An experimental, transdisciplinary and cross organizational open call for collaboration within Bucharest’s candidacy for the European Capital of Culture 2021, the in-visible city


The Ideas Accelerator is an open call for ideas and imagination, for trans-disciplinary and trans-organisational projects that propose new perspectives and ways of action, with a long-term impact for the future of Bucharest and the region.


We are interested in concepts that have a starting point in the living memory, the fragmentation, the peripheries and generally invisible peculiarities of Bucharest. Through the Accelerator we follow ideas that can be implemented in a pilot form throughout June-September 2016, but with the added potential for long-term development for the transformation of Bucharest in the European Capital of Culture in 2021.


The ideas that will reach the Accelerator may come from a wide range of areas (without implying exclusivity): digital arts, science and research, experimental film and documentary, visual arts and sonic invention, social arts, and may offer multiple approaches (interactivity – subjectivity – immersion).


In the framework of the Accelerator we rely on a process of interdisciplinary dialogue and peer-to-peer learning to strengthen incipient ideas proposed initially. A number of 5-10 ideas will be developed and produced by the end of September, with a maximum budget allocated to each of 10.000 Euro.


The Idea Accelerator is an experimental appeal in the framework of Bucharest’s candidacy to the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) title in 2021. It is designed as a tool that intends to use the invisible power of culture as a tool for transformation and to bring the creative citizens of the city at the core of this transformation. By doing that, we will make the invisible visible. It is the result of the reliance of the citizens of Bucharest, partner organisations and the 2021 ECoC jury in the first phase of the candidacy for Bucharest 2021 (January to October 2015) in how we can change the fate of the city.


The Ideas Accelerator is a laboratory for those ideas that may not always be encouraged by Romanian cultural productions, often because they do not comply with certain preset formats based on indexes, productivity measures and thematic appointments.


The Ideas Accelerator is the result of the belief that various professions involving the production of new knowledge should be recognised as artistic and identified as such.


The Ideas Accelerator encourages cultural managers, curators and researchers in cultural institutions, in research and innovation, to explore new forms of action and partnerships outside management plans.


The Ideas Accelerator is a mechanism meant to make visible ideas, visions, city insights, diverse and complementary expressions, as well as the the invisible ones that have these visions and perspectives, particularly young people who would like to be able to put their ideas into practice.


The Ideas Accelerator is a process that will highlight the evolution of an idea, its implementation mechanisms and how an idea can be intensified when artists work together as a team.


Phase 1: Proposal of ideas

During April 21 to May 23, 2016, we are expecting early ideas and proposals that can be piloted by September 2016 and that may fall within a budget of up to 10.000 Euros. It is necessary to complete the form online until May 23, 2016, 24:00.


Phase 2: Selection of ideas

After the Phase 1 deadline, we will select up to 25 ideas that will be invited to participate in the workshop Idea Accelerator during June 6-8, 2016. A list of 25 ideas will be published on the and websites no later than Wednesday, June 1, 2016.


Phase 3: Idea Accelerator

From June 6 – 8, 2016 the Ideas Accelerator workshop will take place for the selected proposals whose promoters have confirmed their willingness to participate in the entire program. For three days, participants will be able to receive support from national and international guests so as to strengthen their ideas. The issues addressed by the guests will include: the role of the arts as a vehicle for change, local and community development concepts, concepts for the transition from pilot programs, legal considerations for prototyping ideas, trans-disciplinary design. The Ideas Accelerators is also a platform for dialogue and co-creation among participants. It will take place at the ARCUB headquarters on Lipscani Street 85-90, Sector 3, Bucharest.


Phase 4 – Selection of the finalist ideas

Between June 9 – June 19, 2016, we will launch the implementation possibility for the ideas refined in the previous phase for the participants, with a maximum budget of 10.000 Euro. We’re looking for ideas that will present an ability to conduct trans-disciplinary and trans-organisational partnerships with a pilot implementation until September 30. The selection’s results will be published on the  and websites no later than June 23, 2015. Any appeals will be resolved between June 25 – 27, 2016.


Phase 5 – Implementation of winning ideas and methods of payment

Between June 28 – July 15 winners will sign contracts for the production / co-production of the selected projects and in the July 15 – September 30 period these will be implemented. The monitoring of the implementation of selected projects will be provided by members of the 2016 Curatorium. The selected projects will be implemented under the direct coordination of the applicants; the expenditures of the project will be undertaken by ARCUB.


Artists, cultural managers, curators, researchers from institutions of culture and research and innovation, cultural operators, foundations and associations, other entities active in the field of culture are eligible to apply for Phase 1 of this call.

It is necessary to complete the online form no later than May 23, 2016, 24:00. Up to 25 ideas will be selected from the submissions.

The ideas selected after this phase will respond to the following seven criteria:

  1. They are unique and unconventional.
  2. They are the vehicle of radical thinking that the city needs in the context of cultural, social and political moment.
  3. They are in full connection with the Bucharest daily reality.
  4. They are in full connection with urgent cultural needs of the city and of its inhabitants.
  5. They are trans-sector and interdisciplinary and can be implemented in a team.
  6. They are clearly outlined and have the potential for being piloted in the next three months.
  7. Their implementation does not depend on multiple third parties.


Each idea will be marked with a grade between 1-15.

The jury will be composed of an odd number of members appointed by decision of the ARCUB director, of members of the Curatorium 2016 team, the working group that develops the artistic direction of the Bucharest bid to the European Capital of Culture (ECAC) title in 2021.


The jury’s secretary will be provided by a designated person from the ARCUB staff. After judging the ideas proposed in phase 1, the secretary will communicate their ranking in descending order.


The application procedure to the Ideas Accelerator at this stage integrates as many of the suggestions received during the June 6 – 8 session.




The period for project submission for selection as winning projects for funding: June 9 – 21.

Selection results will be published on the and websites no later than June 26.

Any appeals will be lodged from June 27 – 29 and will be solved in the June 30 – July 1 period.

Final results will be published on July 2.


Eligibility requirements


For phase 4 of this call natural persons or private/public legal entities, authorised or created under Romanian law are eligible to apply.


Selection criteria


The estimation of value of the the project proposals is done by giving points for each project as follows:

No. Criterion Initially announced score Post-Accelerator revised score
1 Quality of integration of the principles Bucharest2021_In-visible city 13 6
2 International (European) dimension of the project 13 9
3 Coherence of the proposed activities 16 15
4 Coherence of the implementation calendar 16 15
5 The degree of responsiveness to the cultural needs of the city and its inhabitants 13 15
6 The development potential of the idea in the short and medium term (1-5 years) 13 10
7 The collaborative character (incl cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary) 16 30
    100 100

The final grade given by each member of the jury will be obtained by performing the weighted average of the points awarded for each criterion above, each score is multiplied by the representation percentage.

In the case of applications which have obtained equal scores, the tie is broken by comparative analysis, the projects that gained more points for following criteria having the advantage:

Coherence of the proposed activities
Coherence of the implementation calendar
The collaborative character (including cross-sectorial and interdisciplinary)


After the final evaluation of proposals, the jury, together with its secretary, will determine the ranking of 5-10 projects selected in descending order by points obtained. The decision comprising the ranking will be signed by all jury members.

By decision of the jury to the following is established:

1. assessment results
2. the total amount paid


Our questions for the application were:

1. What is the purpose in implementing your idea?

2. How is your idea addressing the Bucharest2021_The In-visible city principles? (Principles can be found on pages 28-29 of your application, Phase 1)

3. Describe the content of the activities that you will achieve in the next three months (including artists, curators, organizations names, etc).

4. What can you tell us about the European dimension of the implementation of your idea?

5. Describe the implementation calendar of your idea (including locations).

6. What is the audience / public for your idea (categories and promotion approaches)?

7. Describe the partners / collaborators with whom you will implement the idea.

8. Describe your idea development plan for the upcoming years.

9. Describe the project budget (expense types, values, etc.), providing relevant information for interpreting budget categories and values ​​that we’ve included in the buget_Anexa2 form.

10. How is your idea a collaborative approach and how does it integrate the expertise from the Ideas Accelerator workshop during June 6 – 8, 2016?

11. To implement your idea (choose one):

  1. It is critical that the related idea described in paragraph 10 receives funding.
  2. I can implement my idea, even if the related idea described in paragraph 10 does not receive funding.
  3. The idea described is an idea developed in tandem, as described in paragraph 10.
  4. There is no ​​interdependence between this idea and another one in the Ideas Accelerator.

Between July 2 – 15 winners will sign the command contracts with the component of non-exclusive assignment of selected projects to ARCUB, and between July 15 – September 30 the projects will be implemented.


Accelerator Q&A


1. Can creating a website go under communication and marketing expenses?

Answer: Yes, as long as the website is a direct expense to promote the project and can be justified by financial and accounting documents issued in accordance with the legal provisions in force.


2. Are amenities included in the cost of production?

Answer: No, the facilities are not considered suitable as a production expense, but the materials needed for production are.

Note: See the definition of materials needed for production in the guide for contracting and settlement of expenses.


3. Is it possible to sign contracts through online platforms such as the cloud for storing videos for example?

Answer: Yes. In this case it must be justified by financial and accounting documents issued in accordance with the legal provisions in force.

4. Can expenditures for online advertising such as Facebook be settled?

Answer: Yes, but only with invoices that document the need to promote the project.

5. May a public institution apply?

Answer: Yes, as long as it receives funding from the Municipality of Bucharest (the same authority that finances ARCUB).


6. What, exactly, is a non-exclusive assignment?

Answer: If a non-exclusive assignment the patrimonial copyrights for use for the determined scope and duration can be shared, both by the transferal author and by the transferred manufacturer. In this case, the major difference to an exclusive assignment is that the transferee (ARCUB) cannot assign, in turn, those property rights to a third party without the transferor’s consent.


7. Can contracts be signed with ANPs? But with businesses?

Answer: Yes, as long as in the authorised CAEN codes (LLC, ANP, I.I) and in the activity objects mentioned in the constitutive documents on activity of NGOs is mentioned that they are conducting cultural activities.


8. What can the role of ARCUB be in obtaining permits for use of public spaces?

Answer: One of support and mediation in identifying the channels and necessary steps required for the submission of applications by PMB and other administrative entities. In ARCUB there will be a Resource-Support Office available for analysing from case to case the needs in these areas and for setting, next to each applicant, the steps to obtain the permits.


9. What kind of limitations exist at the level of expenses in the event that phase two involves individuals?

Answer: See the Settlement Guide.


10. If I have a partnership with an organisation / institution / group of third parties (other than those identified as partners in the Accelerator) is it taken into account as a project in tandem?

Answer: Yes, as long as the collaborative nature (including trans-sector and interdisciplinary) is reflected in the content and types of the project activities.


11. If a foreign national applies to the Accelerator and is selected for the incubation period, what formula could they apply for the second stage?

Answer: A foreign national may apply in the second stage of the selection as an individual, based on ID (passport) and in this case the eligibility requirements for individuals in the Guide for contracting and settlement of expenses will be applied.


12. Is there a standard form of partnership or is it enough for partnerships to be listed and detailed in the form?

Answer: It is recommended that partners attach a completed Partnership Form after the model in Annex 4.


13. Can protocol expenses be settled (water, coffee, catering, lunch, dinner)?

Answer: You cannot settle protocol expenses.


14. Are supplies supported as production costs?

Answer: Yes, as defined materials needed for production (see question 2).


15. Could ARCUB facilitate the contact of applicants with partner institutions and organisations already partners of ECoC?

Answer: Yes, the contact with potential partners ECoC will be brokered by the Support-Resources Office available within ARCUB.


16. What is the list of documents to be submitted both for unauthorised individuals, as well as ANP, LLC or NGOs?



  • Valid identity card


  • Certificate of registration in the register of legal entities
  • Registration certificate to NTC
  • Fiscal certificate
  • Excerpt for LLCs or articles of association / statutes demonstrating the object of pursuit of cultural activities
  • Tax certificate
  • Treasury account (only if LLCs)


17. May the applicant be an association which has its registered office in another city and only a branch in Bucharest?

Answer: Yes, it is possible, as long as in the authorized CAEN codes (LLC, ANP, I.I) and in the activity objects mentioned in the constitutive documents on activity of NGOs is mentioned that they are conducting cultural activities.



Between April 21 – 23, the citizens of Bucharest proposed 140 ideas for animating and transforming the city through projects such as urban gardens, music festivals and street art initiatives in neighbourhoods or addressed to communities in all neighbourhoods, not just downtown.

Following the judging by the Bucharest2021 Curatorium team, 25 ideas were selected to enter the Idea Accelerator. The finalists of the first phase of the financing process are (in order of their score): Ștefan Tiron, Violeta Dascălu, Save or Cancel, Cristina Bogdan, Ira Merzlichin, Mara Mărăcinescu, Ana Maria Stăncescu, Alejandro Sajgalik, Petruț Călinescu, Angelica Ionela Stan, Catinca Drăgănescu, Mihai Alexandru Barabancea, Sorina Adina Vasilescu, Alina Suărășan, Crina Cranta, Ileana Gabriela Szasz, Bogdan Ștefănescu, Denis Ștefan Bolborea, Ioana Adnana Cruceanu, Cristina Modreanu, Adelina Ivan, Victor Bostan, Domnica Voichița Horea and Cinty Ionescu.

A complete list of projects and the scores obtained can be found here.

Results of appeals can be found here.


The 25 proposals from the first phase of the Ideas Accelerator turned into 20 projects between June 9-21, after passing through a collaborative process and peer-to-peer testing in the workshop between June 6-8.


Following the judging by the team Curatorium Bucharest 2021, 10 projects were selected for funding. These are (in order of their score): The Sensory Map of Bucharest, eartoBucharest, Things Are Seen Differently From the Street, Live from Giulești, Invisible People, The Hidden Face – A Mapping of Depression in Bucharest, Pop Up Event Kit, Music and Arts Festival in the Ferentari Neighbourhood, Periphery, Capitol Cinema/Summer Theatre, Bucharest Disaster Detour.