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S+T+ARTS – general information

Funded by the European Commission – DG Connect, S+T+ARTS (Science, Technology and the Arts) focuses on bringing digital technology closer to businesses, citizens and public administration, by limning a nexus at which insightful observers have identified extraordinarily high potential for innovation.

ICT Innovation for sustainability and across sectors, is precisely what is called for if we are to tackle the social, ecological and economic challenges that Europe will be facing in the near future.

From 2016 to 2022, this remarkable initiative funded 151 residencies with 4.5 Mio € and honored 208 S+T+ARTS Prize projects.

S+T+ARTS Prize

Since 2016, the European Commission identifies projects and people that can make meaningful contributions to this collective effort through the S+T+ARTS Prize initiative.

The project timeline is marked by several key moments:

  • The Open Call for applications runs every year from January to March
  • The winners are announced early June at a press conference.
  • The two S+T+ARTS Prize winners each receive € 20,000 and are then prominently featured at Ars Electronica Festival in September.
    They are also presented at other events of the consortium partners BOZAR, Waag, INOVA+, T6 Ecosystems, French Tech Grande Provence and Frankfurter Buchmesse.

The S+T+ARTS PRIZE competition is staged annually in two categories:

Credit: Nick Ervinck


is bestowed on innovative joint ventures involving industry/technology and the arts, alliances that blaze new trails for innovation.


honors artistic experiments and works of art that employ technology in ways that exhibit great potential to influence and change technology and how it is deployed, developed and perceived.


In addition, approximately twenty more projects receive a Nomination or an Honorary Mention every year.

Since 2016 more than 200 projects have been selected and a total of 280,000€ in prize money has been distributed.
In total, we have received 14,291 submissions from 96 different countries to the S+T+ARTS Prize competition from 2016 to 2022.

All nominations are judged by a jury to decide on the two prize-winning projects and up to ten honorary mentions.

Learn more about Jury members

You can find us on social media:

STARTS at Twitter STARTS at facebook STARTS at youtube STARTS at LinkedIn STARTS at Instagram STARTS at flickr

Who are the partners?

General project coordination

Partnership building and dissemination activities

  • Waag Future Lab —Institute for Art, Science and Technology is a pioneer in the field of digital media.
  • BOZAR Center for Fine Arts is one of Belgium’s leading multidisciplinary cultural institutions.
  • INOVA+, key player throughout the innovation cycle: Innovate. Grow. Inspire. Repeat.
  • T6-Ecosystems bridging media & creative industries, integrating science and humanities.
  • Frankfurter Buchmesse, the world’s leading Fair for printed and digital content.


Key impact areas –
What are the most interesting and illustrative fields in which STARTS Prize has identified projects

Which social, ecological and economic challenges do the leading artistic researchers see for today’s Europe? And which alternatives do they propose?

Data literacy, commons and activism

1 .Digital commons

With digital technologies dominating people’s everyday lives, artists andcreatives are pointing their efforts toward improving digital literacy, developing ways to share the benefits of digital solutions, and, if necessary, activism.

Credit: Andres Manon

A digital twin Holly+ that anyone can use to make music, developed by Herndon Dryhurst Studio, Never Before Heard Sounds (NYC) and Voctro Labs (Barcelona). The work combines machine learning, freely available online instruments and tools in a way that makes it possible for people to easily and quickly become creative themselves. The project also explores economic aspects of creative commons and ownership of intellectual property.

2. Digital information and data visualization

Over the recent years, S+T+ARTS Prize has observed a stronger focus and effort on improving our collective digital understanding of the environment, focusing on the art-driven interpretation of environmental challenges, concerns and urgencies, supported by AI, data-driven, computational and media works. Projects also raise concerns about the use of data technologies and visualization possibilities: unlocking creation potentials but also highlighting risks and pitfalls, by identifying the public values underlying novel digital technologies.

Credit: Enrico Fiorese

S+T+ARTS Prize 2021 winner by Territorial Agency, uses extensively geospatial and remote sensing data to produce public settings—exhibitions, seminars, workshops and online—to guide discussions between multidisciplinary expert groups, scientists, policymakers, activists, conservationists, and to build capacity to act on complex environmental issues.

3. Citizen empowerment and engagement

Focusing on societal impact of STARTS projects, mainly through citizen empowerment, engagement and citizen science. Within the Industry 5.0 context, some of the most successful projects within S+T+ARTS Prize focus on how ICT innovation can improve the ways in which we produce and use data, to advance health care systems. They intend to reflect on one’s capacity and agency towards their own health, to question our relationship to other living organisms and to inquire into the relationship between humans and technologies, including AI.

More broadly, if we are to regain some control and agency over the technologies we use, it is key to find ways to better understand the complexity of AI systems and make the most of their innovative potentials, in a sustainable and inclusive manner.

Credits: Bjørn Karmann, Tore Knudsen

S+T+ARTS Prize 2019 winner, by Bjørn Karmann and Tore Knudsen, is a teachable “parasite” that is designed to give users more control over smart assistants. Through an app, users can train Alias to react on a custom wake word/sound and; Alias can then take control over the home assistant by activating it. When users don’t use it, Alias makes sure the assistant is paralyzed and unable to listen by interrupting its microphones.

4. Data democratization of environmental commons

While novel technological, ecological and business solutions enter the markets, artists make them truly inclusive and sustainable for society. Art and collaborative innovation more broadly, contribute to a more inclusive understanding of concerns such as climate change, the quality of climate infrastructures, how to sustain life, or biocentrism; which ultimately allows for a broad audience to own these questions and challenges, and regain the capacity to act and participate in social transformation.

Courtesy of UNLESS, Credit: Delfino Sisto Legnani

With the transnational and multidisciplinary collaborative project Antarctic Resolution, S+T+ARTS Prize 2022 winner by Giulia Foscari & UNLESS, a team of 150 leading Antarctic researchers set out to raise awareness on the cultural, environmental and scientific value of the continent.

5. Sustainability & circularity

Looking at different ways environmental and industrial worlds intertwine through topics of energy, waste and material research. Both industry and consumers aspire to alternatives to materials derived from fossils energy or animals, with the view to using technology in new ways to create a more efficient and sustainable organization and improve alignment between technology initiatives and business opportunities.

Credit: Fab Lab Barcelona

One of the most emerging developments in the field of industrial design, fashion and art, is the creation of biobased materials, biofabricated in laboratories from microorganisms, bacteria and biopolymers. Remix el Barrio, S+T+ARTS Prize 2021 winner by Fab Lab Barcelona is the work of designers who have identified a recurrent local food waste case, investigated how to best collect and process it, and imagined future applications: from soap from used cooking oil, to furniture from olive pits and garments from orange peels.

More Resources


Press releases


S+T+ARTS Prize 2022
Industry engagement

S+T+ARTS Prize 2022
Data literacy, commons and activism

S+T+ARTS Prize 2022
Environmental Commons

S+T+ARTS Prize 2022
Remix el Barrio project documentary

Discover the S+T+ARTS Prize playlist on YouTube