About the Award
The NICE Award promotes innovations through culture and creative industries into the wider economy and society to tackle the major challenges of our future today. To this end, the NICE Award creates visibility and know-how transfer for so far overseen innovations throughout Europe, kicks off debates and impulses in business, culture and policy alike and motivates cultural and creative makers to be innovative and more experimental.
The first NICE Award served as a kick-off for NICE during the 2nd Forum d’Avignon Ruhr 2013 in Essen, Germany. It was held among participants of the conference, and it was the audience’s task to determine a winner. Four teams of ten were formed, throwing together people from different projects, backgrounds, age groups, and countries. They did not know each other, but they all had experiences in spillover projects. The teams were given different topics to consider – and five hours to roughly set up a spillover project related to Urban Development, Economy/New Work, Energy/Climate, or Intercultural Relations. In the end, each group had to present their project in a little performance. The Project "Shaking Hans" had won.
In 2014, when the network had grown and strengthened through several meetings and workshops, a new call for the Award 2014 was published.
The call looked with a wide scope for cultural and creative projects generating spillover effects. The prize was awarded for the most innovative spillover effect driven by a cultural and creative project, research projects or a political strategy/measure. 108 applications from 22 countries were submitted from Artists and cultural creative entrepreneurs, scientists, politics and towns. A jury constituted of Pia Areblad (TILLT, Sweden), Charles Landry (Comedia, UK), Prof. Kurt Mehnert (Folkwang University of the Arts, Germany) and Janjaap Ruijssenaars (Universe Architecture, The Netherlands) establishes a "best of" short list of ten projects.
The projects of the nominees of the NICE Award were presented in the NICE Exhibition designed in the City-Messehalle in Essen.
On 12 June 2014 Garrelt Duin, Minister of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, announced the winner of the award at the Forum d'Avignon Ruhr in the GOP Variety Theatre. The winners were: RLF / Richtiges Leben im Falschen (Berlin), Conexiones Improbables (Bilbao), the Unperfekthaus (Essen) and Urbanauts (Vienna). The NICE Award 2014 was funded with overall 10,000 Euro by the Ministry of Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Cities of Bochum, Dortmund, Essen and Gelsenkirchen.
The NICE Award is now an integral part of NICE, and it is the first of several tools and services with which NICE wants to foster innovation of culture and creativity as resources for economic growth and political development.
In 2015 the NICE Award continued to grow: on the topic "Save the world-major challenges" 213 projects from 29 countries were submitted.
On 23 September 2015 Garrelt Duin, Minister of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, announced the winner of the award at the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr in Essen. The winners were: TheMachineToBeAnother (Barcelona/Sao Paulo), PlanEt (Rotterdam), WikiHouse (London), HOME BACK HOME (Madrid) and Creative Technologies in the Classroom (Malmö). The NICE Award 2015 was funded with overall 20,000 Euro by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Cities of Bochum, Dortmund, Essen and Gelsenkirchen.