Skip to content

We are looking for ambitious proposals that:

  • Have a clearly identified positive social outcome(s) and a persuasive case of why the digital idea will make a difference to this outcome
  • Ideas that are rooted in digital technology first and foremost. Digital innovation needs to be at the heart of your idea but the intervention can expand beyond digital to incorporate a live performance, exhibition, festival etc
  • Existing digital projects will also be considered if they require further development, and can demonstrate impact at scale that is clearly aligned with a beneficiary group
  • We encourage collaborations with other organisations both inside and outside of the creative industries e.g third sector or public services, however it must be clear in your application the creative/cultural organisation is the lead organisation
  • Can demonstrate the potential for impact at scale

Applications will need to demonstrate:

  • evidence of need and clearly identify a social outcome
  • a time commitment to developing the idea and participating in the pilot programme
  • have a track record of delivering creative digital projects
  • have appropriate networks or channels to reach out to people, both to help develop the digital idea and as well as the beneficiary group
  • have staff already in place to lead this work (rather than relying on new appointments) so you can hit the ground running
  • have a commitment to being part of a fast-paced and creative innovation process, and are supported by a senior management team who are open to challenge and support
  • have a commitment to measuring the performance and impact of the digital innovation

Eligibility criteria

  • Cultural or creative organisations, trading for a minimum of 3 years in the UK. We are looking to fund ideas from both arts and cultural organisations as well as businesses within the wider creative industries, particularly where those businesses feel their ideas can positively impact the lives of others. These could be games companies, design agencies, media agencies or other firms. If you are unsure about eligibility then just get in touch.
  • The idea needs to make use of digital technologies
  • The idea needs to address a social challenge (this can be a local or global challenge)

Please note: If your application is successful and you receive grant funding from Nesta, we will request you to provide 30% match funding/in-kind support. This contribution is not paid to Nesta but should be allocated in the overall budget you provide to support the development of the digital idea.

If you’re trying to decide, is the right opportunity for your organisation? Here are some questions you should consider before applying:

  • is our idea different and original to what exists already?
  • is our organisation, and management team, ready to be truly open to this opportunity and create a collaborative partnership with Nesta and an external mentor?
  • do we have the time to fully engage with this process? (note: the Amplified process starts in April 2019 until April 2020, as a minimum we expect you will spend at least two days per month working on the idea)
  • do we want to know more about our impact?
  • what does success look like? Will Amplified help us achieve this?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, Amplified might not be the right opportunity for you. But if you want to talk to the Nesta team, send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you.

Submit your expression of interest

The application process


  • 14 November 2018: deadline for expressions of interest
  • 5 December 2018: shortlisted applicants contacted
  • 18 January 2019: submission of final applications
  • 12/13/14 Feb 2019: shortlisted interviews at Nesta
  • April 2019: start mentoring and developing the ideas

The application process is a three staged process:

Stage one : Expression of Interest

This is your opportunity to tell us about your idea, the difference you want to make the in world and why, and introduce us to the team behind the idea.

Stage two : full application (invitation only)

If your EOI is successful you will be invited to submit a full application. This will require much more information regarding the idea, the impact, sustainability, the team and the overall budget requirements.

Stage three : interview (invitation only)

If your full application is successful you will be invited to an interview in London. The purpose of the interview for us to meet the team behind the idea, learn more about the idea and its potential impact and discuss any gaps or additional support that might be required to help further develop the idea.

Criteria for assessing applications

Expressions of interest will need to clearly demonstrate:

Evidence - why is this important? what data do you currently have that clearly identifies a need?

Impact - does the idea have a clear, achievable outcome i.e. what’s the difference you want to make? Does the idea directly meet the needs of the people it’s trying to support?

Innovation - does the idea offer something new and original to what exists already?

Sustainability - does the team/organisation have the skills and resources to design, test and roll out the digital idea? Amplified will help and support you on this journey, but we want to know your idea has a life beyond the initial 12 months of Amplified support.