Grand prize of the European Commission honoring Innovation in Technology, Industry and Society stimulated by the Arts

S+T+ARTS = STARTS – Innovation at the Nexus of Science, Technology, and the ARTS:
STARTS is an initiative of the European Commission to foster alliances of technology and artistic practice that effectively implement European policymaking to nurture innovation and that benefit the art world as well. The focus is on people and projects that contribute to mastering the social, ecological and economic challenges this continent faces.

One element of this STARTS Initiative is a prestigious award generously endowed with €40,000 in prize money. A yearly competition is held to single out for recognition innovative projects at the nexus of science, technology and the arts that have what it takes to make a significant impact on economic and social innovation. The two STARTS prizewinners each receive €20,000 and are prominently featured at Ars Electronica and other events of the consortium partners BOZAR, Waag, INOVA+, T6 Ecosystems, French Tech Grande Provence and Frankfurter Buchmesse.

January 11, 2021 Submission phase for the STARTS Prize 2021 starts
March 15, 2021 Extended submission deadline
April 23-25, 2021 Jury Meeting
June 16, 2021 Announcement of winners
September 8-12, 2021 Exhibition and talks at Ars Electronica Festival
December 3, 2021 – January 9, 2022 Exhibition and performances at Bozar

Innovation in and for Europe

Science, Technology and arts (STARTS for short) limn a nexus at which insightful observers have identified extraordinarily high potential for innovation. And innovation is 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. In this STARTS Prize initiative, the European Commission’s focus is on projects and people that can make meaningful contributions to this effort.

Art as Catalyst

Here, art is assigned the role of catalyst that propagates scientific and technological knowledge and skills among the general public and triggers innovative processes. Accordingly, STARTS is emphasizing, on one hand, artistic works that influence or change the way we look at technology, and, on the other hand, very promising forms of collaboration between the private sector and the world of art and culture. A prizewinning project will be singled out for recognition in both categories and each will be supported with €20,000 prize money.

Interviews and Stories

Day 3: Friday is New Digital Deal Day
Climate justice, sustainable digitization, solidarity and care, low-carbon design and education – all important ingredients for a new approach to the challenges of our time.
Day 2: Welcome to Innovation Day
Thursday is all about innovation – in a whole series of panels, talks and symposia, experts from art, science and business meet and think ahead. At the same time, the exhibitions will present works that illustrate innovation in the 21st century.
STARTS Prize 2021: New products from food scraps
720 tons of food are thrown away in a single day in Catalonia. It is figures like these that have prompted Anastasia Pistofidou, Marion Real and The Remixers of Fab Lab Barcelona, IaaC, to take action.
Man, machine and trust
Trust is one of those things. With a bit of luck, we gather more good than bad experiences, fall back into a – trusted – network when we stumble, and can face new experiences positively and without any worries.
Images of fear and glimmers of hope – new technology is possible
A wide variety of projects at this year's Ars Electronica Festival on the theme of "Another Tech is possible" demonstrate how new technologies and inventions can help us to deal with challenges in the future.
STARTS Prize 2021: The condition of the oceans and how high the stakes are
The world's oceans not only reflect light, they also reflect the effects of the Anthropocene, the age of humankind.

Read all STARTS Prize stories and interviews on the Ars Electronica Blog!