Art and Tech

Learning from Amsterdam

I’m just back from a tour of Amsterdam, part of the Art Tech project between Arts Council England, Innovate UK, and the KTN.

The programme aims to support innovation in arts practice, technology development and associated business models. And so the tour took in four areas — each with different insights for the programme partners.

1. The Tolhuistuin, the Eye, and A-Lab — all in buildings which were formerly or on the site of Shell laboratories and which are becoming one of Amsterdam’s new cultural zones.

2. Fab City, set on Java Island. A sustainable pop up city founded as part of the Dutch presidency of the European Union. The budget is just EUR 100,000 which seems tiny considering the scale of the initiative.

3. Makerversity Amsterdam. An extraordinary and brave new outpost for the London-based organisation. As founder Tom told us: “We know if the model works here, it will work anywhere.”

4. The Waag for drinks, where we were joined by Europeana and the Doen Foundation and others.

The concluding theme of the day was that the value of European partnerships and projects isn’t in the funding, but in the opportunity to learn from these extraordinary projects. We hope this fits our new company mantra — the need for our clients and the wider sector to Open Out.

- Callum Lee, Director

Originally published at

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