Go to news

The new European data-driven innovation hub for the media value chain launches Open Call

MediaFutures, a new data innovation hub bringing together startups, SMEs and artists to solve challenges in the Media industry, has announced its first accelerator and residency programmes Open Call.

MediaFutures, a three-year project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 framework, Big Data Innovation Hubs programme, will support innovative solutions that help people engage with quality journalism, science education and democratic processes. Over the next three years, MediaFutures will support 51 startups and SMEs, and 43 artists across three Open Calls for applications, distributing a total amount of €2.5 million.

ZABALA Innovation Consulting, as a part of a 10-partner consortium, manages the Open Call and its dissemination and evaluation and leads social innovation activities. The successful participants in the programme will receive training and learning resources that will aid their knowledge and experience in both technical and non-technical aspects. The training will be delivered across different formats such as webinars and at face to face events. Partners will also look to curate content where relevant to maximise the offering to participants. Topics include data-driven journalism, entrepreneurship, social innovation and citizens engagement, media studies, machine learning, data processing and sharing, human-centric AI, multimedia processing, legal and ethical aspects of data-driven innovation. This programme will include support in understanding social innovation and sustainability models, in line with the expertise of ZABALA. The accelerated businesses will gain a better understanding of their social value (besides the economic one).

Applications are opening for its first cohort, which will begin the programme in April 2021. Startups, SMEs and artists have until 28 January 2021 to apply. Successful applicants will receive expert mentoring and investment opportunities during the six-month accelerator and residency programmes.

Three programme tracks open for applications

  • Artists for Media – a six-month Residency programme for artists with an innovative concept to explore data and technology, and its impact on individuals and society
  • Startups for Citizens – a six-month Accelerator programme for startups to build a product or service that encourages novel, meaningful ways to engage with Media content
  • Startup meets Artist – a six month mixed Residency and Accelerator support programme for teams of startups and artists to collaboratively develop new ideas around data technology and the arts


MediaFutures is organising a series of webinars to present the specifics of the Open Call. Startups, SMEs and artists can participate in:

Webinar 1 on 17 December 2020 at 1:00 PM (CET): REGISTER HERE

Webinar 2 on 13 January 2021 at 1:00 PM (CET): REGISTER HERE

The webinars are free of charge and they will explain the application process and what you can expect from the Acceleration and Residency programmes.

Four challenges addressed in the Open Call

Startups, SMEs and artists are invited to apply with solutions to one of four Challenges, three of which focus on responding to misinformation around the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Viral Complexity – accounting for the complexity of coronavirus through data literacy
  • Building Bridges – reintegrating society by bridging communities that have been fragmented by responses to coronavirus
  • The New Media-tors – reimagining and rebuilding the role of mediators to tackle misinformation around coronavirus
  • Open Challenge – for projects that address issues around misinformation

MediaFutures is part of the S+T+ARTS ecosystem. The partners come from six European countries: Leibniz University Hannover (Coordinator),(Germany) King’s College London (UK), Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM) Centre Pompidou (FR), LUISS University (Italy), Zabala Innovation Consulting (Spain), Next Media Accelerator (Germany), Eurecat Technology Centre of Catalonia (Spain), Open Data Institute (UK), DEN Institute (Belgium) and KU Leuven (Belgium).

For more information on how to apply, visit: https://mediafutures.eu/opencall/.

Follow MEDIA FUTURES on Twitter and LinkedIn.

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.