by a jury of experts in the order of their arrival. In addition to the works entered by participants, each jury may also nominate other works. The jury members will be announced by Ars Electronica. The jury’s decision is final.
  • Notification
    Winners of the STARTS Prize will be notified by beginning of June at the latest. (Ars Electronica only sends out notifications if the project is selected for a prize.) In the interest of all entrants, we request that the entrant (or a representative named by him/her) be available during the period when winners will be notified at the address etc. specified on the entry form.
  • Payment
    The winning artist(s) will receive prize money of €20,000. This amount is to be paid by direct bank deposit, after the Festival Ars Electronica 2018 and upon presentation of an invoice stating “Prize Money STARTS Prize 2018”. This is the only method by which Ars Electronica can transfer funds. The prize money can be paid as a net amount only if, approximately one week prior to the exhibition, Ars Electronica is provided with the original signed form ZS-QU1 (ZS-QU2 for legal entities); officially confirmed from the foreign tax authorities. Without this confirmation, Ars Electronica will be unable to pay the fee as a net amount and under international tax laws will have to retain 20% withholding tax (subject to any change in the rate of tax).

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the European Commissions’ STARTS Prize 2018


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