Apply for £50k from the British Council Digital Collaboration Fund encouraging international collaboration

British Council is offering grants of up to £50k to support UK arts organisations to collaborate digitally on international projects.

In response to increasing restrictions on global travel due to COVID-19, and rising concerns about the sustainability of face-to-face collaborations, British Council is now looking for new ways to foster international connections.

The Digital Collaboration Fund aims to address this challenge. Through a series of grants, we are supporting organisations to devise new virtual ways of working internationally, in turn creating a climate-friendly approach to international collaboration and artistic exchange.

Grants of up to £50k are available to organisations in the UK and selected Official Development Assistance* (ODA) countries to collaborate on digital projects. You can watch a British Sign Language video for the open call here.

Review the criteria belo and apply via the British Council website. Deadline for applications is 18 November 2020.


  • The fund is open to arts and culture organisations and higher education organisations with an arts and culture focus.
  • Applications must be a partnership between at least one UK organisation and one organisation based in one of the countries: Albania, Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Kosovo, Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Peru, Rwanda, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam, Western Balkans, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
  • The lead applicant does not need to be the UK organisation.
  • While the funds are designed to benefit the artistic community, applications will only be accepted from legally registered organisations and collectives. Applicants must have a registered business bank account.
  • Applications for multilateral projects, with the focus on the programme being delivered mutually across the UK and in overseas countries will be accepted.
  • In general, funding should be split 60/40 between the UK and the other countries. The lead partner should get no more than 60% of the funding and at least 40% of funding should be distributed in one or more of the countries listed below.
  • Example projects include: virtual art residencies, exhibitions or showcases, conferences; online art and cultural archives; creative collaborations; research & development of project ideas; digital games; mixed, augmented and virtual reality projects.

There are grants of between £10-20k and £40-50k available in the following three areas:

  • Research and development grants: to research and develop proposals for new virtual collaboration projects
  • Restart grants: for existing projects that are currently on pause due to Covid-19, to help organisations restart them via digital means
  • Collaboration grants: for new projects with a focus on virtual collaboration and other new ways of working.

Applicants can either apply for a small or large grant for projects that align with the three areas above. The funding will be allocated as follows:

  • Small grants of 10-20k GBP - 4 grants awarded per area (12 total)
  • Large grants 40-50k GBP - 5 grants awarded per area (15 total)

* Official Development Assistance (ODA) is the UK government’s overseas aid budget to support the government’s 2015 Aid Strategy in developing countries.

The Digital Collaboration Fund is Official Development Assistance. ODA is a term coined by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to measure aid.

An ODA compliant project proposal should:

  • demonstrate that projects will make a positive contribution to the social and economic development of the ODA country involved;
  • aim to further sustainable development (development that is likely to generate lasting benefits for the population of the country to which it is provided) or improve the welfare of the population.

British Council is hosting two virtual information sessions about the :

Both sessions will be recorded and shared after the event.

To join a session, register your interest.

  • Monday 2 November 2020, 15:00 - 16:00 GMT
  • Tuesday 3 November 2020, 10:00 - 11:00 GMT

Digital Collaboration Fund FAQs can be found here.

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