Under the leadership of the european centre for creative economy (ecce) the Award for Innovations in Culture and Creativity in Europe (NICE) was initiated in 2013 at the UNESCO World Heritage Zeche Zollverein in Essen in collaboration with 15 cities, universities and institutions from 10 nations. It aims to promote innovations from the cultural and creative industries, especially those that spill over into the wider economy and society. It is financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

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NICE Award 2017: Call
© Sebastian Becker
These are the winners of the NICE Award 2017:

Urbanatix, Makeright, Empower Parents, Europe by People and Next Generation

NICE Award 2017
© Sebastian Becker

Together with 120 guests, the jury of the NICE Award 2017 celebrated the winner Urbanatix.

NICE Award 2019

Internationalisation for a Better World – A Call for Transformative Innovations

55 applications from 19 nations were submitted for the NICE Award 2019!

6 of them are from the Ruhr region.

Jury 2019

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Chief Design Office CDO, City of Helsinki
NICE Award Jury 2016 Jury 2017 Jury 2019
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Secretary General, Culture Action Europe
Jury 2019 NICE Award
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Co-founder, CreativeTech
NICE Award Jury 2019
© Inga Powilleit
Director of Communications, UNStudio
NICE Award Jury 2019
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Professor, Folkwang University of the Arts
NICE Award Jury 2016 Jury 2017 Jury 2015 Jury 2014 Jury 2019

We believe that the stakeholders from the cultural and creative sectors – if entrepreneurs and companies, public institutions, other professionals as well as researchers – are essential actors in shaping a better society. Thus, the NICE Award 2019 invites individuals, teams and organisations from the cultural and creative sectors to propose surprising and experimental solutions for shaping an international society to improve our world.

Prof Dieter Gorny, Managing Director of the european centre for creative economy (ecce)

© Creative Commons zhrefch
Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy: an interesting NICE Network Member from the United Kingdom!
News NICE Award NICE Network 2018
© AHEH
Paolo Montemurro (Project Area Director Materahub) about the Project 'Arts & Humanities Entrepreneurship Hubs'
News NICE Award NICE Network 2018
© Kulturanova
Kulturanova: an interesting NICE Network Member from Novi Sad, Serbia!
News NICE Award NICE Network 2018

About the Award

Since 2013, the annual NICE Award has been promoting innovations through the cultural and creative sectors, and their integration into the wider economy and society, with the aim of tackling the major challenges of our future today. To this end, the NICE Award creates visibility and know-how transfer throughout Europe for innovations that have been overlooked until now. It kicks off debates and sparks ideas in industry, culture and government, and motivates cultural and creative makers to be innovative and more experimental.

  • NICE Award History

    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.

  • Call 2019 - Internationalisation for a Better World

    NICE Award 2019

    Internationalisation for a Better World – A Call for Transformative Innovations

     

    Internationalisation today does affect all sectors of our everyday life - today and in the future especially in its inevitable connection to digitisation. It offers new opportunities and empowerment to cities and citizens alike as much as it creates new challenges to tackle and skills to learn. Innovations and inventions from the cultural and creative sectors have been at the fore front of internationalisation - traditionally music, film or literature and now lately immersive virtual reality, 3D printing or design. In 2017, the European Commission started the Cultural Diplomacy Platform : cultural and creative institutions and entrepreneurs are now recognized as a vital part even of international relations.

     

    Prof. Dieter Gorny, Director of the european centre for creative economy (ecce) is convinced: We need innovations in international solutions to better address the major challenges of our world today, such as climate change, green economy, mobility, energy, migration or food production, and to make a transformative impact for a better world. It is high time that globalisation improves in solving the major problems of all our citizens and that the benefits and added value of such international solutions contribute equally to the well-being of all citizens in cities, regions and nations. Internationalisation must work for everybody - and it must be innovated to do so.

    We believe that the stakeholders from the cultural and creative sectors – if entrepreneurs and companies, public institutions, other professionals as well as researchers – are essential actors in shaping a better society. Thus, the NICE Award 2019 invites individuals, teams and organisations from the cultural and creative sectors to propose surprising and experimental solutions for shaping an international society to improve our world.

     

    Focus 2019

    Innovations in international solutions driven by cultural and creative sectors can be innovative cooperations or projects, products, business models or even market creating structures. A special focus is given to innovations from the cultural and creative industries involving big data, open government, transparent governance and the well-being of local, regional and national stakeholders.

     

    Best-Practices and Examples of Innovations for international Solutions

    • INDEX - designtoimprovelife.dk

    • My Data Finland - mydata.org/finland/

    • Fiksu Kalasatama Living Lab: fiksukalasatama.fi/en/building-blocks/project-portfolio/

    • Design to Improve Life® - designtoimprovelife.dk/education/

    • Germanwatch Klimaexpedition - www.atmosfair.de/de/klimaschutzprojekte/umweltbildung/klimaexpedition/

    • The Seabin Project - seabinproject.com

    • Piñatex® - www.ananas-anam.com

    • We aRe SpinDye® - spindye.com

    • DIY Community - diy.org/skills/architect

    • ICCI - www.icciproject.com
    • Cultural Diplomacy Platform - www.cultureinexternalrelations.eu

     

    Who can apply?

    · Individuals or entrepreneurs from the cultural and creative sectors, such as designers, architects, filmmakers, performing artists, game and app developers as well as visual artists and video artists

    · Organisations such as profit and non-profit companies and public institutions or agencies, non-profit foundations or initiatives as well as research institutions from within the cultural and creative sectors

    · Collaborative teams and networks, including those without a legal entity

    · Former applicants may apply for the NICE Award as long as they submit a project which has not already been subject to an earlier application for the NICE Award.

    Applicants must be based in one of the 28 member states of the European Union (EU 28), the candidate or potential candidate states to the European Union as of 2018 being Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. See: europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/countries_en


    What are eligible entries?

    · Single projects that have been started or implemented between 01.01.2015 and by 31.07.2018.

    · Governmental and citizen-based policies or actions which have been started or implemented between 01.01.2015 and by 31.07.2018.

    The projects must be carried out within the EU28 nations, the candidate or potential candidate countries to the European Union - see: europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/countries_en

    In order to take part, applicants must add a short promotional film (3 minutes max.) to the application giving an insight into the project and/or idea. This can be an existing (if necessary re-edited) or a newly produced film.

    It is obligatory that the film

    a.) is in English or providing perfectly legible English subtitles

    b.) includes a prefix with project title, applicant/submitter, city, nation, year of realisation of the submitted project/policy/activity

    c.) ends with all credits.

    By submitting a video weblink, the applicant grants ecce consent to the videos being published, viewed and assessed by ecce and the jury appointed by ecce.

    The film needs to be fit to be presented a.) in the NICE Award ceremony as an introduction about the submission to the audience and/or b.) online on www.e-c-c-e.com

    Film standard must be 1080 p resolution, format: mp4, avi or mov.

     

    How to apply: Online Submission

    The application online form has to be filled in English. In addition to the submission form, you have to add complementary material such as JPEG and by option PDF. Please follow the instructions of the form carefully. Your application can only be accepted if filled out correctly and completely.

    >> FIND THE APPLICATION FORM HERE

     

    Application and Selection Procedures: Deadlines

    The deadline for the online submission of all applications is 30 September 2018 midnight.

    Up to 10 projects will be nominated for the NICE Award 2019. These will constitute the NICE Award Shortlist 2019 and be presented during the NICE Award Executive Dinner and Ceremony.

    Applicants shortlisted by the jury are informed latest by 15 November 2018.

    On February 12 2019, 12.00 am to 03.00 pm the jury will select the winners from the shortlist by interviewing all nominees in the City of Dortmund, Germany.


    Applicants' Obligations and Costs

    If an application gets shortlisted, the applicant(s) must ensure

    his/her/their arrival on February 12 in Dortmund until 11 am

    his/her/their participation on February 12 2019 in Dortmund from 12 am to 10 pm for the jury interviews, NICE Pitching Event, press talks as well as NICE Award Dinner and Ceremony

    and on February 13 2019 from 10 am to 5 pm for a pitching at the Meet & Match during the 6. Creative Industries Dialog North Rhine-Westphalia.

    Up to two hotel rooms from February 12 to 14 will be booked and paid for by ecce. Travel costs can be partially refunded for two representatives of the shortlisted projects.

     

     

    Benefits for NICE Award Nominees & Winners

    • The winner of the NICE Award can get up to 20.000 Euros. The jury decides about the distribution of the award money on February 12 2019.

    • All nominees get the chance to present and pitch their project

       - on February 12 2019 to the exclusive NICE members from 18 nations, leading initiators for innovation

          in culture and creative sectors, and

       - on February 13 2019 to businesses, investors, foundations and administrations across the State of

         North-Rhine Westphalia already engaged and interested in cultural creative innovations.

    • All nominees are participating at the NICE Dinner & Ceremony, will be presented by their film and welcome by the NRW-Minister for Economy and Innovation, Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart.

    • All nominees are presented and promoted on online at www.e-c-c-e.com.

    • ecce invites selected NICE nominees to a follow-up residency and collaborations in 2019 or 2020.


    PDF of the NICE Call 2019

  • 2017 - Creating an Inclusive World

    Shaping an inclusive society: Innovative projects from five nations receive NICE Award 2017

    FIRST PRIZE (8.000 €): „Urbanatix“ by Dacapo Kultur Offensiv! Bochum, Germany

    Jury: “Their project is all about empowerment and about developing an educational programme from an event. “Each one teach one” as an opportunity to activate the inner heroes of a hidden young generation and let their superpowers show.”

     

    SECOND PRIZE (5.000 €): „Makeright“ by Central Saint Martins / University of the Arts London | United Kingdom

    Jury: “They reframe risk as an opportunity, transforming criminals into entrepreneurs, not only for the time being but also in the long run: Creativity is being employed so as to break barriers and as a life skill.”

     

    THRID PRIZE (4.000 €): „Empower Parents" by Hablar en Arte | Madrid, Spain

    Jury: “Their efforts are directed to a social group in state of vulnerability, which is often invisible. Thus, it is a truly bottom-up initiative which starts from an urgency and addresses real needs.”

     

    SPECIAL PRIZE for responsibility (3.000 €): “Next Generation: Tales of Neto” by TUMO | Yerevan, Armenia

    Jury: “Their task looks impossible: To approach a delicate political issue in a way that is not just educational, but entertaining for a young audience. They succeed by guiding young people to come up with their own solutions in this project.”

     

    SPECIAL PRIZE for impact: „Europe by People“ by Pakhuis de Zwijger | Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Jury: “Their project is impactful on many levels and able to address high politics as well as actual citizen issues. They can serve as an inspiration for other cities, using their creativity to make abstract concepts become tangible.”

     

     

    Click here for all information on the NICE Award 2017

    The winners of the NICE Award 2017 © Sebastian Becker
  • 2016 - Innovation in Migration, Economy and Urban Development (Kopie 1)

    NICE Award 2016 honours innovation in migration, economy and urban development

    The Minister of Economic Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Garrelt Duin, singled out three projects as models for addressing urgent social issues by honouring them with the NICE Award 2016. The jury under the chairmanship of the prestigious urban researcher Charles Landry reviewed 105 applications from 25 countries and selected twelve projects from France, Georgia, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Spain for the shortlist, which were presented at the Philharmonie Essen on 24 August 2016.

     

    Two projects take the top spot this year.

     

    "Makerversity" and "Refugee Open Cities" each received EUR 8,000 prize money. Based in London and Amsterdam, Makerversity is a platform for creative young entrepreneurs within the global maker movement. With the Maker Campus as its distinguishing feature participants benefit not only from the knowledge of others, but also pass on their own experience. The Berlin Refugee Open Cities project improves the quality of life in refugee camps through personal involvement. What makes it special: Refugees become designers of their own lives, using their creative talents to build a liveable community.

     

    Jury Chairman Charles Landry: "Both address vital questions, but they are so different."

     

    The second prize (EUR 4,000) went to the Dortmund based project "Public Residence: the Chance", in which the creative currency "Chances" has transformed citizens of Borsigplatz in Dortmund into innovative shapers of their neighbourhood. What makes it special: The residents themselves organise creative and artistic projects and therefore become beacons of hope for the revitalisation of Borsigplatz.

     

    The jury honoured the London initiative "Julie’s Bicycle" with the "Achievement Award", a non-monetary prize. For ten years now, this initiative has been committed to encouraging cultural and creative industries to contribute more actively to fighting climate change.

     

     

    Click here for all information on the NICE Award 2016

    The winners of the NICE Award 2016 with the jury © © Vladimir Wegener/ecce
  • 2015 - Improving the World with Creativity

    "Improving the world with creativity": the winners of the NICE Award 2015

     

    Garrelt Duin, Minister for Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia presented the N.I.C.E. Award in Essen to five international projects in the course of the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr. 213 applicants from 29 countries had submitted projects to this year's topic "Solving the World's Major Challenges – A Call for Innovations".

     

    The project "The Machine to be Another" from Brazil receives the first prize (8000 euros). Using digital technology the installation makes it possible to immerse oneself in the body and thoughts of another person and to view oneself in the body of the other person.

     

    Jury Chairman Charles Landry: "The project is impressive due to its unique combination of art and science and employs technology beyond known limits."

     

    Further prizes go to "PlanEt" from Great Britain and the Netherlands (5000 euros), which evaluates data of plants in cities and is thus a component of future "Smart Cities". "WikiHouse" from Great Britain (3000 euros) revolutionises house building and enables citizens to co-design the city. Two further prizes went to "Home back Home" from Spain and "Creative Technologies in Classroom", from Sweden (2000 euros each).

     

    The Minister for Economic Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia Garrelt Duin: "The N.I.C.E. Award is about visibility. The potential and performance power of creative persons is all too often overlooked. The prize and its presentation within the very special setting of the Forum d'Avignon Ruhr make sure that a spotlight is switched on which illuminates the innovative strength of the sector."

     

    Dieter Gorny, Managing Director of ecce: "The N.I.C.E. Award distinguishes the Ruhr area as a location for cultural innovation – entirely in the tradition of the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010.“

     

    Click here for all information on the NICE Award 2015

    The NICE Award 2015 ceremony at GOP.
  • 2014 - Spillover Effects of Culture and Creativity

    "The Real Life in the Wrong One": Transmedia art project against capitalism wins NICE Award 2014

     

    From 10 to 12 June, in the Creative.Quarter City Nord.Essen, about 200 cultural and creative artists, as well as representatives from politics, research and the economy from 21 countries met for the third time at the 3rd Forum d’Avignon Ruhr and the exhibition of the European Innovation Award for Culture, the NICE Award. In total, 108 projects from 22 countries applied for the NICE Award 2014.

     

    The international jury headed by Charles Landry nominated 10 projects and invited them to the exhibition at City Messehalle in Essen, which was opened in parallel to the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr. Following one-on-one interviews with the nominees at the exhibition, the jury consisting of Charles Landry, Prof. Kurt Mehnert, Pia Areblad and Janjaap Ruijssenaars announced the following four award winners.

     

    The winner of 5,000 € is the project "RLF Richtiges Leben im Falschen/The Real Life in the Wrong One" of Projektbüro Friedrich von Borries in Berlin, a transmedia art project in cooperation with ARTE, Suhrkamp and UFA.

     

    It is a playful yet serious critique of capitalism. The jury honoured the multi-media campaign as a cultural innovation. Based on an open digital community, RLF systematically dissolves the thin line between reality and fiction. "A unique combination of media and non-media channels transforms RLF into a multi-dimensional weapon of revolution: it's a novel, an actual company, a game, a film that enters the real world in the shape of specific events and interventions," describes Projektbüro Friedrich von Borries the project. To experience and understand his statement, you just have to play it: www.rlf-propaganda.com

     

    The second prize worth 2,000 € each goes to Unperfekthaus in Essen and the Spanish project Conexiones Improbables from Bilbao.

     

    Conexiones Improbables is a Network which brings artists and companies together, the Unperfekthaus affords artists of every kind a place where they can express their creativity freely.

     

    Another prize worth 1,000 € goes to URBANAUTS Street Lofts from Vienna, which was also invited by Creative Business Cup Denmark to attend the Creative Entrepreneur Week in November 2014. The invitation was sponsored by Rasmus Tscherning, Managing director of the Centre for Cultural and Experience Economy in Denmark.

     

    The NICE Award 2014 was presented by NRW Minister for Economic Affairs Garrelt Duin on 12 June at the end of the Forum d’Avignon Ruhr. The NICE Award is funded by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Cities of Bochum, Dortmund, Essen and Gelsenkirchen.

     

    Click here for all information on the NICE Award 2014

    Minister for Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia Garrelt Duin and the winners of the NICE Award 2014.
  • Contact

    Franziska Kipper

    Project Management Europe

    Phone: +49 (0) 231 222 275 77

    E-Mail: kipper(at)e-c-c-e.com

The NICE Award is funded by: