STARTS EC(H)O

Fostering ECOlogically conscious and Human compatible digital technology 

In the digital age and the decades of societal and environmental emergency states that we live in, science, technology, and industry have hit the innovation ceiling. New approaches, alternative perspectives, and creative solutions to inspire progress and accelerate development are needed: Artistic thinking can provide the boost we need to tackle the great challenges of our times.  

Science, Technology and Arts limn a nexus at which insightful observers have identified high potential for innovation. STARTS Ec(h)o’s main objective is building towards the triple transformation and developing artist-led approaches through creative experimentation and recognising the most successful ones: 

+ S+T+ARTS Prize highlights and promote outstanding technology-driven artistic projects and the achievements of the teams behind them towards the green transition and social sustainability. Two Grand Prizes, for Artistic Exploration and Innovative Collaboration, each with €20,000 prize money, are offered to honor innovative projects at the intersection of science, technology and the arts: The emphasis of both prizes lies on the creative appropriation and employment of technologies as well as the search for unique constellations of collaboration from the STARTS fields;
+Through S+T+ARTS residencies, artists are enabled to develop new pilots on human-centered and sustainable technologies in the fields of AI, high-performance computing, simulation & visualisation, digital twins, medical tech or circular economy.
+ An annual AIxMusic program at Sónar will create an international platform for pushing limits of digital technology and exploring the compatibility of digital with human values and needs through artistic thinking.

Duration: January 2024 – December 2026
Consortium: Ars Electronica (Coordinator, AT), INOVA+ (PT), La French Tech Grande Provence (FR), Media Solution Center Baden-Württemberg (DE), Salzburg Festival (AT), Sonar (ES), T6 Ecosystems (IT).
Management Contact Person: Masha Zolotova (Ars Electronica)

Opportunities

© Neural Network Training / Ars Electronica Futurelab Photo: vog.photo

STARTS EC(H)O Residencies
soon

© Stage+D Playmodes and UPC Telecos present ‘Astres’, Nerea Coll

AIxMusic at Sonar Festival
soon

© S+T+ARTS DayMade in your city: A new value chain for Fashion Photo: Tom Mesic

STARTS EC(H)O Events:
Calendar of Events

Partners

Ars Electronica is a leading cultural institution, educational facility and R&D lab based in Linz, Austria. Its comprehensive approach to techno-cultural phenomena has brought Ars Electronica a worldwide reputation for excellence. Its four divisions mutually inspire one another in a circuit of creativity. The Ars Electronica FESTIVAL and PRIX set up a stage for the best and brightest international, artistic, cutting-edge experimentations each year. The Ars Electronica CENTER is a year-round presentation & interaction platform intended to educate and entertain local audiences. The FUTURELAB is an innovative, creative R&D facility, endowed with strong technical competence and implementation skills, and linked up to a global network of universities & research facilities.

INOVA+ is an expert provider of consultancy services in the fields of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship, being one of the key actors of the S+T+ARTS initiative. Since 2016, INOVA+ has contributed to the design and consolidation of the S+T+ARTS mission, co-creation methodology, community and scale-up and acceleration of results. In 2023, INOVA+ took a step forward, seeking to contribute to the S+T+ARTS consolidation and wideness, not only at the European level, but also at two new levels: regional and transcontinental, through two new projects, S+T+ARTS in the City and S+T+ARTS4AFRICA. New and enhanced activities are being designed and implemented, with multiple opportunities for numerous stakeholders.

La French Tech Grande Provence is a French Tech regional hub based in Avignon (South of France), bringing together all the players in the innovation ecosystem in the field of cultural and creative industries. Its project relies on an exceptional area to test and develop innovative projects around culture and digital technology, thus strengthening the attractiveness and dynamism of this area. The territory of French Tech Grande Provence gathers 1260 digital and tech companies, 4 competitive clusters and benefits from a surrounding “living lab” in the cultural and creative sector, with 9 international festivals, gathering more than 1,9M spectators and 5 sites classified by UNESCO.

The Media Solution Center Baden-Württember was the first institution in Europe to directly transfer the cultural and creative industries to technology and knowledge in a federal supercomputing center – HLRS University Stuttgart. In addition, the members of the MSC were supported in numerous projects by other strong partner institutions (founding members) such as the University of Media HdM Stuttgart and the Center of Media Art ZKM. These synergies were future-oriented and are now an essential part of many areas. The MSC is Co-Founder and Core Partner of the EIT CC (European Institut of Technology and Innovation in Culture & Creativity) and actually leading the S+T ARTS Regional Center AIR.

The Salzburg Festival is described as the largest and most important festival in the world, and indeed this reputation can be substantiated by numerous superlatives – not only in terms of the number of events, annual visitors or tickets on offer. Everyone of distinction – conductors, directors, singers, actors and virtuosos of world renown – honours Salzburg in summer.

From its humble beginnings in 1920 to its current international standing, the festival has a remarkable history. The breathtaking venues, including the Großes Festspielhaus, the Haus für Mozart, the Felsenreitschule and the Domplatz, provide a setting of peerless beauty and magic. Here art comes alive, emotions are awakened and dreams come true.

Sónar is a music and creative technology festival, based in Barcelona, Spain since 1994. One of the first European festivals to focus on electronic music and digital culture, Sónar has become an essential date in the calendar for electronic music fans, artists, dancers and professionals from across the creative sector. Since 2013, Sónar has included the Sónar+D congress, an ‘anti-disciplinary’ event open to all attendees that explores how technology and creativity are shaping the present and imagining new futures. Sónar events have been held in over 65 cities around the world to date, in addition to yearly festivals in Barcelona, Lisbon and Istanbul. Each edition of the festival maintains this spirit of discovery, foregrounding international innovation whilst supporting the local creative scene.

T6 Ecosystems srl is a consulting and research SME. T6 main areas of research are socio-economic impact assessment of research and innovation initiatives, policy analysis and design and policy communication. T6 has a long experience in the Media and Cultural and Creative Industry community through its work on policy design and analysis of the industry and its involvement in several research projects on media (i3, SOMA, IDMO). T6 has also an outstanding experience in disseminating and communicating activities for several EC projects, developing communication strategies adapted to specific target groups and using on-line and offline tools, applying user experience and interaction design.

In addition to the university’s 40 teaching and research collections an outstanding inventory of art works belongs to the Office for Academic Heritage (Kustodie) at the TUD Dresden University of Technology. The Kustodie’s multi-faceted exhibition activities include a permanent exhibition that displays a cross section of the scientific-technical collections at the university. In parallel, it presents special exhibitions on the interfaces between contemporary art, science and research, initiates Art Science Labs and offers residencies for artists as part of the Schaufler Lab@TU Dresden. In the context of these platforms, the Kustodie invites internationally known contemporary artists to the TUD to explore the pressing questions of the moment and artistic approaches to research: from artificial intelligence to smart materials to topics related to environmental science.

S+T+ARTS Ec(h)o is funded by the European Union under the GA. 101135691. Views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or DG CNECT. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.