Call for proposals musicaire – closed

MusicAIRE-EAC-2021-0090-1stCall_v1.1

DEADLINE

25 APRIL 2022 – Closed

Corrigendum updated below – only the timetable was changed

1. Introduction

This is a call for proposals under the MusicAIRE 1 (An Innovative Recovery for Europe) project, co-funded by the European Union under the 2020 Annual work programme for the implementation of the “Preparatory Action – Music Moves Europe: Boosting European music diversity and talent” 2 and will be managed by the consortium to which the grant was attributed, composed of INOVA+ and the European Music Council (EMC).

2. Background

Music Moves Europe (MME)

Music Moves Europe (MME) is the European Commission’s overall framework for projects and actions in support of the European music sector. This includes a Preparatory action (2018-2020) to test and prepare EU support under the Creative Europe programme (2021-2027) 3 for “sectorial support on music” in addition to existing funding opportunities (e.g.: cooperation projects, networks, platforms).

Music ecosystem recovery

The music sector is one of the sectors hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and will probably be one of the last sectors to come out of it. The crisis has highlighted and accelerated the many challenges which the sector had already been facing. At the same time, the crisis has also highlighted the importance of music for individuals and society as a whole, it has demonstrated its power to unite and to connect people through music.

There is a need to pool resources and support projects that encourage the resilience and recovery of music operators, artists, and music professionals who have been harmed by restrictions.

The projects to be funded under MusicAIRE will also contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and honour the Five Music Rights as defined by the International Music Council (IMC):

The right for all children and adults

  • to express themselves musically in all freedom
  • to learn musical languages and skills
  • to have access to musical involvement through participation, listening, creation, and information

The right for musical artists

  • to develop their artistry and communicate through all media, with proper facilities
  • to obtain just recognition and fair remuneration for their work.


The MusicAIRE project aims to reflect the needs of the whole ecosystem, therefore, it consulted with the music sector via a questionnaire and dedicated think tank sessions to help shape the content of the calls.

3. Objectives, priorities and activities

Objectives

The general goal of MusicAIRE is to assist the recovery of the music sector in Europe by designing and testing a supporting scheme that can meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic while fostering the sustainability of the music ecosystem. The project will launch two open calls.

The terms music sector and music ecosystem are used synonymously in the context of this call. Both refer to all the organisations with music as primarily/core activity, including amateur and professional practices along the value chain in all the different music genres.

Priorities

The projects to be funded under MusicAIRE will need to provide strategies, methodologies, and actions for the music sector to address the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis in at least one of the following thematic fields 4:

  • GREEN recovery: increasing the sector’s environmental sustainability and ecological awareness with a view to greening the music industry, in particular live acts, festivals and touring, as well as supporting innovative start-ups aiming at decreasing the environmental footprint of online data storing and music distribution.
  • DIGITAL recovery: adapting to new emerging trends in digital music consumption, distribution and promotion (e.g. of live music acts online) and developing and promoting sustainable business models that enable monetisation and guarantee remuneration of artists. Digital recovery involves the development of technology-driven products and services in music production, promotion and distribution, as well as capacity building actions for artists in order to make them more competitive and resilient in an increasingly technology-driven market.
  • JUST and RESILIENT recovery: better harnessing music’s potential as a distinct cohesive force, with a view to contributing to increased solidarity, active citizenship, and social cohesion. This includes a stronger community role for music venues, better access to music both in terms of education and consumption, with a special focus on disadvantaged groups, and fairer remuneration for artists and gender balance.

Activities

Green recovery

The climate crisis is one of the key challenges that the world is facing today. All parts of society will have to contribute to environmental sustainability including the music ecosystem. Therefore, MusicAIRE will support projects that are offering targeted solutions to make the music sector environmentally sustainable.

The music sector can do much to reduce its ecological footprint and, at the same time, it also offers a great potential to be part of the solution, as it has the power to reach out to large audiences, to convey messages and to be a bearer of identity and meaning.

The projects to be funded in the frame of MusicAIRE may include activities such as (not exhaustive):

  • Knowledge transfer and mentoring (including through external experts, supervisions)
  • Advocacy activities towards local, national and EU governments
  • Capacity building (skills and competencies)
  • Climate literacy training/promotion
  • (Support to) building a green strategy or policy for the organisation/business and implementing pilot activities
  • Innovative models for eco-friendly touring/concert programming
  • Environmentally friendly/ quality travel (e.g. slow touring)
  • Measuring carbon footprint (not only with regards to travel but in the whole music value chain)
  • Certification models for effective green working environments and operations
  • Awareness-raising through music (e.g. communication activities promoting green aspects of the music value chain)
  • Methods to reduce audience footprint (e.g. local transport, waste systems, catering, etc.)
  • Comparative analyses and studies
  • Any other project/activities that will contribute to a green and sustainable music ecosystem

Digital recovery

The digital shift forced the music sector to engage in a continuous transformation of its operations, mindsets, attitudes, and beliefs, towards being more flexible, adopting new business models, and embracing digital for its very own functioning in all its areas. As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the music sector has further developed its innovative and technological proficiency.

Projects to be funded under MusicAIRE should address how the music sector can get out of the crisis by fully tapping into the potential that the digital transformation is offering. The projects and initiatives to be funded by the calls should reflect new emerging trends in the digital music context as well as utilising these new technologies to develop and create new formats and business models for the music ecosystem to thrive, tackling among others also the question of monetisation. Special attention should be given to digital responsibility and ethical aspects.

The projects to be funded in the frame of MusicAIRE may include activities such as (not exhaustive):

  • Mapping exercises (collection of best practices)
  • Capacity building (e.g. in digital skills)
  • Training modules (e.g. use of new technologies such as NFTs, blockchain)
  • Education offers (e.g. digital models for music education, media education, education in digital skills, IPR etc.)
  • Development of digitisation strategies (e.g. new ways of creating and curating music)
  • Support new streaming models that foster diversity and transparency to make streaming fair for all
  • Comparative analyses and studies (e.g. on digital audiences, the impact of playlists and algorithms on diversity)
  • Innovative models for digital creation
  • Strategies to reach out to digital audiences
  • Pilot projects and prototyping
  • Acceleration and incubation projects
  • Hackathons, jams, etc.
  • Projects working with A.I. in the music sector
  • Projects developing models for digital audiences
  • Collection of information (including comparable studies)
  • Any other project/activities that will contribute to a digital recovery of the music ecosystem

Just & Resilient recovery

Music is a fundamental need of life and contributes to our well-being and health. It has an intrinsic value, bringing pleasure to those who engage in it. But in addition to the individual fulfillment it brings, music contributes in many ways to society as a whole and its social cohesion. Whether experienced during a live music festival or a community event, learning music or making music together with others fosters connection through feelings of shared identity and common causes. Nurturing tolerance, upholding cultural identities, and promoting social engagement and inclusion, music can be a powerful agent of an open and democratic society.

The music sector has been amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis, which has also accelerated existing trends leading to immediate drops in revenue and cash flow, as well as weakening the working conditions for artists and music professionals, accelerated structural changes. Emerging artists have not been able to move forward in their careers and other music professionals have left the sector entirely.

The projects to be funded in the frame of MusicAIRE may include activities and topics such as (not exhaustive):

  • Career development through mentoring or training programmes
  • Audience diversity and audience development
  • Music education and training
  • Active engagement with and participation in music
  • Fostering connections between people through music
  • Awareness raising and/or training on the value of music (e.g. fair pay, fair practice, societal impact)
  • Music as a driver for local and regional development
  • Gender equality and gender equity in the music sector
  • Inclusion of minorities/underrepresented groups
  • Increasing diversity in all aspects of the music sector
  • Improving mental health and well-being through music and for those active in the music sector
  • Any other project/activities that will contribute to a just and resilient recovery of the music ecosystem

Projects to be funded by MusicAIRE can cover one or more topics. The application should clearly explain how the topics are covered.

While the projects selected in the frame of MusicAIRE are of a mono-beneficiary nature, projects are expected to be collaborative and to have an EU added value, i.e. the project activities should be exemplary, innovative, experimental, and/or scalable to comparable actions/projects in other European countries and/ or on another level (local, national or another area of the music sector).


Project duration

Projects should normally not exceed 10 months.

4. Timetable

The indicative schedule for the different stages of the selection procedure is as follows:

Call opening14 February 2022
Deadline for submission25 April 2022 – 13:00 (CET) – Brussels time
Evaluation26 April – 20 May 2022
Information on evaluation results23 May 2022
Contract signature31 May 2022
Project start date1 June 2022

A second MusicAIRE call for proposals is foreseen for autumn 2022.

5. Available budget

The overall available budget for this call is EUR 690.000. This budget might be increased by a maximum of 20%.

The call is organised into three strands: micro, small and medium, each strand is allocated a maximum grant.

Multiple proposals are possible under this call. In these cases, applicants need to submit one application form per project proposal. However, only one project can be awarded per organisation.

StrandsMax. grant per projectOverall Budget available 5 per strandIndicative number of projects to be funded
1 – MusicAIRE (micro)EUR 15.000EUR 75.0005
2 – MusicAIRE (small)EUR 30.000EUR 120.0004
3 – MusicAIRE (medium)EUR 55.000EUR 495.0009

For more details on the financial provisions please see section 9 of this document.

6. Admissibility and documents

Proposals must be submitted electronically via the MusicAIRE website (see section 13. How to submit an application).

Proposals must be submitted electronically via the MusicAIRE website. Paper or email submissions are NOT admissible.

Proposals must be submitted, in English, using the Application Form provided on the submission page.

Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information in the Application Form. Additional supporting documents (for legal entity validation, financial capacity check, bank account validation, etc) will be requested only from selected applicants.

The Application Form includes administrative information about the applicant, the technical description of the action, simplified cost estimation, and formal declarations. All sections are limited in the number of characters, which are clearly stated in each section. Applicants must comply with the limits indicated.

7. Eligibility

Eligible activities

Eligible activities are the ones set out in section 3 above. They address one of the three topics (green, digital, just & resilient) and include, not exclusively:

  • capacity building actions (education, training, mentoring, events)
  • advocacy-related activities
  • testing and scaling-up innovative models and/or tools
  • awareness-raising actions
  • collection of best practices, certifications, assessments, studies or benchmarks
  • building strategies or policies for the organisation/business
  • other activities contributing to the recovery of the music ecosystem in the areas of the MusicAIRE initiative.

Eligible applicants

In order to be eligible, proposals must be presented by a single applicant meeting the following criteria:

  • be a public or private organisation with legal personality 6, e.g. not-for-profit organisations (private or public); public authorities (national, regional, local); international organisations; profit-making entities 7.
  • be established in one of the 27 EU Member States or non-EU participating countries that, on the date of the publication of the call, participate in the Creative Europe Programme 8.

8. Financial and operational capacity and exclusion

Financial and operational capacity

Applicants must have sufficient resources to successfully implement the projects and contribute their share (see point 9. Financial provisions). A financial capacity check will be carried out in the case of projects applying to the medium strand (EUR 55.000). The selected applicants will be requested to provide documents during contract preparation (e.g. profit and loss account, balance sheet).

Applicants must also demonstrate that they have the know-how, qualifications, and resources to successfully implement the projects (including sufficient experience in projects of comparable size and nature). They will have to show their capacity via the following:

  • general profiles (qualifications and experiences) of the staff responsible for managing and implementing the project
  • description of the organisation

Exclusion

Applicants are requested to declare that all information shared in their application is correct, complete, and legitimate and that the legal entity is fully compliant with the eligibility criteria set out in the call, is not subject to any exclusion grounds under the EU Financial Regulation 2018/1046 and has the financial and operational capacity to carry out the proposed project. Selected applicants will be asked to sign a Declaration of Honour before signing the grant.

The consortium will not award a grant to an applicant who:

  • is in an exclusion situation established in accordance with the terms of the Declaration of Honour
  • has misrepresented the information required as a condition for participating in the procedure or has failed to supply that information; or
  • was previously involved in the preparation of documents used in the award procedure where this entails a breach of the principle of equal treatment, including distortion of competition, that cannot be remedied otherwise.

9. financial provisions

Form of the grant, maximum grant amount, and budget categories

Applicants propose a budget based on a simplified estimation of costs that summarises the direct costs of the beneficiary in the following categories:

  • Personnel costs
  • Subcontracting 9
  • Travel, accommodation and subsistence
  • Equipment (purchase and renting of equipment, infrastructure or other assets)
  • Other goods, works or services, if necessary to implement the action (for instance, consumables and supplies, promotion, dissemination, protection of results, translations, events, publications, etc.)


The grant takes the form of a lump sum grant, fixed in the contract. Each strand is associated with a maximum grant amount: micro (EUR 15.000), small (EUR 30.000), or medium (EUR 55.000).

The lump-sum grant will cover a maximum of 90% of the total budget of the project up to the maximum amount of EUR 15.000, EUR 30.000, or 55.000 depending on the strand applied to.

The applicant’s co-financing for the whole project should cover a least 10% of the total budget.

The grant takes the form of a lump sum grant linked to the completion of work. Beneficiaries will receive the full lump sum approved and set out in the Contract as far as the costs are eligible and the final report (supplemented by a financial declaration) is approved.

In order to be eligible, the costs:

  • must correspond to the total amount as set out in the Contract
  • must relate to work carried out in accordance with the description of the action as set out in the Contract, during the eligibility period stated and demonstrated by records and supporting documents (final report and financial declaration).

The final payment is triggered upon the submission and approval of the final report and financial declaration, which must be sent by the deadline set in the Contract.

Lump-sum costs are ineligible if:

  • they do not comply with the conditions set out above
  • they refer to activities already funded under other EU grants (no double EU funding) and/or taking place in countries that are not participating in the Creative Europe Programme.

Payment arrangements and conditions

Payments will be made in accordance with the schedule and modalities set out in the Contract. They will be made in Euro to the bank account indicated by the beneficiary. Beneficiaries are signatories of the Contract and take complete responsibility for executing the proposed activities.

After grant signature, beneficiaries will receive an advance payment to start working on the project (50% of the granted lump sum). The advance payment will be paid no later than 30 days from entry into force. A final payment (payment of the balance) reimburses the remaining part of the lump sum, in accordance with the schedule and modalities set out in the Contract.

10. award criteria

Eligible applications will be assessed based on a 100-point score on the basis of the following criteria and weighting:

  • Relevance (50 points): Description of the background and objectives of the project. Details on how the project addresses the challenges of the music sector in the applicable themes (green, digital, and/or just and resilient). Description of the European added value of the project.
  • Quality (30 points): Explanation of the planned activities, outlining the timeline. Demonstration of the operational capacity of the team by providing a summary of the organisation and short descriptions of the team that will be responsible for the implementation of the project. Provision of information about how the team will manage, monitor and secure the quality of the action.
  • Impact and sustainability (20 points): Details on how the project is innovative, new or experimental and/or how it can be exemplary for others. Description of the communication and dissemination strategy. Clarification on how the results of your project will be used beyond the end of the project.
Award criteriaMinimum ScoreMaximum score
Relevance2550
Quality1530
Impact and sustainability1020
Overall (pass) scores50100

The following thresholds will be considered as criteria:

  • Minimum score per criterion: Proposals scoring less than 50% of the maximum score for any award criterion will be considered of insufficient quality and rejected.
  • Minimum total score: Proposals with a total score of fewer than 50 points at the end of the evaluation process will be considered of insufficient quality and rejected.

Proposals that pass the criterion thresholds AND the overall threshold will be considered for funding — within the limits of the available call budget. Other proposals will be rejected.

11. visibility

Beneficiaries must clearly acknowledge the European Union’s contribution in all publications or in conjunction with activities for which the grant is used. In this respect, beneficiaries are required to give prominence to the name and emblem of the European Commission on all their publications and other products realised under the co-financed action. Where appropriate, they should also use the Music Moves Europe and MusicAIRE visuals. Guidelines will be provided to the successful applicants.

12. processing of personal data

The reply to any call for proposals involves the recording and processing of personal data (such as name, e-mail, and address). Such data will be processed pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data. Unless indicated otherwise, the questions and any personal data requested that are required to evaluate the application in accordance with the call for proposal will be processed solely for that purpose by the consortium.

13. how to submit an application

Project proposals must be submitted by 25 April 2022 at 13:00 (CET) by completing the application online, here: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/MusicAIRE-EAC-2021-0090-1stCall

Complete the Application Form and the excel with the Simplified Estimation of Costs. Applicants will find the template for the Simplified Estimation of Costs inside the Application Form. The template needs to be downloaded, completed, and uploaded.

Applicants should submit one Application Form per project proposal. Multiple proposals are allowed but only one project can be awarded per organisation.

Once the proposal is submitted, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. If you do not receive this confirmation e-mail, it means your proposal has NOT been submitted. If you believe this is due to a fault in the submission system, you should immediately file a complaint via [email protected], explaining the circumstances and attaching a copy of the proposal (and, if possible, screenshots to show what happened).

Queries about applications can be sent by email to [email protected] before 21 April 2022. We cannot guarantee that emails will be answered after this date. A FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section will be posted on the MusicAIRE project website and updated regularly.

All applicants will be informed of the results of the evaluation process by email by 23 May 2022 (indicative date). The results will then be published on the information channels of the MusicAIRE project.


[1] Grant agreement nº EAC-2021-0090, co-funded by the Music Moves Europe Preparatory Action of the European Union.

[2] As foreseen by Commission Decision C(2020)1194 which was amended by Commission decision C(2020)3738, on the adoption of the Work Programme for the year 2020 for the implementation of pilot projects and preparatory actions in the area of education, youth, sport, and culture.

[3] Creative Europe brings together actions supporting the European cultural and creative sectors. The programme’s overall goals (Regulation (EU) 2021/818 of the European Parliament and of the Council) are to protect, develop, and promote European cultural and linguistic variety and legacy, as well as to boost the competitiveness and economic potential of the cultural and creative industries.

[4] Call for proposals EAC/S15/2020.

[5] The consortium reserves the right not to award all available funds or to redistribute them between the call strands, depending on the proposals received and the results of the evaluation.

[6] Natural persons, as well as entities without legal personality, are not eligible to apply for a grant under this call.

[7] All applicants cannot make any profit out of the project.

[8] An updated list of countries eligible to participate in Creative Europe can be found at: https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/docs/2021-2027/crea/guidance/list-3rd-country-participation_crea_en.pdf.

[9] Subcontracting should normally constitute a limited part. Subcontracting going beyond 30% of the total eligible costs must be clearly justified.

Every single applicant that meets the following criteria:

  • be a public or private organisation with legal personality , e.g. not-for-profit organisations (private or public); public authorities (national, regional, local); international organisations; profit-making entities.
  • be established in one of the 27 EU Member States or non-EU participating countries that, on the date of the publication of the call, participate in the Creative Europe Programme. An updated list of countries eligible to participate in Creative Europe can be found here.  

First, you need to access the public open call here. After reading it carefully, you should complete the application form, here.

Proposals should be submitted until Monday, 25th of April 2022 at 13:00 (CET)

Yes. Applicants can choose more than one topic (Green Recovery, Digital Recovery, Just and Resilient Recovery) when applying for the MusicAIRE open call. Bear in mind that addressing more than one theme does not affect the final score of the proposal.

Multiple proposals are possible. In case an applicant decides to apply to the call with more than one project proposal, one Application Form should be submitted per proposal. Bear in mind that only one proposal from each organisation will be accepted.

Each project will have a duration of 10 months from the signature of the contract.

No, the eligible countries for activities taking place in the frame of the project are the same as for eligible applicants.

The UK is not part of 27 EU Member States or non-EU participating in the Creative Europe Programme (see list here) this way and according to point 9 of the MusicAIRE open call for proposals

“Lump-sum costs are ineligible if:

• […] 

• they refer to activities already funded under other EU grants (no double EU funding) and/or taking place in countries that are not participating in the Creative Europe Programme”

Yes, as long as the activities of the project and the applicant of the project take place in/ come from the eligible countries mentioned under item 7. Eligibility.

No, cascading grants within the frame of MusicAIRE are not possible.

The financing of the MusicAIRE project is lump sum based. Applicants are requested to provide a simplified estimation of costs considering the budget heading for direct costs including:

  • Personnel costs
  • Subcontracting
  • Travel, accommodation and subsistence
  • Equipment
  • Other goods, works or services

Indirect costs are not foreseen. 

Kindly note that you are requested to complete a budget excel with a breakdown of your estimated costs and that this file needs to be enclosed to the application form. In this section of the form, we ask you to provide details that will help us to understand better your calculations, by providing a justification of the estimations for the budget headings you are planning to use, in line with the costs presented in the budget excel.

The text of the call was completely maintained. The only change was in the timetable. 

Any situation constituting force majeure must be formally notified to the other party without delay, stating the nature, likely duration and foreseeable effects.

The parties must immediately take all the necessary steps to limit any damage due to force majeure and do their best to resume implementation of the action as soon as possible.

There are three possible strands and each strand is associated with a maximum grant amount: micro (EUR 15.000), small (EUR 30.000), or medium (EUR 55.000).

Projects are supported with a co-financing rate of a maximum of 90% of the total eligible costs, within the limits of each strand.

Applications can be submitted in English only.

All applicants will be informed of the results of the evaluation process by email by 23 May 2022 (indicative date). The results will then be published on the information channels of the MusicAIRE project.

Queries about applications can be sent by email to [email protected] before 21 April 2022. We cannot guarantee that emails will be answered after this date.

MusicAIRE will have two open calls. One was published on the 14 of February 2022 and the second will be published in October 2022.

The financing of the MusicAIRE project is lump sum based. The simplified estimation of costs provided with the application is to verify that the activities and the costs anticipated are adequate and appropriate for the suggested project activities. However, subcontracting above 30% needs to be clearly justified. 

You are free to suggest other activities than the ones listed (as the lists are not exhaustive) as long as they will contribute to a recovery of the music sector in one of the three main topics.

MusicAIRE can support projects that are part of ongoing initiatives, although applications need to present a clear project outline demonstrating the relevance of the proposed activities to the objectives of the call. Moreover, applicants need to ensure that there is no EU double funding. 

Activities to be supported must be developed during the 10 months of the project, following its approval. Please note that “In order to be eligible, the costs: […] must relate to work carried out in accordance with the description of the action as set out in the Contract, during the eligibility period stated and demonstrated by records and supporting documents (final report and financial declaration).” 

Costs incurred before or after the project duration are not considered eligible.

No. Please note that the MusicAIRE application is mono-beneficiary. 

While the projects selected in the frame of MusicAIRE are of a mono-beneficiary nature, projects are expected to have an EU added value, i.e. the project activities should be exemplary, innovative, experimental, and/or scalable to comparable actions/projects in other European countries and/ or on another level (local, national or another area of the music sector).

According to the General Model Grant Agreement of the Creative Europe Programme, personnel costs are considered: 

– A.1 Costs for employees (or equivalent)

– A.2 and A.3 Costs for natural persons working under a direct contract other than an employment contract and costs for seconded persons by a third party against payment

– A.4 The work of SME owners for the action (i.e. owners of beneficiaries that are small and medium-sized enterprises not receiving a salary) or natural person beneficiaries (i.e. beneficiaries that are natural persons not receiving a salary).

Projects are intended to start on 1 June 2022. 

Some cells of the excel file were designed to be automatically filled with the information you provide. If you are experiencing difficulties, keep calm and send an e-mail to [email protected]. We will help you.