Launched in September 2021, the new European Bauhaus promotes sustainable innovation and the combination of beauty and everyday life. Projects and calls for proposals aimed at everyone, especially young people. Budget for 2021-2022: EUR 85 million

Culture, creativity and talent. All this to accompany the transformation of the lives of European citizens and societies for the better. An ambitious mission that of the new European Bauhaus, launched on 15 September 2021 by the European Commission. In a communication, the European executive set out this initiative, which includes a series of policy actions and funding possibilities. The project aims to accelerate the transformation of various economic sectors, such as construction and textiles, ensuring access to circular and less carbon-intensive goods for all citizens. Thus, the new European Bauhaus enters fully into the European Green Deal and enriches it with a cultural and creative dimension, to demonstrate how sustainable innovation can offer concrete and positive experiences for our daily lives. To finance the projects of the new European Bauhaus, the EU programmes for the period 2021-2022 will allocate funds of around EUR 85 million. Many other EU programmes will integrate the new European Bauhaus as a context or priority element, without a specific predefined budget.

Photo source: https://europa.eu/new-european-bauhaus/about/about-initiative_en

Funding will come from various EU programmes, including the Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation (in particular the Horizon Europe missions), the Life programme for environment and climate action as well as the European Regional Development Fund. In addition, the Commission will invite Member States to take into account the core values of the new European Bauhaus in their strategies for territorial and socio-economic development and to use the relevant components of their recovery and resilience plans, as well as cohesion policy programmes, to build a better future for all.

What’s cooking now

At the beginning of 2022, the Commission announced three calls to make the New European Bauhaus (Neb) a reality on the ground. The support is specifically aimed at citizens, cities and municipalities to help them root the New European Bauhaus project in their communities. The first and second calls, launched by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), focus on activities involving citizens and the co-creation of public spaces with their involvement.

The EIT’s Citizen Engagement Call invites citizens to identify the challenges inherent in the new European Bauhaus for their cities and to co-develop solutions. Projects will help citizens to adopt more sustainable habits, develop innovative products, services or solutions and help community members to be agents of change.

The call ‘Co-Creation of Public Space’ will support projects aimed at finding innovative solutions drawing on the themes of the new European Bauhaus. The projects invite local actors to be bearers of inspiration, beauty and sustainability through their ideas to redesign public spaces in cities, urban and rural areas by creating new transformative solutions. The deadline for applications for the two EIT calls expires on 29 May 2022 at 23.59.

The third and final call, ‘Support to New European Bauhaus Local Initiatives’, provides technical assistance to small and medium-sized municipalities that lack the capacity or expertise to turn their Neb projects into reality. These 20 conceptual projects, based on the territory and selected under the call, will benefit from targeted field support provided by a team of interdisciplinary experts to define concepts along the lines of the New European Bauhaus and the Green Deal objectives. Cohesion policy support is therefore intended to contribute to the introduction of a place-based approach to Neb initiatives at regional and local level and to involve public authorities in the Member States in the launch of further New European Bauhaus projects at national level. The knowledge and lessons learned during this process will feed into a ‘toolbox’ for other municipalities and the general public interested in developing new projects on the ground or replicating existing New European Bauhaus projects. The European Regional Development Fund finances technical assistance to municipalities; this can take the form of targeted methodological, technical, regulatory, financial and socio-economic advice provided by the field team to support the further development of conceptual projects by municipalities, as well as a ‘toolbox’ for future project holders. The deadline for applications expires on 23 May 2022 at 5 p.m.

“Citizens are the main drivers of the transition towards more beautiful, sustainable and inclusive lifestyles and places,” commented Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel. “The two calls published by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology support their full commitment to the development of innovative and collaborative models for local initiatives by offering them tailor-made opportunities. The new European Bauhaus is made by every citizen, for every citizen,” she explained.

“Cohesion policy is ideally placed to help municipalities in urban centres of up to 100,000 inhabitants to develop projects of the new European Bauhaus by involving local communities,” emphasised the Commissioner for Cohesion and Reform, Elisa Ferreira. “With this first call dedicated to the Neb within the framework of cohesion policy, we offer the necessary technical capacity for high-value, multidisciplinary projects that bring sustainability, aesthetics and inclusiveness to the local population, and we hope to inspire many more such projects in the future,” she continued.

Previous Stages

We mentioned that the Commission’s communication on the establishment of the new European Bauhaus was issued last September, but already in January 2021 the co-design phase of the new European Bauhaus was launched in order to identify and reflect on aesthetic, sustainable and inclusive solutions for living spaces and contribute to the realisation of the European Green Deal.

In this first phase, all participants were invited to contribute to a dialogue aimed at rethinking the way we live together. Collective creation was essential and was subject to evaluation and review, evolving also in the light of the first concrete results. The first edition of the New European Bauhaus Awards celebrated these achievements by awarding prizes in ten categories, from ‘products and lifestyles’ to ‘rethought places to meet and share’. The category dedicated to the ‘rising stars’ of the new European Bauhaus, reserved for young people under the age of 30, aimed to support and encourage the younger generation to continue developing new ideas and inspiring concepts.

Then, at the beginning of the year, the Commission opened the application period for the 2022 edition of the New European Bauhaus Awards. The 2022 edition intends to bring to the fore new inspiring examples of the transformations that the initiative intends to bring about in lives, the spaces in which they take place and the experiences that characterise them. Like the first edition of the New European Bauhaus Awards, the 2022 edition aims to reward young talents, their ideas and projects for sustainability, inclusivity and aesthetics aimed at bringing the European Green Deal closer to people and communities.

Nominations closed on 28 February, but were open to applicants of all backgrounds and nationalities as long as their concepts, ideas and projects were developed or physically based in the EU. Prizes will be awarded to projects and ideas that contribute to beautiful, sustainable and inclusive places in four categories: reconnecting with nature; regaining a sense of belonging; prioritising places and people who need it most; and stimulating long-term integrated life-cycle thinking in industrial ecosystems.

The categories reflect the four thematic axes of transformation envisaged by the new European Bauhaus, and the entries will be assessed against the three core values of the initiative: sustainability, aesthetics, and inclusion. The Commission wanted to encourage applications from all Member States and from all over the world, provided that the projects are located and the ideas are realised in the European Union. For each of the categories, there are two parallel sections: the ‘New European Bauhaus Awards’, for existing examples completed within the last two years; and the ‘Rising Stars of the New European Bauhaus’, for ideas and concepts submitted by young creatives aged 30 or under.

In addition to the 16 prizes awarded by the jury (one winner and one runner-up in each category and section), two additional winners will be selected from among the most deserving entries in a public vote, for a total of 18 winners. Each will receive a cash prize of up to EUR 30,000 and a communication package to help them further develop and promote their initiatives.

Comments

“The new European Bauhaus combines the grand vision of the European Green Deal with tangible change on the ground,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “A change that improves our daily lives and is really tangible and experienceable by people: in buildings, in public spaces, but also in fashion or furniture. The new European Bauhaus aims to create a new lifestyle in tune with sustainability and design excellence: a lifestyle that needs less carbon and is inclusive and accessible to all,’ she stressed.

“By building a bridge between science and innovation on the one hand and art and culture on the other, and by taking a holistic approach, the new European Bauhaus will create solutions that are not only sustainable and innovative, but also accessible, economically viable and capable of improving life for all of us,” Commissioner Gabriel further emphasised. And finally, Commissioner Ferreira highlighted how, “thanks to its transdisciplinary and participatory approach, the new European Bauhaus strengthens the role of local and regional communities, industries, innovators and creative minds, working together to improve our quality of life. Cohesion policy will turn new ideas into action at local level’.

So, the door has been opened and many calls have been launched: it is up to the creative genius of Europeans and others to come forward.

Sources:

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_2141

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/it/ip_21_4626

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/it/ip_22_347

Source for the picture: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/fr/new-european-bauhaus-initiative/product-details/20210602CHE08963