About the project

STADIEM is the acronym for Startup Driven Innovation in European Media. STADIEM is a project funded by the European Commission under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme and the call topic ICT-44. As such, it is part of the European Commission’s Next Generation Media initiative. STADIEM was launched in October 2020 to empower innovative startups and SMEs to join a dedicated and coherent startup support programme, offered through two open calls and an incentivization budget of 3,86M€.

The STADIEM Open Call aims at innovative startups/SMEs whose solutions can be integrated/incorporated in the media/content sector and beyond. More specifically, STADIEM will support projects working around the following 7 Topics:

  • Content Creation & distribution
  • Archiving
  • Journalism 4.0
  • Content verification and against disinformation
  • Data
  • Monetization
  • Moonshots

STADIEM aims to stimulate and shape the application of emerging technologies – including artificial intelligence, 5G, the cloud, the Internet of Things, virtual/augmented reality, wearables and data analytics – which foster the development of Next Generation Media solutions and the European media/content moonshots. If you feel that your solution sets to revolutionise media or content or utilises this in Moonshot capacity, you are eligible to apply as well.

What STADIEM offers to you is:

  • access to collaborative and international media community
  • cross-border cooperation between corporates and investors to establish funding and collaboration ties for the innovators within the STADIEM network
  • incubation and acceleration opportunities to innovators across 4 hubs in Europe – Brussels, Bergen, Tallinn, Hamburg
  • develop, integrate, and pilot your solutions further with a corporate partner
  • access to coaching, mentoring, technology validation and assessment
  • networking, pitching & matchmaking

Dates for the different phases of the STADIEM Open call for its programme  are outlined below but may be subject to change if any modifications in the project’s schedule occur:

The support provided is relying on a cascade-funding scheme involving H2020 funds. The scheme is based on a Grant Agreement signed by the European Commission and the STADIEM Consortium partners. The Consortium partners as such receive the H2020 funds which are then transferred to the winners of the STADIEM open call after signing a Sub-Grant Agreement. This means that funds that will be received by the call winners are H2020 funds.

Cascade Funding, also known as Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP), is a mechanism of the European Commission to distribute public funds in order to create new companies, increase their scalability, SMEs and/or mid-cap companies, in the adoption or development of digital innovation. The main objective of this financing method is to simplify administrative procedures with SMEs, thus allowing some projects financed by the EU to issue, in turn, open calls to obtain more funding.

Media Motor Europe assists high-potential startups and scaleups to get to the market in Europe and beyond, by mentoring selected companies. It aims to build a strong and vibrant European deeptech ecosystem targeting the media and the creative industries.

In detail, Media Motor Europe offers:

  • A mentoring programme tailored to your needs
  • Six months of intensive support and coaching with experts
  • Dedicated intensive work weeks
  • Access to corporations for inspiration, insight, testing and validation
  • Opportunity to pitch at Deeptech on stage events
  • Chance to win tickets to international events


STADIEM (Startup Driven Innovation in European Media), with its piloting and acceleration programme, brings together startups, scaleups, investors and media organisations to foster the development of Next Generation Media solutions.

In detail, STADIEM plans to:

  • Create a cross-border community of ecosystems that encompasses 4 innovation hubs
  • Develop a European support framework and tool for taking innovative technologies to market
  • Launch a startup support programme through 2 open calls
  • Create synergies in Europe and worldwide
  • Ensure sustainability and further growth of the STADIEM ecosystem after the project ends

Differences between Media Motor Europe and STADIEM at a glance

Who is eligible?

Only Applicants legally established/resident in any of the following countries are eligible:

The accepted applicants for STADIEM open calls are start-ups in the form of SMEs. A SME will be considered as such if accomplishing with the Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC and the SME user guide. As a summary, the criteria which define a SME are:

  • Headcount in Annual Work Unit (AWU) less than 250
  • Annual turnover less or equal to €50 million or annual balance sheet total, less or equal to €43 million

Additionally, to be eligible, applicants should prove to be:

  • Operational for at least one year with proven founding documents
  • Cash runway or self-funded for at least six months to a year to prove the startup can finish the program, or a letter of comfort from their investor(s)
  • B2B 80% (if B2C, then needs B2B Partnerships)
    Proven Initial product/market fit – at least one (corporate) client or LOI or product/business development in the process
  • Piloting capable product – live or in late stages of (publicly) available beta
  • Has received an investment or is self-financed (minimum: late-seed or Pre-Series A or very well-known acceleration/incubation/CVC program)

How to participate

Submission to the STADIEM Open Call 1 opened on 1st February 2021 (12:00 CET) and closed on 31st March 2021 (17:00 CET).

The submission is done through the F6S platform which is directly linked from STADIEM website www.f6s.com/stadiemopencall/apply .The applicants are required to register a profile at F6S (www.f6s.com), to be able to submit a proposal. This will be the central interface for managing the applications.


Applications must be submitted electronically, using the STADIEM Application page on F6S: www.f6s.com/stadiemopencall/apply

Proposals submitted by any other means will not be evaluated.


You must complete the application form available on: www.f6s.com/stadiemopencall/apply as well as the requested documents indicated in the application. Read the STADIEM Guide for Applicants before applying, available on the website.

The calls are competitive, and applicants should focus on one specific topic, therefore only one proposal per applicant may be submitted to one call, whether this is a legal entity or a natural person. In the event of multiple submissions, only the last one received (timestamp of the F6S system) will enter into the evaluation process.  Any other submitted proposals involving the same applicant will be declared non-eligible and will not be evaluated in any case.

No, applications will be stronger with a LOI but it’s not a requirement. The LOI is an additional bonus, but from a new partner, not an existing client. STADIEM will provide you with the network to connect and potentially establish an agreement to run a pilot with a corporate partner during the matching phase.

It would be preferable if the LOI comes from a partner that you have found and already arranged to collaborate on a pilot with.

The funding of STADIEM is in the form of grants, and in this case the funding amount doesn’t depend on direct or indirect costs. It is a fixed amount which only depends on the initially agreed KPIs and action plan, that the participants will be requested to provide at the beginning of each phase. The grants awarded to STADIEM Beneficiaries can be spent on:

  • Personnel costs (involvement of employees in the pilots)
  • Software and hardware purchase or rental, if deemed necessary and proven to be critical for execution of the pilot.
  • Other purchases, if justified by the pilot rationale and necessary for execution of the pilot
  • Travel, if necessary for execution of the pilot.
  • Costs of external experts (sales, marketing, business development, legal) for achieving the goals of pilots or performing tasks to unlock the pilot(s).

All new corporates are welcome. They should be operational in the media, broadcasting and/or entertainment sectors.

The open call is targeting only start-ups and legal entities in the form of SMEs. If the NGO is one of your clients, you can refer to it during your application, but STADIEM won’t make funds available to the NGOs.

You should select your main challenge/solution to push – but you can explain during the concept description how your solution could be used in a range of contexts.

The list is not available yet, but we will connect them to you during the matchmaking phase.

Confidentiality is sometimes normal – but we require a presentation of your runway or a confirmation from investors that you can carry the work started with the programme.

It stays with the developer of the solution.

In the matching phase your commitment will be higher – if you can meet your presented KPIs, that’s up to you. But do not forget it’s a competition!

Yes, but you must demonstrate existence of resources.

How does the evaluation process works?

The evaluation criteria are the following: (1) Concept, (2) Technology, (3) Ambition & Impact and (4) Team. An external technical expert and a business expert will review each proposal, scoring each of the mentioned criterium.

The top ranked proposals will be invited for a remote interview which aims to go into details in what it refers to as a solution concept; team skills, and engagement; and capacity and willingness to exploit project results. The interviews will be carried out by 2 evaluators and a representative of the hosting incubator. The following criteria are to be evaluated along the interview: (1) Concept & technology, (2) Ambition and (3) Exploitation. For more information about the evaluation process, please refer to Guide for Applicants available on the website.

The evaluators are independent experts with various expertise related to the STADIEM project. They are required to be independent, impartial and objective, and to behave throughout the evaluation process in a professional manner. They sign an expert contract, including a declaration of confidentiality and absence of conflict of interest, before beginning their work.

The eligible Startups / SMEs will be going through a four-stage, 14-month program. The consortium and independent experts will determine startups and award financial incentives to meet the stage and pilot goals. The awards will be based on evaluating relevant activities for each phase and will be based on the progress against their project plan, feedback from (potential) clients and that funds, and phase-related experts.

All the funds disbursed will be based on concrete results and KPIs assessment. KPIs will be set separately with each beneficiary at the beginning of each phase.

Financing schedule and fixed amounts will be identified with each beneficiary during the Sub-grant agreement phase.

Still need help?

Feel free to contact us at [email protected]. We welcome your questions and feedback!