As of 2009 the Dutch e-culture sector has had a Visitors Programme. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Education, Culture and Science finance this programme jointly out of the HGIS-Cultuurmiddelen (a national fund devoted to large-scale international culture projects held in the Netherlands). As the country’s representative e-culture institute, Virtueel Platform has the task of carrying out this programme. The government subsidy contributes towards international knowledge development, dissemination and exchange.
The programme is directed towards the stimulation of international cultural relations both by bringing about and maintaining good mutual contacts in the e-culture field and by facilitating cross-overs with other cultural disciplines.
Virtueel Platform has a budget for approximately ten visits per year (depending on the costs per visit); the subsidy allocation period runs from 1 January to 31 December.
The programme is intended for professionals working in e-culture sector who:
- do not live in the Netherlands
- want to share specific knowledge with colleagues in the Netherlands
- are looking abroad for inspiration and innovation
- want to set up joint projects
- want to expand their international network.
Applications for a visit may be made by any of the following parties:
- candidates presenting themselves to Virtueel Platform directly
- the Dutch Embassy in the visitor’s country of residence
- a Dutch cultural organisation working in the e-culture sector.
Applications will be considered in the order of their submission, and this consideration generally takes from four to six weeks. A full application should comprise:
- a covering letter presenting a clear argument for the visit, including the visitor’s CV
- a description of the themes or subjects that the visitor wishes to explore
- a description of what the visitor hopes to achieve during their visit
- the visitor’s short-term and long-term aims
- possible dates for the visit
- information on the people or organisations who are to be visited.
No more than two months after the end of the visiting period, visitors are required to present a substantive report and evaluation detailing any results already achieved.
The programme for each visitor is created in close collaboration with the visitor and with Dutch cultural organisations, and is put together with a view both to the visitor’s own background and interests, and the interests of the Dutch cultural field. Programmes include visits to e-cultural organsations, relevant governmental bodies and other related cultural institutes. A visit generally last a few days and may be no more than a week in length, unless there are relevant reasons for a longer stay.
More information about the programme in 2013 is forthcoming.