Civic Innovation Fund

Ideas to boost resilient and sustainable democracy in Europe

Piloting, Innovation & Scaling

“Education is a fundamental enabler of an active and informed citizenship and thus, for democratic participation”.

Report A9-0060/2022 of the European Parliament

The Civic Innovation Fund (CIF) is a unique European pooled fund launched by THE CIVICS Innovation Hub. It aims to pioneer new ideas in civil society, enhance their visibility, and integrate them into NECE, a growing pan-European network of civic educators. The fund supports start-up ideas in civic education that apply interdisciplinary and inclusive approaches which lead to greater resilience, diversity, and collaboration in democracy.

Each project receives between 10,000 € and 12,000 € for piloting, incubation, and scaling up for the period of 12 months. The CIF aims to support primary young civic educators (under 35) and young NGOs (under 3 years of existence). The awarded startups also qualify as informal NECE Impact Spots, amplifying their ideas and promoting non-formal civic education in their countries. Additionally, chosen projects are involved in all NECE activities.

All the projects CIF has supported can be found here.

Eligibility Criteria

Projects should be startups in the sphere of civic education that focus on strengthening democratic competencies that promote participation, cohesion, and resilience. Project ideas can range from workshops, cultural interventions, eyewitness talks, exhibitions, scientific studies, and scenario methods, to apps, or augmented reality storyboards.
Projects should relate to one of the NECE topics or a specific topic of the call (applicable to thematic calls).
Projects should be carried out in a transnational partnership by at least 2 partners (individuals, organisations, etc.) from wider Europe with the lead partner from a European country. The partnership can be set up across sectors, but one of the partnering organisations should come from either the formal or non-formal/informal civic education sector.
Projects should incorporate the principles of diversity, interdisciplinarity, and inclusiveness.

Call for civic innovation projects

Upcoming calls:

  • Civic Innovation Fund 2024 with Robert Bosch Foundation in September 2024
  • Civic Innovation Fund 2025 with Porticus in December 2024 – January 2025

Finished calls:

  • Civic Innovation Fund 2023-2024 with Robert Bosch Foundation
  • Civic Innovation Fund 2024 with Porticus
  • Civic Innovation Fund 2024 Ethics in AI with King Baudouin Foundation
  • Me-(e)conomics: CIF Financial and Economic Literacy Call with ERSTE Foundation

Feel free to follow us on social media to be updated on our upcoming calls.


How do we define “civic education”?

We apply a definition of civic education following the wording and recommendation of the Council of Europe.

Are well-established NGOs (more than 3 years of existence) eligible to apply?

Yes, well-established NGOs are eligible to send their applications as well. However, during the assessment process, priority will be given to younger NGOs and projects.

Can applications be submitted by teams other than civic educators and NGOs?

Yes, we welcome projects proposed by the university teams and SMEs too. However, it is important to note that the projects submitted by these teams must be directly related to the field of civic education.

What costs can be covered by CIF?

These should be direct costs related to the implementation of the project. Office costs should constitute max. 10 %. Such costs as, for example, catering cannot be covered by CIF.

I do not have a partner for my project. Where can I find them?

If you have difficulties with finding partners, check our virtual map of civic educators which offers you a great variety of partners in civic education to network and cooperate with.

In case of questions, feel free to reach out to

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