On September 6-8, members of T6 Ecosystems attended the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria. This is Europe’s largest festival for art, technology and society and an occasion for artists, scientists, developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and activists from all over the world to come together, showcase their work and engage in dialogue. This year, the festival focused on the question “Who Owns the Truth?” and several events, including exhibitions, conferences and performances, explored this question. 

As one of the consortium partners in the S+T+ARTS Prize network and of Impetus, researchers from T6 attended the festival, representing both the company and the respective projects. The S+T+ARTS Prize is one of the elements of the S+T+ARTS Initiative. Every year, after a competition, two innovative projects at the nexus of science, technology, and the arts and with a strong potential for an impact on economic and social innovation, are selected and are awarded €20,000 in addition to be prominently featured at Ars Electronica and other events of the consortium partners. In addition, 10 projects receive honorary mentions for their participation in the competition and the quality of their projects. 

During the Festival, T6 participated in the S+T+ARTS Family Meetup, a short working session that continued the line of regular S+T+ARTS Family gatherings, started in May, to update each other and work on developing common strategies. Among the projects represented were S+T+ARTS Prize, STARTS4Africa, GRIN, etc., with partners from all over Europe and Peter Friess joining remotely. 

This was a great chance to discuss possible partnerships and synergies that can be developed between the participating partners and to establish common goals for the next S+T+ARTS Family gathering. For T6, it was an opportunity to draw attention to the Policy event that T6 is organizing, in the framework of the S+T+ARTS Prize, on October 16, 2023, at the Fondazione Cini in Venice, Italy. The purpose of this 1-day event is to bring together policy makers and the S+T+ARTS regional centers and discuss the challenges and opportunities in fostering local ecosystems with dedicated policies and initiatives. The S+T+ARTS family also met during a networking cocktail, where we could set up new possible collaborations between the various institutions and organisations that participated, and to meet new organisations that were attending the event for the first time. 

Moreover, during the festival we were able to meet some of the winners of the S+T+ARTS Prize and to see the exhibited works. One of the responsibilities of T6, within the framework of S+T+ARTS Prize, is to explore the impact that the prize has on the winners. Therefore, during the festival we could get to know some of the winners in person, and conduct impact assessment interviews with them. We were honored to interview Richard Mosse, the Grand Prize winner for Innovative Collaboration for his work “Broken Spectre” and Jennifer Kanary, who received an honorary mention for her work “Labyrinth Psychotica”.

The first full day of the festival culminated in the Award Ceremony which honored the artists and initiatives with the Prix Ars Electronica 2023, the S+T+ARTS Prize 2023 and new prizes from the European Union and other partners. The S+T+ARTS Prize 2023 honors innovation in Technology, Industry and Society stimulated by the Arts. This year, the Grant Prize for Artistic Exploration went to Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg for her work Pollinator Pathmaker and the Grand Prize for Innovative Collaboration went to Richard Mosse for his work Broken Spectre. T6 was proud to be part of such an important event and to support the winners!

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