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NSERC/Canada Council for the Arts New Media Initiative

There will be no further competitions for this program. Existing funding commitments will be honoured for projects currently funded (see list); however, NSERC has decided not to continue the New Media Initiative program.

Application Deadline The program is now closed
How to Apply NSERC is no longer receiving new applications for this program.
Application Forms See This link will take you to another Web site Canada Council for the Arts documentation
183A (if applicable)
Program Contact View Contact Information


The NSERC/Canada Council for the Arts (Canada Council) New Media Initiative is intended to promote collaboration between scientists and/or engineers and artists, thereby combining creativity with the development and application of new technologies and knowledge.

Scientists, engineers and artists are creating novel and mutually beneficial ways of thinking and working collaboratively across their disciplines, making innovative contributions to science, the arts and industry. Collaborations between these disciplines are also contributing to the professional development of scientists, engineers and artists; promoting the transfer of knowledge between sectors and disciplines; and helping create new cross-disciplinary working methodologies between scientific and artistic domains.

New media art that develops and applies new digital technologies increasingly includes science and engineering-based methodologies, while scientific research is increasingly making use of art-based practices.

Collaborations between scientists and/or engineers and artists in the field of information and communications technology often involve the design, development and application of products in such areas as software and hardware tools for IP networks and broadband optical networks; (tele)robotics; cognitive systems; artificial life agents; data visualization; bioinformatics; wearable computing; and advanced materials and devices such as active fabrics, sensors and microprocessors.


The New Media Initiative will be implemented within the context of existing NSERC and Canada Council programs. At NSERC, applications will be accepted through the Research Partnerships Program (RPP). At the Canada Council, applications will be accepted for New Media Research, Production or Residencies within the Grants to New Media and Audio Artists Program.

The New Media Initiative:

  • is based on partnerships between scientists/engineers and artists;
  • provides core support for research and implementation of integrated activities that reflect the New Media Initiative objectives; and
  • is centred on themes/areas of mutual importance to the research partners.

New Media Initiative projects are assessed by peers with expertise in the arts and sciences and/or engineering. NSERC will fund the scientific and engineering research component of the project and The Canada Council for the Arts will fund the artistic component of the project according to the guidelines of the above-mentioned programs.

Projects involving independent new media art creation and related science and engineering research are eligible for support. The NSERC component of the project must be scientifically sound and promise to generate new knowledge or a new technology, or to apply existing knowledge/technology in an innovative manner. The following are not eligible for support under the New Media Initiative:

  • projects that support work created for the cultural industries of commercial new media, radio or television broadcasting;
  • projects whose purpose is to record or document existing artworks or use existing technology in routine applications;
  • projects that focus on the routine application of existing technology or that provide professional or consulting services; and
  • proposals that are principally associated with the acquisition and maintenance of scientific equipment.

Application Procedures, Review Procedures and Selection Criteria

Detailed information can be obtained at:

Note: Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate Program Officer at either agency well before the program deadline. Projects that do not fit into one of the areas listed in the context above will not be retained in the competition. NSERC will apply a pre-selection process if the number of applications is too high.

Active Grants

Title University Grantee End Date
Visual voice: gestural control of vocal expression British Columbia S. Fels 2011/09/29
Mechanical empathy: kinetic architectural textile environments Waterloo R. Gorbet 2011/09/29
Karma chameleon: minimally invasive interactive textiles for dynamic personalities École Polytechnique   M. Skorobogatiy   2011/09/29
Meaning from motion for interaction and visualization Simon Fraser L. Bartram 2012/09/29
Intelligent human-computer interaction in multimedia performance Victoria P. Driessen 2012/09/29
Musical metacreation: software creativity and creative software Simon Fraser P. Pasquier 2012/09/29