Welcome to the FAQ section of the Creative Impact Fund

Here you can find answers to frequently asked questions about the programme, bidding process, and project implementation. In order to ensure equal treatment of all bidding parties, we cannot provide individual answers to questions via e-mail or phone. All incoming questions are answered publicly in this FAQ section and made accessible to all interested parties

We will inform all bidding parties via e-mail as soon as we provide new answers. In order to stay up to date, we recommend that you check your e-mail (or spam folder) regularly and visit this FAQ section from time to time.

What is a Scalable Solution? When does my idea start to count as a Scalable Solution? How far along does the project need to be to fit into the category of a Scalable Solution?

In the context of the Creative Impact Fund, Scalable Solutions refer to entrepreneurial responses to existing problems that have already shown promise on a smaller scale and now aim to take the next step in their individual development. To fit into the category, your solution should have demonstrated effectiveness through a proceeding test process other trials. These include, for example a prototype, model, working sample, or other demonstrable means.

What are the objectives of the Fund? What are the areas of action?

The Creative Impact Fund aims to promote entrepreneurial ideas in the form of innovation projects and processes in so-called areas of action. These include the following thematic areas:

  • The future of EUrope – Multilateralism beyond Brexit
  • Challenging narratives of Europe – Perspectives on a continent’s past and future
  • Climate change and environmental degradation – Urgent need for action and coordination
  • Social justice in a global context – Value- and solidarity-based economies
  • Solutions for pandemics – Impact minimization and prevention
  • Demographic changes and aging democracies – Navigating challenges and seizing opportunities
  • Technology, digital and social transformation – Preparing for the forthcoming disruption

Note that this list is not exhaustive and further areas of action can be proposed in addition to, or instead of the presented one as long as a compelling case can be made.

I have started three companies, all of which are well suited for the Fund. Can I bid with three different companies/projects each or just one? Or in other words: For bidding on the Creative Impact Fund, does the bid of a person or the different projects count?

We count per project not person, meaning you can submit more than one project for the Creative Impact Fund. Note that only one project per bidding party per project form can be funded. Please notify us if you are planning to bid with more than one project.

Who is eligible for the Creative Impact Fund?

The Creative Impact Fund welcomes bids from individuals and organizations of all cultural and creative backgrounds, including entrepreneurs, artists, innovators, cultural workers, businesses, students, and consortia, who are dedicated to developing innovative ideas and mission-driven solutions that address the challenges of our time. We also highly encourage bids from individuals and organisations working in other areas that align with our mission.

Note that the Creative Impact Fund prioritizes projects with an entrepreneurial focus, and bidding parties must outline this in their concept.

We also require that the lead organisation in the bid be located in one of the 46 states of the Council of Europe or Kosovo, but we are open to consortia or partnerships which involve organsations in other countries. Due to EU sanctions, partnerships with organisations based in the Russian Federation are excluded.

The program is particularly interested in bids from underrepresented countries in Europe. In addition, Bi_PoC, people with migration histories in their respective countries, queer people, and people with disabilities are highly encouraged to bid on the program.

Are only businesses registered in Germany eligible?

No, we invite bids from all 46 member states of the Council of Europe or Kosovo.

Can organisations that are not located in one of the 46 member states of the Council of Europe be cooperation partners of the bidding organisation?

Yes, cooperation partnerships are possible as long as the lead organisation is based in one of the 46 member states of the Council of Europe or Kosovo. Cooperations with organisations based in the Russian Federation are excluded due to EU sanctions.

Are cooperations between different companies or universities helpful or rather a hindrance?

We welcome any cooperation for the implementation of your projects.

Our organisation is still in the registration process and we are wondering if it is possible to bid as collective of individuals? Or should there be a legal body bidding? 

We invite consortia of individuals to participate in the program.

Can public or social organizations also bid?

The Fund accepts submissions from a variety of public and private organizations, such as social associations and foundations, provided they meet the entrepreneurial focus requirement.

Can I bid for both the Fellowship Programme and the Creative Impact Fund?

A simultaneous bid for the Creative Impact Fund and Fellowship is generally possible. However, the concepts submitted in each case must be distinct from one another in terms of content.

I can’t ascribe my project conclusively – Can I bid for both Proof of Concept and Scalable Solutions?

If you’re not sure which category your project belongs to, ask yourself what you are trying to achieve with your innovation process. If you want to test an idea and see if it works, participate in the bidding process for the Proof of Concept. If your project has already shown potential on a smaller scale and you’re ready to take the next step in its development, participate in the bidding process for the Scalable Solutions.

It is possible to bid for several projects at the same time, but only one project per bidding party per project form can be funded.

Do I have to give up shares in my company?


What type of financial contribution is the Creative Impact Fund?

The Creative Impact Fund is not a typical grant, but a commission — CIRCE commissions you to conduct an innovative process and compensates you accordingly.

That being said

  • there is no self-funding component
  • there is no need for co-financing
  • there are no conditions for repaying
  • you can also combine your project with other funding programs
  • the de minimis regulation does not apply in this case.

What does the financial amount of the Creative Impact Fund depend on?

It depends on the financial needs necessary for carrying out your innovation process. For that, it is required that you cogently and comprehensibly lay out in your concept and budget plan why your project comprises a cost scope of 50,000 or 200,000 euros.

Which types of costs and expenses can be declared and in which proportion?

The Creative Impact Fund must not be confused with traditional grants, but a commission. CIRCE commissions you to carry out your innovation process and compensates you accordingly. Just like with every standard bid, you factor in all financial requirements of your project and present the calculated figures accordingly. Factors that you may want to consider are:

  • personnel costs and expenses of the project team
  • infrastructure costs (e.g rent costs for project rooms)
  • digital infrastructure
  • commissioning of external parties (e. g. lawyers, craftsmen, designers, volunteers)
  • material costs
  • etc.

It is important to calculate your expected expenses carefully and cost efficiently, as the budget plan will be evaluated as part of the selection process.

How does the bidding process work?

In the first step, bidding parties are invited to take part in the expression of interest procedure – the form for this can be found under the following link at the very bottom of the page: https://creativeimpact.eu/application-creative-impact-fund/

After the Expression of Interest phase is closed, we will reach out to all bidding parties via email to provide further details on the bidding process. This will involve you to submit your project concept, project and budget plan, as well as CVs of your team members on our bidding portal.

Is the expression of interest form sufficient for the first step of the bidding process, or do we need to deliver additional information before?

As a first step, it is sufficient to fill in the Expression of Interest form with your details, and in particular your current email address, as we will reach out with further details to the bidding process via email.

Note that the new deadline for the Expression of interest procedure is 14th March 2023.

In the second step, bidding parties participating in the expression of interest procedure will be asked to submit a 5-page project concept, a project and budget plan as well as CVs of all project members. The bidding documents must be uploaded to our bidding portal. A link to the bidding portal and instructions on how to use it will follow shortly.

Note that the new deadline for the submission of your full bidding documents is 28th March 2023.

Which documents have to be submitted in the second bidding step?

Bidding parties are required to submit the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae of a maximum of 3 pages with the most important stations and experiences for each team member of the project. CVs are to be treated as separate documents and are not counted to the five pages of your project concept.
  • For the lead organization, proof of residence in one of the 46 states of the Council of Europe, or Kosovo
  • Project concept with a maximum length of 5 pages plus title page, and appendix.
  • Project and budget plan

All documents must be submitted in English and follow a specific format:

  • Font: Times New Roman font size 12 or Arial font size 11 with 1.5 line spacing.

Successful bidders for Scalable Solutions projects will also be asked to present their project in a short online presentation including a Q&A session (20 minutes in total). The aim is to get to know the personalities behind the project better and to ask possible questions about the submitted concept. You are also invited to ask your questions. For the presentation of the project and project team, presentation slides are not a „must“, you are free to decide whether you want to include them, prefer the pure conversation or have another creative idea.

What’s the difference between a “Detailed description of the project idea” and “Description of the project approach or methodology” as mentioned in the concept requirements?

While the description of the project idea requires you to provide general information on the content of your project (what is it about?), the description of the project approach or methodology asks for how you intend to implement your idea.

In which language do I have to submit the bidding documents?

All bidding documents must be submitted in English. We are aware that English is probably not the native language of all bidding parties – but for us only the content is important at this stage. You are welcome to use translation software or an online tool for the bidding documents.

Can I submit my bidding documents via e-mail?

No, all documents must be submitted via the bidding portal. A link to the bidding portal and instructions on how to use it will follow shortly.

Is an individual inquiry/consultation on the suitability of the projects possible?

For reasons of procurement law and fairness to the other bidders, we are not allowed to answer specifics to individual inquiries that could give individuals an advantage. However, if it is of general concern, we will collect and share all important questions and answers in the FAQ section, here.

Should the letter of intent from potential project partners be included in the full bidding documents or is it enough to mention them and approach them during the project phase?

It is required that CVs related to your immediate project team are all submitted with your full bidding documents until 28th March.

If you are partnering with contractors and suppliers who will be involved in the innovation process further down the course of the project, but who are not part of the immediate project team, they do not need to be mentioned in the full bidding documents.

I would like to submit the full bidding form. How should I proceed? 

After the expression of interest phase is closed, we will reach out to all bidding parties via email to provide further details on the bidding process. This will involve you to submit your project concept, project and budget plan, as well as CVs your team members on our bidding portal.

How do I use the bidding portal for the second step?

Instructions on how to use our bidding portal will follow shortly.

I have bade online but have not yet received confirmation that you have received my expression of interest or documents.

After submitting your expression of interest, you’ll receive an email, where we ask you to confirm your registration. Please check your spam folder, as our emails occasionally be redirected there.

Only after the expression of interest phase is closed, we will reach out to all bidding parties via email to provide further details on the bidding process. This will involve you to submit your project concept, project and budget plan, as well as CVs your team members on our bidding portal.

How long is the term for the Impact Fund projects or by when do I have to complete my project?

The term for the program runs until 15 December 2023.

What happens if my project cannot be implemented as planned or is not completed on time?

The CIRCE team is your point of contact throughout the project, to whom you can report changes and problems. We will then work together to see what is the best way to ensure a successful project implementation.

Can you also clarify whether we can add additional information about the concept in the annex/ attachments?

Yes, you can. You may use the annex/attachment to provide additional information, such as figures, that cannot be accommodated within the confines of your concept description.

To ensure compliance with the 5-page requirement, please make a reference to the corresponding annex where applicable within your concept description.

How do you measure a successful project competition? What do you want to see at the end of the year? 

For CIRCE, the focus is on the innovation process rather than the result. CIRCE is aware that innovation projects do not always go according to plan and that the results may not always meet the expectations set at the beginning of the project. Deviations from the project plan, unexpected changes in the environment, errors and mistakes are all part of the process and are seen as opportunities, as they can lead to new insights and solutions. Even possible failure and openness to it is firmly anchored as part of the expectations.

However, to enhance the learning effect for participants and interested parties,  and ultimately evaluate project success, it is crucial to make the lessons learned from success and failure transparent and accessible. To this end, project teams will have to deliver the following at the end of the year:

  • Implementation of the innovation process with a minimum of two iteration loops, incorporating self-set hypotheses, target agreements, and innovation process milestones that are subject to review and readjustment if necessary .
  • Provision of an ongoing project documentation in the form of Progress Insights, which can be utilized within the CIRCE framework to derive insights on innovation processes, public relations, evaluation, research labs, and other related areas.
  • Submission of a final project report that lists the success factors and challenges of the project to enable CIRCE to derive insights on innovation processes.

Does it make more sense to apply with our business model (scalable solution category) or should we apply with the film or other upcoming projects (proof of concept category)?

Both options work — It is important, however, that you target one of the areas of action with a solution. It can be your organization or a specific solution within your organization, that helps you scale and enlarge the impact of your organization.

Do research & development as well for cultural projects or cultural productions, such as theater, film or art exhibitions meet your requirements?

Cultural projects with traditional artistic business models are also eligible, provided they find an innovative approach to addressing one of the areas of action or can make a compelling case in terms of intended impact.

Can individuals apply or do we have to apply as a team? 

If you are applying as a team, one person can submit the application on behalf of the entire team. However, we request that you provide CVs for  all members of the core team involved in your project.

Is there an age limit, similar to the Fellowship programme?

No, there is no age limit for the Creative Impact Fund.

What benefits (economic nature) does the sponsor draw from the circumstances to promote various project teams and projects?

CIRCE does not draw any economic benefits from your project. That being said, the Creative Impact Fund is valuable to CIRCE for two reasons: firstly, it enables the derivation of recommendations for  implementing and monitoring innovation processes within the Creative Economy, and secondly, it fosters the creation of synergies  between actors and competencies across Europe.

Which person or group of people will decide on the allocation of funding? 

The selection process is carried out by the CIRCE team.

Why is there no publicly visible draft contract for funding or at least funding guidelines?

The tender documents, contract and guidelines on the programme will be send only to the participants of the expression of interest procedure on March 15th. No public publication will be released.

Is there a transfer of rights with regard to the result?

The transfer of rights, Copyrights and Rights of Use are regulated within § 7 of the contract and within the description of services.

When will the funding be paid out?

Please see § 6 section 3 of the contract.

On which part of the business and budget plan lies the greatest focus for the judge’s evaluation?

You can find both the evaluation criteria and their respective weighting in the tender documents, section 4.

Does the budget for the innovation process has to be spent only on European projects or can it be spent on countries like Africa & India?

While some of CIRCE‘s areas of action have a stronger focus on Europe, many others are of global reach. Hence, projects that encompass countries such as Africa or India are also of significant interest.

With regard to Proof-of-Concepts, are projects that have been created in another context (e. g. university, other projects) eligible for your call.

Project ideas that have been initiated in another context, such as a  university or other project-related work, are eligible. However, completed projects or those where the innovation process has been  sufficiently explored and completed are not eligible for consideration.

Will you provide templates for the documents requested or do we have to prepare the documents on our own?

We do not provide any templates for the documents. However, there are some requirenments:

I have another question, who can I contact?

For further questions, the CIRCE team is available at the e-mail address info@creativeimpact.eu. Incoming questions will be answered publicly in this FAQ section and made available to all interested parties. We will inform all applicants as soon as we provide answers to new questions.