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Horizon 2020-Funded EPIC Project Releases Policy Recommendations for Digital Technologies and the Arts

This EPIC policy brief provides guidance for EU and Australia-based policy makers on how to foster digital art, science and technology interactions and make the most of their potential based on two-plus years of project findings.


Policy making and guidelines

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This week, the Horizon 2020-funded EPIC project released the third in a series of policy briefs providing policy makers in the European Commission (EC), as well as in the project partner countries of Australia, Singapore and New Zealand, with an update on the state-of-play of ICT cooperation as relates to the EC’s actions. The publication, entitled ‘Digital Technologies and the Arts’, has been drafted to inform both EU and Australian policy stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds.

The brief first provides an overview of already established digital art/science initiatives in Australia and the European Union including S+T+ARTS and the global Science Gallery Network, as well as in depth case studies of Science Gallery Melbourne and Ars Electronica Australia. It next delves into the potential for EU-AU digital art/science collaboration, including commonalities and challenges shared by and between the two regions, for instance how to engage citizens in science, as well as initiatives currently underway. It concludes with a series of recommendations such as the opening of dialogues between the fields, fostering inclusion and empowerment, enhancing education and training and increasing funding opportunities. The policy brief has been made publicly available and can be accessed at

Authors and contributors include Lubi Thomas, Co-Director of Ars Electronica Australia, Dr Niels Wouters, the Head of Research and Emerging Practice for Science Gallery Melbourne, and EPIC coordinator and Austria-based technology strategist Erich Prem. While the policy briefs are prepared as part of the EPIC project, the views expressed therein are solely those of the authors and not of the EC or its services.

“Recent technological advances benefit from accessible and democratic debate in the public realm, to help ensure benefits for society,” said Dr Wouters. “As arts spaces become testbeds and laboratories where artists and scientists meet, they enable the public to inform, understand, unpack and scrutinize the latest advances. Besides benefits for the arts sector in its own right, we should recognize the potential of these initiatives for industry, education, academia and policy-making.”

This topic featured prominently at a recent EPIC-supported event in Canberra entitled ‘International Dimensions of Artificial Intelligence’. The conference included a popular workshop, hosted by Thomas and Wouters, which explored how arts and culture can work together with digital technologies to enliven communities and experiences.

In addition to providing future oriented recommendations for policy makers, the EPIC policy brief series provides insights into the main challenges and previous successes in the selected topic areas based on input from the EPIC consortium members, interviews with researchers and previous results and findings. Target audiences include research policy advisers and research counsellors in Brussels, R&D policy makers in the corresponding ministries and departments in the partner countries, top researchers and research managers from leading research organizations, and ICT industry associations. On the European side, this further includes the European Commission (DG Research and DG Connect), support networks for international research cooperation (such as NCPs), and European ICT research organizations.

First Initiated in September 2017, EPIC, following an extensive rollout, is now entering its final months and is thus well-positioned to provide policy recommendations based on project findings and results.

EPIC is aimed at improving cooperation in the area of information and communication technologies between Europe and the three partner countries Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme (ICT) under Grant Agreement No. 687794. To learn more about the EPIC project, or to view upcoming events, visit


arts, sciences, digital technologies, Australia, Collaboration


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Sarah Kiehne (Ms)

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