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Posted on Tuesday August 2, 2016

Frequently asked questions

We answer your most frequently asked questions about the Europeana Challenges.

Application tips

  • This is a short application form – answer the question and make your responses count.
  • Think carefully about the supporting material you can upload and how long it might take you to develop the material you need to show us. Make it concise, high quality and visually engaging - show off your production value!
  • Make sure your project is SMART and deliverable within a realistic timeframe.
  • Really think about the product's audience.
  • We want you to present a great idea, but we also need to see how you will make this idea happen, develop it, grow it, and make it a success!

Why do you run challenges?
We believe that the mostly unexploited and often unseen content in Europeana Collections can help to fuel economic growth and broader cultural, social and educational impact. Through the Europeana Challenges we invite creative professionals to play with digital cultural data, make use of our free technology to develop viable products, services and businesses and provide the best ideas with funding to grow.

Why do you have themed challenges?
We set a challenge theme(s) in order to inspire and attract proposals that will exploit and creatively (re-)use the best of Europeana’s Collections. Our thematic collections are created because there is interesting content available and significant market demand.

Who can apply?
Anyone across the world can apply if they have a great idea of how to creatively (re-)use Europeana openly licensed content in ways that will generate economic or social impact and that will reach a local, international or global audience. You can apply by yourself or in partnership but you must be registered as a legal entity – we cannot work with those who do not have legal business or charitable status.

Why must I be a legal entity to apply?
If you do not have legal business or charitable status, the funding we give you might be taxed at a different rate. In order to achieve the most impact from our funding, we therefore ask that you are legally registered (eg self-employed, foundation or charity, or a business) and have informed yourself about the tax implications of receiving our grant. When you apply, you must account for any applicable tax or VAT in your budget planning. Europeana Foundation is VAT exempt and you are responsible for any VAT or tax declarations.

What type of project is eligible?
Your product or service should be digital - we can only assess a digital proposal. Suitable entries must meet our challenge theme(s) and criteria.

What content can I use?
You must use openly licensed content (eg Public domain, CC0, CC-BY, CC-BY-SA). We will not fund proposals that do not respect the relevant rights statements.

We recommend using the Europeana APIs and Europeana platform due to the filter and search functions which will let you directly find and use openly licensed content (a strict requirement in this competition).

What do you mean by 'openly licensed' content?
Not all of the content available on is free to reuse. Freely reusable content with attribution includes CC0, CC BY, CC BY-SA.

How do I access the content? Do I need to use an API?
You can choose to use the free Europeana APIs or a manual download. Registration to get an API key is simple - all we need is an email address.

How do I apply?
We accept only applications submitted via the online form on the Challenge webpage. Once you submit your application there will be no further chance to edit your proposal, so ensure that you work on it carefully before submitting.

What language can I write my proposal in?
Your online proposal and supporting documents must be in English, but visual supporting documents (eg screenshots of an app) can be in other languages.

What attachments should I submit and how many can I add to support my application?
You can add a maximum of five supporting attachments or links. Stick to the main ideas that you want to present to us - for example, visual representations (‘proof’) of your product/service or illustrations of its functionality. Shorter, visually engaging and high-quality documents relevant to the application are most effective. We can’t accept attachments to your application by email.

Can I submit my business plan as an attachment?
Yes - but we still need to see the key points from the business model canvas in the application. If you attach your business plan, it should be no longer than two pages and should follow the business model canvas structure.

What do you mean by sustainability?
We mean the longevity of the business model over time. As a minimum we expect you to consider your plans for the development of the app/product for one year, and the strongest proposals are likely to show outline planning for the next 2-3 years, considering the time frame for development and future growth, including when and how you hope to access income revenues to support growth and meet the project costs and your long term goals.

Do I have to deliver within the timeframe set by Europeana? What happens if there are problems?
In your project planning, you should take into account the timeframe for delivery set by Europeana and, of course, thoroughly scope any potential problems and plan additional contingency time. You can deliver early but not late.

Can I make money from the product I develop for the challenge and from Europeana content?
Yes – we encourage the commercial (re-)use of Europeana’s openly licensed content.

Can Europeana give me advice on my proposal?
We are a small team and, out of fairness to all applicants, we can’t review or comment on your application or project idea. If you’re having problems with the Europeana API, you can access help via the API forum. You can get help and contact us here.

Who assesses the applications?
First, the reuse team will check that your proposal against the challenge criteria. Then a panel of external experts and one member of the re-use team will assess eligible proposals using this assessment framework. The panel will also conduct Skype interviews with the shortlisted proposals and select the winning proposal(s). You will be immediately disqualified from the challenge if you approach any panel members for support.

Who owns the intellectual property in the product/service?
You own the intellectual property in whatever you develop. On your finished product and on any related website or materials you must use the ‘Made with Europeana’ logo.

Will I get all the funding I requested in my application?
Not necessarily. It is possible that the panel recommends that the project should get funded but at a reduced amount.

What happens if my application is unsuccessful?
It is not possible to appeal the final decision of the panel or Europeana. We will endeavour to give feedback to all applicants.

What happens if I am selected?
To receive the funding, the winner will be required to sign a subcontract with us. A staged payment schedule and delivery points will be agreed between Europeana and the winning applicant(s). 

Will you have more challenges?
Yes, we host one or two challenges each year. We also work in partnership with others to provide opportunities for the creative re-use of cultural heritage and Europeana content. Sign up to our newsletter, follow us on twitter and keep an eye on our website to find out more.