Apply Now to the 3rd DSPF-Call

Background: Pilot Phase 2021-23

In order to meet the needs of the cultural sector in the Danube region, to contribute to the implementation of the EUSDR and to give a proper answer to the challenges of the Covid-pandemic, the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Württemberg (MWK) initiated a pilot action for the Danube Small Project Fund which is to elaborate the final structure and to test the long-term function of this innovative funding platform. The partner organisations of the Danube Small Project Fund agreed to jointly establish a pilot implementation phase from 2021-2023. The pilot phase is based on simple online calls at least once per year (depending on funding possibilities). Cultural actors in the Danube region can describe their concepts and enter them into an online form to apply for funding.

Terms and Conditions

The Danube Small Project Fund for Culture is a new funding opportunity for small scale culturalcreative initiatives based on collaboration among various partners – creatives and cultural operators – from the Danube countries.

Who can apply?

  • We encourage independent NGOs, small associations, groups of artists or individuals (artists, cultural operators, creatives) to apply as a lead partner. If you apply as an organisation, you must be able to present an official registration by your local authorities, if you apply as an individual, you need to identify yourself with a valid ID document.
  • We give a clear preference to initiatives from the independent cultural-creative scene of the Danube region (instead of big national institutions or festival). Nevertheless, institutions are not excluded from the call as they may apply with new small and cooperative initiatives for the benefit of the independent creative-artistic scene (e.g. a special off-programme of an existing festival).
  • We invite you to apply in partnership with at least two partners from two more different countries of the Danube region. Collaboration or co-creation is a key condition for funding.
  • We define the Danube area in the sense of the European Union’s Strategy for the Danube Region. In this sense, lead partner and all further partners should be registered or be residents of one of the following countries or states: Austria, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and parts of Ukraine (Zakarpattia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi and Odessa).
  • Although we do not encourage it, you are allowed to submit more than one application or alternatively be involved with multiple proposals as a partner provided that they are for entirely different projects.

What are we looking for?

  • This call supports creative and innovative cultural and artistic actions (project proposals) based on regional collaboration.
  • Creativity, innovation and collaboration are the 3 key focuses of this grant. Proposals that are rather “business as usual” or already running projects/programmes are not a priority. We are especially looking for project proposals that initiate suppletory or experimental cultural actions. Innovation can be related to the theme of the project, the genre or the type of collaboration/co-creation represented by the action. The quality of collaboration will be an important part of the evaluation.
  • We do not have any preference for a specific artistic field or discipline within cultural work or the creative industries. We understand 'culture' as a very wide field covering work far beyond the classical arts and culture domain.
  • This first DSPF call has no further thematic requirements, restrictions or specifications.
  • Nevertheless, if you are looking for thematic orientation or are simply curious about what issues and topics are relevant for the Danube region or are addressed by the EU Danube Strategy, you can find information on the following websites. It is important to note, however, that these contents are for information or inspiration only and do not represent any criteria or expectations from the DSPF:
  • Defined targets of Priority Area 3 (Culture and Tourism) within the EUSDR:
  • Interreg Danube Transnational Programme – approved projects and former project results:

What do we offer?

  • A one-off grant or contribution of up to 5,000 € is available for the realisation of your initiative/project proposal. The proposals will be selected by the international Jury (Programme Committee) of the DSPF. The results will be published on the website of the DSPF in a transparent way.

An objection against the decision of the jury cannot be accepted.

  • It is necessary for you to have your own resources or co-funding in order to be eligible for funding. Own resources can be cash co-payment by yourself or your partners or other incomes you may have secured for the project from third parties. Please note that a minimum co-payment of 10% is required that needs to be indicated in the budget form. All own resources, other incomes or in-kind contributions need to be indicated in the budget form (excel sheet).
  • A balanced budget with diversified resources can significantly improve the feasibility of the project, which is one of the main components based on which applications will be assessed.
  • There is no legal entitlement to the DSPF funding!
  • Covid-clause: Please contact the coordinators of the DSPF immediately, if the implementation of your granted project is going to be affected by the covid pandemic (lockdowns, restrictive regulations for live events etc.)! Any changes in the implementation (e.g. digital instead of live) or the budget distribution must be communicated to and confirmed by the DSPF coordination.

What type of costs are eligible?

Travel and accommodation costs

  • Travel and accommodation costs are eligible. There are some restrictions (set forth in the German Bundesreisekostengesetz BGBl. I S. 1418) which you need to keep in mind, such as:
  • only economy class (flight) or second class (train) tickets may be claimed; Domestic and short flights are generally not eligible for reimbursement. However, in some cases, they may be allowed if convincing justification is provided.
  • If travelling by car, reimbursement rate of 0.20 Euro/km is applicable with a maximum of EUR 150 per journey (both ways included);
  • the cap for accommodation costs is EUR 70/day/person (without breakfast) and EUR 74/day/person (including breakfast).

Personnel costs

  • In principle yes. However, the salary costs of permanent staff members of the applicant working on the supported project are not eligible.
  • Please also bear in mind that the total personnel costs may not exceed 25% of the requested amount. However, this only applies to the core project (management) team. Fees for artists, speakers or external experts are eligible as services.
  • Daily allowances are not eligible. However, catering/costs of meals (lunch, dinner) may be claimed.

Further guidelines and exclusion criteria

  • In principle, project partnerships can involve organisations of any legal form. However, lead applicants and organisations legally acting as funding recipients must fulfil the general requirements regarding the non-profit nature of their activities.
  • Project applications can generally only be submitted in English and must include a complete budget.
  • Applicants must be over 18 years of age.
  • Political parties and political organisations are not eligible to apply.
  • The funding and partner institutions of the DSPF, as well as the European Danube Academy and all employees of these involved institutions and organisations are excluded from the application.
  • The application form must be completed online and does not have a caching function. However, the application documents also contain all the questions to be answered as a WORD document. We therefore recommend that you first prepare your project proposal using the form in WORD and then transfer all content directly to the online form.
  • Please ensure that your proposal for the project budget is realistic and comprehensible by following the cost types given in the form and filling it in completely.
  • Please bear in mind that the covid pandemic is not yet over, so lockdowns or restrictive regulations (limited size of audience, border controls) might occur during the implementation phase. In this sense, we recommend you to take potential alternative ways of implementation into consideration while designing your project (e.g. digital formats, presentations for smaller groups). Any necessary changes in the implementation of the granted projects need to be communicated to and confirmed by the DSPF coordination in writing.
  • Please make sure that you have uploaded all requested documents, confirmations and papers.

Subsequent submission of documents is not possible.

  • The submission deadline for this call is Feb 29, 2024 at 24:00 CEST. Deadline extended until March 10, 2024 at 24:00 CEST.

    A submission after this deadline is not possible.

  Selection criteria and selection procedure 1. All project proposals received by the submission deadline will first be internally reviewed by a group of experts with practical experience at the European Danube Academy, who will draw up a short list of the most suitable submissions based on the following criteria:

  • Does the application meet all formal criteria (completeness, language, necessary documents available)?
  • Do the applicant and the project partnership meet all the call criteria (cultural-artistic background, nonprofit activity, applicant and partner are resident/registered in EUSDR countries, applicant and partner each represent different EUSDR countries)?
  • Does the project proposal meet the rough content expectations of the call for proposals (it is an art or culture project in the broadest sense, no political-ideological positions that can be classified as extremist are propagated)?
  • Does the project proposal describe a new, not yet existing artistic-cultural initiative (and not an existing programme, “business as usual” or plain continuation of an existing series or project)?
  • Does the application include a balanced budget with diversified resources (including own resources or incomes from the partners or third parties)?

2. The DSPF Jury team (Programme Committee of the Danube Small Project Fund) composed of European experts from the Danube region with a broad range of expertise will select up to 10 project proposals for funding from all the shortlisted submissions, basing its decision in particular on the following criteria:

  • Originality, creativity and feasibility of the project proposal;
  • Artistic quality of the project proposal (measured by the dimension, the objective and the actors involved in the project);
  • Quality and potential long-term effect of the cross-border (Danube-wide) cooperation envisaged among the project partners;
  • Expected positive effects for local citizens and their communities;
  • Expected learning, role model and multiplication effects of the project proposal for other regions of the

Danube area and, if applicable, at the European level;

  • Sensitivity for a contemporary approach to questions of cultural diversity, equal treatment and social inclusion, freedom of expression, as well as a clearly visible sense of responsibility for environmental issues.

The Danube Small Project Fund team aims to complete the entire selection process within four to six weeks of the submission deadline. Due to the expected high number of applications, it is unfortunately not possible to provide further information on received submissions after the announcement of the results. Our call for applications is open to people of all nationalities living in the Danube region, regardless of their cultural and social background, age (except the minimum age of 18 years), religion, abilities or sexual identity.


The Danube Small Project Fund (DSPF) is a unique multi-stakeholder funding initiative that aims to support small-scale collaborative projects in the field of arts and culture in the Danube Region. The 3rd DSPF-Call is open now!

Deadline is February 29th, 2024  March 10, 2024 at 24:00 CEST

Note: Due to technical issues faced by some applicants, we are extending the deadline. Applicants still experiencing issues with the online form can request application materials directly via email at or until March 8, 2024 at 16:00 CEST.