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

“Collaborate to Innovate” is intended to:

-           Foster a climate of collaborative innovation (social, cultural and technological) in which fresh approaches and ideas are broadly shared and become part of the network culture.

-           Stimulate new collective innovative and collaborative initiatives and practices amongst film exhibitors at a national, regional and European scale.

-           Support solidarity amongst exhibitors to tackle together shared challenges, especially in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

-           Encourage innovation, particularly with the use of digital technologies to promote films and create new ways to connect audiences with cinema.

-           Promote innovative collaboration between cinemas and all parts of the industry value chain, recognising that cinemas are at the core of the European audiovisual industry.

-           Boost the circulation and visibility of European films and ultimately, their impact on audiences, particularly young audiences.

-           Improve exhibitors’ skills and assets, in particular in marketing their venues and programming and in audience outreach.

-           Develop new approaches that target specifically sustainability and inclusion, in cooperation with local partners.

-           Ensure maximum participation of network exhibitors to strengthen their innovation strategies and improve their competitivity in their own market.

What types of activities will Collaborate to Innovate support?


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.

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.


Examples of activities

The main aim is to encourage new collaborative approaches across the network that can have an impact on building diverse audiences for European cinema. As an indication, the following projects will be considered for support:

  • Collective digital projects (e.g. data management, subscription schemes, ticketing systems and offers),
  • New offers & services for audiences (e.g. virtual cinema offers, collaborations with platforms and other parts of the audiovisual industry),
  • Joint marketing campaigns (e.g. promoting cinema-going, European films, targeting young people),
  • Collective initiatives aimed at developing new & diverse audiences (including hybrid online/in-venue),
  • Community-building projects focused on inclusion and access,
  • Projects that offer a positive environmental impact,
  • Skills development to support the aims of the project. That may include workshops and training schemes, software development and education and learning schemes. Skills development may cover a range of areas, such as data management, marketing, programming, audience development, access and inclusion.

Who can apply?


Collaborate to Innovate is open to Europa Cinemas network members whose European results have led to financial support in 2019 (programming and/or young audience activities). Participants in the same project must represent exhibition organisations/companies that are economically totally independent from each other.

Projects can exceptionally involve non-member cinemas if a clear rationale is presented and prior conditions are met.

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.

Each project must nominate a Coordinator, who must be a Europa Cinemas network member and whose European results have led to financial support for 2019 programming. The Coordinator will be responsible for the coordination, delivery and evaluation of the project. In the event that a project is supported, the Coordinator will be responsible for the distribution of the funding amongst the project partners listed in the application. 


Country Categories

A: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom.

B: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden.

C: Croatia, Hungary, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia.

D: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia.

Guidelines & Necessary documents


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


Necessary documents to submit an application:

Online application form

Template of income and expenditure budget

Template of expression of interest form from each partner


Submission deadline for applications: 2nd June 2021 – 8.00pm (CEST)



If you have further questions, please send your inquiry to Fatima Djoumer (Head of International Relations), Lisa Püscher (Executive Assistant) and Sonia Ragone (Project Coordinator) by using the following email address: