Derry 2.0 - Digital Derry Culture Tech Fund

Derry 2.0
Derry 2.0

Digital Derry’s new Culture Tech Fund, funded by DCAL and delivered in partnership with the Culture Company, will launch with an evening event on January 12th, 2012. There’ll be more specifics released then but for now here’s a little info if you’re thinking of applying.

What is it?

The Culture Tech Fund is a pilot programme to fund a handful of new projects which combine digital technologies with cultural and artistic output. There is a total of £20,000 up for grabs, with individual projects receiving up to £5000 each.


We think that the areas of cultural technology and digital culture have huge potential – specifically in the run up to the City of Culture programme. By providing small amounts of seed funding to innovative new projects we think we can help kickstart this sector.

What are we looking for?

We’re specifically interested in seeing projects in areas such as digital publishing and those that combine digital with live performance or events. The projects must be new but can build on previously created assets (ex. turning a book or graphic novel into an app). Collaborations are welcome as are new startup business ideas. Projects should have potential to be self-sustaining beyond the initial seed funding and we’re keen to see projects that can be developed into new businesses.

Who can apply?

Anyone over 18 with a good idea can apply but you will need to tick a few boxes. You must be either based in Co. Derry-Londonderry or partner with someone who is. You must be set up as a business, partnership, social enterprise or charity – or registered as self-employed – and have business bank account that we can pay into.

Finally, you should be able to demonstrate how you will realise your idea (i.e. will you need to hire in expert help or do you have those skills in-house).

What can we do with the money?

It’s up to you. You’ll be asked to propose a budget in advance and, if successful, demonstrate how you’ve spent it – some changes are OK but it should match up pretty closely.

You can spend it on whatever you need to but, by and large, we’re less interested in funding capital costs (like equipment) or overheads (like rent). No match funding is required but if the cost of the project is beyond what you apply for you’ll need to explain how you’ll make up the difference.

What’s the process?

Applications will be available from January 12th and must be completed by February 17th. An industry panel will assess the applications – we’ll include the assessment criteria in the application pack – and you’ll find out if you’re successful by February 24th.

You can apply for anything up to £5000 for your project and, if successful, your money will be paid out before the end of March. You need to be able to complete your project by September and be ready to show it off at our digital culture festival then.

What now?

Get started drafting up your ideas. This is a competitive fund so we’ll be looking for the best possible ideas and undoubtedly not every idea put forward will be funded. We will announce details for the launch event in December on

Some quick tips that will help you prepare:

* Be very clear about your idea and how you will deliver it

* Pull the team together and make sure you cover all the bases

* Prepare an outline budget. You won’t need too much detail but we need to know that it’s realistic.

* Think about how you might be able to develop the project beyond this initial fund. It’s called a seed fund for a reason.

If you have any specific questions, we’d ask you to hang on until we get the applications out in January. That said, if you’d like to send through a few lines about your idea to see if it might fit, please feel free. Email address is below.

Mark Nagurski is Derry’s Digital Champion, based at the city’s Chamber of Commerce. Email him at or by visiting