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Guidelines for Applicants: Interactive Media

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Adjusted Funding Measures and Calls for Applications

Further information

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 2021

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, the dissemination of Swiss interactive content outside Switzerland and cultural exchange in Switzerland and abroad. 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 sponsors (including publishers/event organisers)

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.

2.1 Emerging talents

Pro Helvetia defines emerging talents as Swiss developers 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. Supported projects are characterised by originality, formal and design quality, feasibility, a high degree of innovation and potential marketability.

2.1.1 Production

i. Work grants

Pro Helvetia supports the creation of innovative, sustainable and marketable interactive media products through annual 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 according to the Interactive Media Fact Sheet (Jury)

2.1.2 Trade show participation

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

i. Delegations

Pro Helvetia regularly organises participation at market-relevant platforms in Switzerland and abroad. Participation usually includes coaching, booth presence and individually organised matchmaking events. Calls for applications are advertised on the swissgames.ch website.

See swissgames.ch for application criteria and deadlines

ii. International trade show participation

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia supports the individual participation of Swiss developers at international trade shows and market-relevant events outside Switzerland, in order to give developers 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 an international trade show, who would like to participate in workshops or festivals, or who are nominated for prizes.

No funding is available for

  • Participation at trade shows and events actively involving Pro Helvetia/SwissGames
  • 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 is available for

  • Booth rental
  • Festival 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)
  • Confirmation of event participation

Application deadlines: see Section 5.

2.2 Information for all Developers

2.2.1 Residencies and research trips

Pro Helvetia funds residencies and research trips by Swiss developers to the countries covered by its six liaison offices, as well as to other selected regions (Arab region, China, Russia, South America, South Asia, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa). Pro Helvetia also supports residencies and research trips to Switzerland by developers from specific countries.

See Residencies & research trips for possible destinations for Swiss developers and for the countries of origin of foreign developers.

Funding is available for residencies at the intersection of art, science and technology in all the creative disciplines supported by Pro Helvetia.

More information: Guidelines for Applicants: Innovation & Society

2.2.2 Contributions towards research and production for transdisciplinary projects

Pro Helvetia provides contributions towards research and production for the creation of transdisciplinary projects with research and production funding. As a rule, projects must involve persons from at least three disciplines (of which at least one must be outside the arts).

More information: Guidelines for Applicants: Innovation & Society

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 and requirements, 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

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 event/publication within eight weeks
Work grants 1 September, at the latest four months prior to publication within 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.

In assessing applications, Pro Helvetia attaches great importance to applicants using resources in an ecologically responsible manner, as well as being committed to gender equality and diversity. In addition, Pro Helvetia expects the involved artists to receive commensurate fees.

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 Fact Sheet 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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