About the project

STADIEM stands for Startup Driven Innovation in European Media. STADIEM is a project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme and the call topic ICT-44. As such, it is part of the European Commission’s Next Generation Media initiative. STADIEM kicked off in October 2020 with the ambition to empower innovative start-ups/scale-ups and scale-ups to join a dedicated and coherent start-up/scale-up support programme, offered through two open calls and an incentivization budget of €3,86M.

The STADIEM Open Call aims at innovative start-ups/scale-ups whose solutions can be integrated/incorporated in the media/content sector and beyond. More specifically, STADIEM will support projects working around the following 7 focus areas:

  • 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 that foster the development of Next Generation Media solutions. If you feel that your solution sets to revolutionise media or content, or utilises this in Moonshot capacity, you are eligible to apply.

STADIEM offers the following:

  • Access to a collaborative and international media community
  • Cross-border cooperation with corporates and investors to establish funding and collaboration ties
  • Incubation and acceleration opportunities to innovators across 4 hubs in Europe – VRT (Brussels, Belgium), MCB (Bergen, Norway), Storytek (Tallinn, Estonia), NMA, (Hamburg, Germany)
  • Develop, integrate, and pilot your solutions further with a corporate partner
  • Access to coaching, mentoring, technology validation and assessment
  • Networking, pitching & matchmaking opportunities

Dates for the different phases of the STADIEM Open Call 1 and 2 programmes are outlined below but may be subject to change if any modifications in the project’s schedule occur:

Open Call 1 Timeline
Open Call 2 Timeline

The support provided is relying on a cascade-funding scheme involving Horizon 2020 funding. The scheme is based on a Grant Agreement signed by the European Commission and the STADIEM Consortium. The Consortium as such receives the H2020 funding that is then transferred to the winners of the STADIEM Open Call after signing a Sub-Grant Agreement. This means that the funds received by the call winners is Horizon 2020 funding.

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.

Who is eligible?

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

The accepted applicants for STADIEM Open Call 1 and 2 are start-ups and scale-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 start-up/scale-up 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

The STADIEM Open Call 2 opened on 15th December 2021 (12:00 CET) and closed on 28th February 2022 (17:00 CET).

The submission is done through the F6S platform which is directly linked to the STADIEM website: https://www.f6s.com/stadiem-open-call-2.
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: https://www.f6s.com/stadiem-open-call-2.

Proposals submitted by any other means will not be evaluated.

You must complete the application form available on the F6S platform: https://www.f6s.com/stadiem-open-call-2, 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. 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 an LOI but it is 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 Match Phase of the programme.

It would be preferable if the LOI came 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 action plan, deliverables and KPIs the participants will be requested to provide at the beginning or end of each phase. The grants awarded to STADIEM start-ups/scale-ups 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 operational in media, broadcasting and/or entertainment sectors are welcome. They should be.

The open call is targeting start-ups/scale-ups in the form of SMEs. We are looking for collaborations with media corporates following the definition set out in the Guide for Applicants. If you wish to collaborate with an NGO, you can refer to it during your application, but it will not be considered an eligible partnership for STADIEM.

You can only select one main challenge/solution, but you can explain in the concept description how your solution addresses other focus areas as well.

The list of companies and organisations involved in our programme includes:

  • The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Austrian Press Agency
  • Austrian Parliamentary Administration
  • Russmedia
  • Marathon Music Group / Marathon Artists
  • VRT, Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroep
  • Alamode Film Distribution
  • Lumière Publishing
  • RTBF
  • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
  • Bugovics Industries / Teutocast
  • ProSiebenSat.1
  • Roularta Media Group
  • SWR
  • Telia Norway
  • PBS America

We will put you in touch with the corporates in our network during the Match Phase.

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

Results and IP are owned by the party who generates them.

The start-up/scale-up has to be established or incorporated in the EU. For an overview of eligible countries, see the Guide for Applicants (e.g. the UK and Norway are eligible and considered EU).

Your time investment depends on the particular Phase and on the solution you wish to develop in collaboration with your media corporate. Your time investment will also be discussed with the Hub guiding you through a particular phase.

Yes, but you must demonstrate existence of resources.

Yes you can, as long as you prove clear improvements that justify a second application in the maturity and business development capacity (including B2B activities, corporate sales, growth and otherwise) in technology and project. These improvements should show that you have better chances to follow through with the STADIEM program this time.

How does the evaluation process work?

The evaluation criteria are the following: (1) Concept, (2) Technology, (3) Ambition & Impact and (4) Team. Independent experts will review the applications (2 per application), scoring each of the mentioned criteria.

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 representatives of the STADIEM hubs (VRT, MCB, NMA, Storytek). The following criteria will be evaluated during 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 in media innovation, start-ups and scale-ups. They are independent, impartial and objective. They sign an expert contract, including a declaration of confidentiality and absence of conflict of interest, before beginning their work.

The requirements and modalities of the payments are set out in the Sub-Grant Agreement.

Still need help?

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