CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Open Call: Digital Transformation for Small and Medium-Sized Museums in Europe

The DOORS program (digital incubator for museums) seeks to give small and medium-sized museums across Europe an opportunity to steer the direction of the sector’s digital transformation. See the call below for more information.

Open Call

The challenges of digitization are disproportionately found within small museums where the technologies and expertise to launch and sustain digital strategies are usually unattainable. DOORS, which is initiated by Ars Electronica, MUSEUM BOOSTER and Ecsite, wants to reduce the digitization gap by creating the space for small institutions to voice their needs and offering them access to knowledge, resources, expertise and an incubation and skill-building program.

DOORS combines in-depth analysis of the status-quo and a self-reflexive diagnostics framework with the practical implementation of a wide array of digital pilots. We invite museums to join DOORS and submit pilot proposals to take part in a two-stage incubation program. The incubator focuses on innovation areas crucial to any lasting transformation. Developing new revenue models, innovating audience analysis and engagement, and designing skill-building programs for museum staff will be our overarching priorities.

For the present open call, museums (and collaborative tandems) must submit proposals for digital pilots that can benefit their institutions and help them set the stage for a long-term digital transformation. 40 museums will be selected to take part in the first stage of the incubation program focused on shared learning. Participating museums will get the chance to refine their proposals and apply for the second stage of the incubation program. 20 museums will be selected to continue in the second stage of the incubation program with the practical implementation of their digital pilots.

The consortium (Ars Electronica, Ecsite, Museum Booster) will provide institutions with:
– Access to a large pool of international experts, technological providers, and know-how from more digitally savvy industries.
– Access to a broad range of digital assessments & strategy building resources for museums.
– Tailored support for each piloting organization’s needs to start its digital transformation.
– Extensive knowledge exchange process to learn about other relevant digitization projects.
– Networking opportunities.
Help with embedding new digital offerings in their established offer.
– Financial support: €1.500 (of which € 750 is a mandatory workshop fee) in the first incubation stage and up to €27.000 to develop a pilot project if the organization is selected for the second stage.

The following cultural organizations are eligible to participate in the open call:

  • Art museums
  • Design & applied arts museums
  • Natural history and maritime museums
  • Science centers and museums
  • Botanical gardens & herbaria
  • History & archaeology museums
  • Open-air museums and historical sites
  • Archives and libraries

Visitor centers with primarily cultural missions are also eligible, while showrooms and visitor centers with primarily commercial objectives, pop-up, mobile and temporary museums are excluded from the open call.
Other cultural organizations (such as art galleries, art centers, festivals, etc.) are eligible if they can prove a permanent and ongoing cultural activity for at least two years and justify a clear relevance of the pilot for their disorganization’s overall strategy.

Purely online or virtual museums are eligible to participate as long as they have existed for at least 2 years and are of permanent character.
Alongside individual institutional applications DOORS strongly encourages collaborations and tandem applications. Tandem applications must define one principal applicant who will be fully responsible for undergoing the incubation program and further implementing the pilot.

Further information and criteria related to the open call can be found here: