What is OPSTART?

OPSTART aims to develop the artistic and cultural field in the Nordic region by supporting promising project ideas with a clear development perspective and the start-up phase of new Nordic projects.

You can apply for max. DKK 25.000. Response within 20 work days.



What we fund

OPSTART supports people with a good idea for a new art or culture project and who will develop the project into a concrete Nordic co-operation.


The Nordic Culture Fund supports art and culture projects involving different Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, the Faroe Island, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Aaland Island). At least two of these countries must have confirmed their interest in participating the project before applying. The project must aim to extend the geographical scope and you must clearly indicate which other stakeholders and countries you intend to involve in the long term. 


With the OPSTART grant you can develop the quality of the project, the Nordic relevance of the project and the level of substance in the Nordic co-operations.    


Applications are welcome from all artistic and cultural genres, and from individuals, groups, organisations, institutions, associations and companies. Applicants need not be resident in the Nordic Region or be Nordic citizens.

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What we do not fund

OPSTART supports a wide range of projects, but there are certain limitations: 

  • OPSTART is for developing ideas together, not for funding ready-made projects
  • OPSTART supports new project ideas, so the applicant must not have applied to the Fund for funding of a similar idea in the past.
  • OPSTART does not support projects outside of the arts and culture, e.g. sporting events.
  • OPSTART does not fund study visits or school trips.
  • OPSTART does not provide grants for individuals or groups to participate in events.
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Deadline for applications

OPSTART accepts applications at any time. You receive a response within 20 work days. 


Assessment criteria

Quality and methods

What contribution did this OPSTART project idea make to a reinvigorated and dynamic Nordic art and culture scene that is diverse, accessible and of high quality?


We evaluate the quality of the project idea on the basis of its originality, artistic or cultural objectives, content, feasibility, methods and impact on the target groups.

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Nordic relevance and co-operation

 The Fund assesses how the project extends beyond the national perspective, and the level of support - or potential level of support - for the project in relevant areas in the Nordic Region.


In addition to the three Nordic region, projects may include partners from outside the Region.

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OPSTART grants are for max. DKK 25,000.


OPSTART typically funds travel and accommodation for meetings in the Nordic Region. You may also apply for money to cover other costs such as fees/wages, materials or anything else needed to work on and develop the project idea together. 

Please note, that only 1/3 of the total funding for an OPSTART project may be used on fees/wages.


There is no requirement for co-financing of OPSTART.

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Project period

You can only apply for funding for activities that take place after you have received a response from the Nordic Culture Fund. The project can start 20 week days after the application date.  

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Repeat applications

 Applications must be for new project ideas. In other words, you should not have sought support for the same or similar idea in the past.


If your OPSTART application is rejected, you may develop the project and re-apply.

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Projects outside the Nordic Region

We support projects outside the Nordic Region if they are deemed mutually beneficial for the organiser and Nordic stakeholders in the arts and culture.


Active and competent international partners ought to contribute resources to the project, either financially or in kind. We also assess the Nordic relevance and level of interaction involved in the project. In addition, we assess the projects’ quality, planned follow-up activities, impact and level of general external interest.

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If you need help for your project

Do you need inspiration for your project? Read about funded projects in different cultural areas.


The Nordic Culture Fund's Project Ambassadors can help you develop project ideas and guide you in the application process.

Terms and conditions

Terms for applications

According to the Nordic Culture Fund’s rules regarding freedom of information, applications are public, but personal and banking information is not.

All grants are published on the Culture Fund’s website and in its annual report.

The Fund only receives electronic applications. Your online application must be submitted via the Fund's application portal. Applications submitted per. mail or e-mail is considered invalid.

The Fund reserves the right to not allocate the full amount requested.

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Terms for approved applications

You must comply to the following rules if your project has been awarded a grant:

Changes in the project:

The grant must be used for the purposes described in the application. Significant changes in your project, in relation to the application submitted, must be approved in advance by the Secretariat. Significant changes are those, for example, that relate to:

• the participating Nordic countries
• the project partners
• the duration of the project

You should also contact the Fund if you pass formal responsibility for the project to any other party or parties, and if the project manager is replaced.

Grant payment:

As soon as your application is approved, we will initiate a bank transfer. All of the money will be paid in a singe instalment. All of the money will be paid in a singe instalment. It may take up to eight working days before the money reaches your account.

Crediting the Nordic Culture Fund:

Be sure to credit the Nordic Culture Fund and use the fund's logo and #OPSTARTfunding when publicising and presenting your project. The logo and more information on how to mention the Fund can be found on the Nordic Culture Fund's web page.


Project results and final report:

Within a month of the end of the OPSTART project, you must account for the project’s outcomes, future perspectives and the project's economy using a report form. Download the report form here (PDF). As part of this process, you sign a binding declaration that you used the funds for the purpose specified in the application. The end date is the date you have given in the application.

Reimbursement requirement:

If the grant is used for purposes other than those described in the application, the Fund may reduce the amount or require that the full amount is repaid. The Fund can also claim back the grant if it hasn't reveived the final report in the given time.

If any money is left over, the Fund has the right to claim its share of the surplus. The Fund's share of any surplus will correspond to its share of overall project funding.

If the money is not repaid, the case will be put in the hands of a debt collection Agency.

Random spot checks:

Each year, a number of OPSTART recipients are selected for random spot checks – so remember to keep all your accounts!

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If you still have questions not answered

Here you will find frequently asked questions and answers and also contact information on the secretariat

Ready to apply?

  • Select the right funding for your project
  • Check the assessment criteria
  • Ensure the application is sent before the deadline