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Guidelines for Applicants: Interactive Media

These guidelines set out the procedure for submitting a funding application for interactive media projects to the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. They also explain the assessment criteria, procedures, deadlines and appeals process. These guidelines supplement the Grant Ordinance of 27 November 2019 of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, as well as the Federal Act of 11 December 2009 on Culture Promotion and the Ordinance of 23 November 2011 on Culture Promotion.

Status: January 2023

1. General Requirements

Pro Helvetia promotes the professional contemporary Swiss creation of interactive content with a view to ensuring its diversity as well as its national and international reach. It supports the creation of new interactive works, their dissemination abroad, international cultural exchange and exchange between Switzerland’s various linguistic regions.

As a national foundation, Pro Helvetia only supports projects of cross-regional or international significance and supplements the promotional activities of Switzerland’s cantons and cities.

To be eligible for funding, projects must

  • have a clear connection to Switzerland
  • be of nationwide importance
  • be adequately co-funded by other public or private means

2. Funding Measures


Funding focuses on digital content whose use requires a high degree of interaction. This is the case when user action has a major impact on content. Supported projects are characterised by originality, formal and design quality, feasibility, a high degree of innovation and potential marketability.

Excluded from support are commissioned works and projects that are part of an advertising campaign, content whose intended impact is solely pedagogical or therapeutic, content which degrades members of one sex or a specific group or violates human dignity, content which glorifies violence, content of a pornographic nature and purely technological projects without recognisable content.

Applications may be submitted by creative practitioners. The formats for which applications can be submitted are explained in the sections below (2.1. for emerging talents, 2.2. for all creative practitioners).

2.1 Emerging talents

Pro Helvetia defines emerging talents as Swiss creative practitioners up to seven years after graduation or within the first seven years after founding a company. The Arts Council supports emerging talents projects on their path to market entry.

2.1.1 Production

i. Work grants

Pro Helvetia supports the creation of innovative, sustainable and marketable interactive media products through biannual calls for applications. The Arts Council envisages three funding phases from concept to market launch:

  • Pre-production funding
  • Production funding
  • Post-production funding

Funded projects can be supplemented by individual coaching measures.

Submission in accordance to the Interactive Media Fact Sheet (Jury)

2.1.2 International trade show participation

Pro Helvetia organises delegations to major trade shows and supports the participation of individual emerging talents at trade shows.

i. Delegations

Pro Helvetia regularly organises the participation of groups of creative practitioners at trade shows abroad. Participation usually includes coaching, booth presence and individually organised matchmaking events. Calls for applications are announced on the swissgames.ch website.

See swissgames.ch for application criteria and deadlines

ii. Individual participation at international trade shows

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia supports the individual participation of Swiss creative practitioners at trade shows and market-relevant events outside Switzerland in order to give them international visibility and/or to enable them to enter the global market. Trade show participation grants are aimed at studios with clearly defined objectives who are planning to participate at a trade show, who would like to take part in conferences connected to trade shows, or who are nominated for prizes.

No funding is available for

  • Participation at trade shows and events at which Pro Helvetia/SwissGames is present with a delegation
  • Trade show participation and events already supported by Pro Helvetia/SwissGames or which are part of the funding provided by Pro Helvetia’s call for applications for interactive media projects

Funding of up to CHF 2,500 is available for

  • Booth rental
  • Event passes
  • Transport and insurance costs
  • Travel costs (no accommodation expenses)

In addition to the general elements (see Section 4), application dossiers must contain:

  • Reasons for attending a particular event/trade show (goal setting), as well as details of meetings planned with industry partners (including concrete plans, names, etc.)
  • Details on the planned outcomes (including business plan)
  • Detailed cost and financing planning, incl. information on all requests for financial support from third parties
  • Confirmation of event participation

Application deadlines: see Section 5.

2.2 Information for all creative practitioners

2.2.1 Residencies and research trips

i. Residencies (duration of up to three months)

Pro Helvetia supports residencies by creative practitioners to and from the countries covered by its six liaison offices (Arab region, China, Russia, South America, South Asia, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa). Eligible are creative practitioners from Switzerland and from the regions covered by the liaison offices.

More information: Residencies of the liaison offices

ii. Research trips (duration of up to four weeks)

Swiss creative practitioners may apply for research trips all over the world. Practitioners from the regions covered by the liaison offices may apply for research trips to Switzerland.

More information: Research trips

iii. Co-creation

With a pilot measure, Pro Helvetia supports co-creation projects between artists and cultural practitioners from Switzerland and from the regions covered by its liaison offices (Arab region, China, Russia, South America, South Asia, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa).

The co-creation grant is aimed at tandems who want to develop project ideas further, building on exchanges from previous residencies, research trips or other experience of collaboration. Applications for co-creation grants can be submitted on an ongoing basis via myprohelvtia.ch.

More information: Co-creation Support

iv. Art, science and technology

Pro Helvetia supports residencies at the interface of art, science and technology in collaboration with CERN in Geneva, South Africa, India and Chile. These residencies are aimed at practitioners from all arts disciplines that are promoted by Pro Helvetia.

More information: Guidelines for Applicants: Innovation & Society

2.2.2 Critical reflection

Each year up to 2024, Pro Helvetia is launching a theme-based call for projects that are intended to stimulate opinion forming and critical discussions on the role of art and culture in society. Eligible for support are exemplary, transdisciplinary projects that seek new forms of critical reflection on contemporary art production and art criticism, and that appeal to different types of audiences.

More information: Dossier «Critical Reflection»

3. Restrictions

Pro Helvetia is unable to consider funding requests if

  • the same part of the submitted project is already receiving funding from other federal bodies (e.g. Federal Office of Culture, Presence Switzerland, Swiss National Science Foundation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation);
  • the project is part of a school or university curriculum/basic training or continuing education programme (including dissertations, diploma projects, university scholarships, etc.);
  • funding is intended to cover infrastructure and equipment costs, as well as the costs of operating cultural facilities, archives and collections;
  • the project does not depend on funding from Pro Helvetia.

For other Design & Interactive Media restrictions, please refer to the corresponding formats or fact sheets

4. Application Dossier

Funding applications submitted to Pro Helvetia must contain:

  • Details on the key persons involved in the project
  • Project description in conceptual and organisational terms
  • Place and date of public performance, publication or presentation
  • Detailed cost and financing plan including information on all financial assistance requested from third parties
  • Details on the amount requested from Pro Helvetia and cost justification
  • In the case of exclusively virtual projects, evidence of a convincing national or international online dissemination strategy must be provided

Applications must be submitted via www.myprohelvetia.ch

For other Design & Interactive Media requirements, please refer to the corresponding formats or fact sheets

5. Application Deadlines and Decision Timelines

Unless otherwise stated (see Section 2) the following application deadlines apply:

Application typeApplication deadline Decision timeline
Funding requests up to CHF 25,000 ongoing, up to eight weeks prior to the eventwithin eight weeks
Work grants 1 March / 1 September, at the latest four months prior to publicationwithin four months

6. Application Processing

6.1 Preliminary assessment

Pro Helvetia will only consider funding applications if

  • the submitted project meets the general funding requirements (see Section 1);
  • there is no valid reason for exclusion (see Section 3);
  • the application dossier is complete and has been submitted on time (see Sections 4 and 5).

6.2 Assessment of content and quality

Within the scope of its available funds, Pro Helvetia prioritises projects that most comprehensively meet the funding criteria.

Pro Helvetia assesses whether

  • the project corresponds to the funding activities described in Section 2
  • the project demonstrates high artistic and professional quality
  • the project is implemented according to professional standards
  • the costs are commensurate with the expected impact
  • a lasting impact can be expected

Pro Helvetia prioritises support for projects in the field of contemporary art and culture according to their degree of independence and professional competence as well as their social and thematic relevance.

Pro Helvetia expects the remuneration of the participating artists to be in line with the recommendations of their professional associations.

In assessing applications, Pro Helvetia attaches great importance to applicants using resources in an ecologically responsible manner. Pro Helvetia may assume related additional costs (e.g. journeys by train, CO2 compensation for flights). Such costs must be contained in the budget.

Pro Helvetia also expects studios to be committed to gender equality, diversity and equal opportunities.

6.3 Decision-making bodies

Applications which are reviewed by a jury: The decision on applications is taken by the director of Pro Helvetia on recommendation of a jury.

For all other applications:  Decisions are taken by the responsible division.

6.4 Decision notification

Funding decisions are communicated without a statement of reasons.

On receipt of the decision, applicants can demand an official decision statement from Pro Helvetia against which an appeal can be lodged.

6.5 Obligations of recipients

The awarding of funding entails obligations for recipients. Pro Helvetia reserves the right to reduce the amount of funding or to demand that disbursed grants be restituted if recipients fail to meet their obligations. See Factsheet «Requirements for support recipients» (blue box above) or the individually drawn-up agreement for work grants.

6.6 Disbursement

Pro Helvetia disburses funding only after examining the final report, which must include a statement of account. Advance payments are possible on request. Unless applicants notify Pro Helvetia of any delays, funding shall expire at the latest six (6) months after the project’s closing date as per the application dossier.

Exceptions apply to projects that are supported through work grants. Here, the terms of disbursement of the individually drawn-up agreement apply.

6.7 Appeals

Funding decisions taken by Pro Helvetia may be appealed within 30 days of receipt. Appeals must be filed with the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht). Appeals must include the original application, as well as the grounds of the appeal and appropriate evidence, and must be signed by the appellant. The decision statement being appealed against needs to be enclosed as evidence. Appellants bear the costs of this procedure.

Appeals must be submitted to: Bundesverwaltungsgericht, Postfach, CH-9023 St. Gallen


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Upcoming maintenance work

The application portal myprohelvetia will be updated from 1.1.-7.1.2024. Due to these changes, open applications must be finalized and submitted via the current online portal (myprohelvetia.ch) by the latest 23:59 on 31 December 2023. Until this date, the deadlines and criteria outlined in the current guidelines and calls for applications apply. New applications can be created and submitted in the application portal as of 8 January 2024.