Funding, Organisations

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

3rd June, 2024

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is now welcoming applications for its National Lottery Organisations Digital Evolution Awards, a funding programme which aims to provide NI arts organisations with skills in the use of digital technology to create digital art. Online applications are now open and will close at 12noon on Friday 16 August 2024 with decisions announced in September 2024.

Female in orange top and male in blue shirt using virtual reality headsets.

The National Lottery Organisations Digital Evolution Awards, worth £80,000, offers arts organisations the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £10,000 each and no partnership funding is required. This current round of the programme relates to proposals that will take place between 1 October 2024 and 30 September 2025 only. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Arts Council’s Creative Industries Officer if they wish to discuss the eligibility of their project concepts.

The National Lottery Organisations Digital Evolution Awards aims to support those arts organisations who are making digital art for the first time or are working with digital or immersive technology which 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 projects 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 and spaces.
  • Using technology, such as 3D rendering and printing, to create artwork which can either exist digitally or be manufactured into 3D physical objects.
  • Using technology to translate data into artistic content; for example, algorithms 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 (i.e. 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

Karly Greene, Director of Strategic Development & Partnerships, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented, “Today’s announcement is welcome news. Thanks to funding from The National Lottery, this programme will be a game changer in supporting arts organisations in developing the required skills to create art using digital and immersive technologies. The National Lottery Organisations Digital Evolution Awards reflects the Arts Council’s commitment to encouraging innovative practices that cross art form boundaries and build digital capabilities within the Northern Ireland arts sector.”

The National Lottery Organisations Digital Evolution Awards scheme is now open for online applications and will close on Friday 16 August 2024. To view the Guidance Notes and make an application visit https://artscouncil-ni.org/funding-for-organisations/organisations-digital-evolution-awards