Arts Council NI opens £80,000 National Lottery Organisations Digital Evolution Awards

23rd October, 2023

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has opened a funding programme which aims to provide arts organisations from Northern Ireland with skills in the use of new, emerging, immersive digital technology to create digital art. The National Lottery Organisations Digital Evolution Awards, worth £80,000, funded by The National Lottery and Future Screens NI, offers arts organisations the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £10,000 each for proposals that will take place between 1 February 2024 and 31 January 2025.

Male in blue shirt using virtual reality headset.
Organisations Digital Evolution Awards

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Arts Council’s Creative Industries Officer if they wish to discuss eligibility of their project concepts. Online applications opened on Monday 23 October 2023 and will close at 12noon on Friday 1 December 2023.

The National Lottery Organisations Digital Evolution Awards aims to support those arts organisations who are making digital art with new, emerging, and immersive technology for the first time or with technology they have not used previously. Collaborative applications from organisations working together in cross-discipline projects and activities are also encouraged. Examples of the types of project that this scheme will support includes:

  • Creation of a virtual environment or augmented reality environment; such as augmented reality visual arts or sound overlay on venues or geographical spaces.
  • Using technology, such as 3D rendering and printing, to create artwork digitally which can either exist digitally or be manufactured into 3D physical objects.
  • Using technology to translate data into artistic content; for example algorithms/Artificial Intelligence that create music or visual content from data input
  • App development for the delivery of artistic content; this could include gamification or making an artistic experience for consumption on digital devices. (Note: this does not include streaming of filmed / recorded performances)
  • Piloting new forms of support to individual artists or organisations that results in the creation of digital art.
  • Essential digital equipment and software up to a max 20% of Total Request Value (ie. 20% of the total amount you are requesting from us in the application). All requests for hardware or software must be integral to project delivery and will be reviewed on a case by case basis by assessors.

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented,
“The opening of the National Lottery Organisations Digital Evolution Awards is welcome news. Thanks to the National Lottery players and Future Screens NI, the programme will continue to support arts organisations in the creation of art using digital and immersive technologies and will also help organisations upskill in the use of these new technologies. The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is delighted to support this programme which to date has supported 8 innovative digital arts projects with funding of £78,647. This programme reflects the Arts Council’s commitment to encouraging innovative practices that cross artform boundaries and build digital capabilities within the Northern Ireland arts sector.”

The Organisations Digital Evolution Awards scheme opened on Monday 23 October 2023 for online applications and will close at 12noon on Friday 1 December 2023. Guidance Notes and the relevant application form are available at

They may also be requested in large print or other accessible formats if required. Please contact if you need further assistance in this regard, including alternative language versions. You can also contact that address if you have any queries about any aspect of the programme or its application requirements. In promoting these award schemes, the Arts Council particularly welcomes applications from groups referenced in Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.