Idea Makers at the Idea Camp 2015. Photo by Julio Albarrán.

Idea Makers at the Idea Camp 2015. Photo by Julio Albarrán.

ECF's Research and Development (R&D) work aims at bringing evidence for culture’s intrinsic value as a key contributor to human and societal development, as well as a powerful factor for re-invigorating democratic processes in Europe and beyond. We look into alternative democratic practices, new forms of civic engagement, urban commons, as well as the position of Europe in the world through culture. The results and findings of our reflection, research and R&D grants fuel all ECF activities and connect to the relevant policy levels. 


Reflection, think-tanking exercises, foresight studies

ECF Programme Manager Philipp Dietachmair presents the Build the City Book at the Tandem Europe forum, next to Jotham Sietsma (Tandem Programme Managers, MitOst). Photo by Constanze Flamme.

ECF Programme Manager Philipp Dietachmair presents the Build the City Book at the Tandem Europe forum, next to Jotham Sietsma (Tandem Programme Managers, MitOst). Photo by Constanze Flamme.

We explore and critically reflect on topical cultural issues of contemporary Europe, trying to anticipate their future impact on the European socio-political landscape. We do that through: 

Projects and impact:


Policy evidence-making

10 years of Cultural Policy Research Award (CPRA) - watch the video.

We focus on topical issues to set and influence policy agendas (from the local to the European). We do this through:

  • Producing new knowledge as evidence base for our advocacy work.
  • Researching effective practices across our programmes and advocate for their recognition and support at policy level.    

Projects & Impact


Pilot projects and R&D grants

Ideas on Wheels at the Idea Camp 2015. Photo by Julio Albarrán.

Ideas on Wheels at the Idea Camp 2015. Photo by Julio Albarrán.

We tap into less explored research areas, we experiment and prototype ideas that reinforce our theme Connecting Culture, Communities and Democracy. We join research pilot projects and develop partnerships. We also provide R&D grants as part of ECF’s Connected Action for the Commons programme.

Projects & Impact


Monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment

Feedback session at the Idea Camp 2015. Photo by Julio Albarrán.

Feedback session at the Idea Camp 2015. Photo by Julio Albarrán.

We monitor, assess and evaluate ECF programmes and actions in order to learn more about our work and the work of our partners. We invest in strategic organisational and programme development.

Projects & Impact

Our R&D work currently focuses on:

  • Reflection, think-taking exercises, foresight studies
  • Policy evidence-making
  • Pilot projects and R&D grants
  • Monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment

On this page, you will find more details about the R&D activities we are currently involved in.

R&D news & publications from our Library:

Read more about our previous thematic focus, R&D activities and impact.