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Collaborate to Innovate

Collaborate to Innovate





Launched in 2021 with the financial support of the Creative Europe MEDIA programme of the European Commission, this initiative is built around three core ideas:

•          INNOVATION, recognising that new approaches, practices and processes were necessary to deal with new realities in terms of culture, audience, society, technology and industry.

•          COLLABORATION, in the sense of partnership and network building within Europa Cinemas and beyond.

•          SUSTAINABILITY, meaning both environmental responsibility but also innovation that can be replicated and shared for efficient and effective, long-term development across the network and beyond.

This funding scheme has also been inspired by Europa Cinemas “Audience Development & Innovation” labs and workshops, for shared innovations and best practice.



Collaborate to Innovate aims to support innovative and collective approaches and strategies to develop audiences for European productions and to improve the circulation and diversity of European films.

Projects need to clearly demonstrate how they are innovative in their specific geographic and operating contexts. New initiatives are particularly encouraged. Existing approaches with a new innovative dimension (for example, taking place in a different national context or enhancing an existing approach) will also be considered. Europa Cinemas' financial contribution amounts to a maximum of €100,000 per project.

The “Collaborate to Innovate” scheme is open to new ideas that further the goals of increasing audience outreach and innovative cinema-going experience. Therefore, it does not intend to adopt a too prescriptive framework for projects it supports.

 “Collaborate to Innovate” will provide support in the following broad areas:

  • Engagement, education and audience awareness of diverse European film to increase demand for European films,
  • Sustainable and inclusive audience development exploiting all opportunities, including digital technology.
  • Sustainable models, processes and training to increase access to European film and to enhance and innovate the cinema going experience.



The Call for applications of Collaborate to Innovate 2024 will be open from December 1st, 2023 to Europa Cinemas network members whose European results have led to financial support in 2021 or 2022 (programming). Participants in the same project must represent exhibition organisations/companies that are economically totally independent from each other.



Every application must meet a minimum number of participants:

  • At least three participants from any A or B country for a national project (see below for list of countries)
  • At least two participants from C or D countries for a national project
  • At least five participants from at least two countries for an international project involving only A and B countries
  • At least three participants from at least two countries for an international project involving at least one C or D country.

Projects can exceptionally involve non-member cinemas if the application includes the required minimum number of Europa Cinemas partner theatres.

Each project must nominate a Coordinator, who must be a Europa Cinemas network member and whose European results have led to financial support for 2021 programming or 2022 programming. The Coordinator will lead a project with responsibility for the coordination, delivery and evaluation of the project. In the event a project is supported, the Coordinator will be legally and financially responsible for the project and for the distribution of the funding amongst the project partners listed in the application.  



For additional details about the assessment criteria, KPIs, requirements, procedures and financial conditions please read carefully Collaborate to Innovate guidelines:

Collaborate to Innovate Guidelines EN
Lignes directrices Collaborate to Innovate FR
Collaborate to Innovate Richtlinien DE
Linee guida Collaborate to Innovate IT
Linea directrices Collaborate to Innovate ES


To help network members shape their applications and get the best chance of success, Europa Cinemas hosted two Online Sessions (with simultaneous translation in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish) moderated by Michael Gubbins (Consultant, Sampo Media). Network members could raise questions about the Guidelines, the application process, the procedures and rules to follow. See the presentation of the Collaborate to Innovate Guidelines from the online workshops here.


Necessary documents to submit an application:

Online application form

Template of income and expenditure budget

Template of mandate to be signed by each partner

Submission deadline for applications: 19 February 2024 – 7.00pm (CET)


More information on all the projects selected in 2021, 2022, and 2023 available here.

At Europa Cinemas 22nd Network Conference in Paris (1-4 Dec 2022), many COLLABORATE TO INNOVATE projects have been presented and highlighted during panels and workshops. We hope it will be a source of inspiration and replication when building your own projects.
You will find all live streams on our Youtube channel (workshop 1, workshop 2, workshop 4), as well as previous workshops from our SofiaBologna and Valladolid Audience Development & Innovation Labs.


If you have further questions, please have a look at the FAQs and send your inquiry to Nadia Wolf (Collaborate to Innovate Coordinator) by using the following email address: collaboratetoinnovate@europa-cinemas.org.