Future Social Media

Enhancing cohesion through advanced digital technology. We’re looking for the most innovative future social media solutions to showcase and pitch.

Archived Open Call

Limited to three places

Open call closes 9am Friday 6 April

In partnership with the Technology Ireland Innovation Forum, Trinity College, and the ADAPT Centre, Dublin, Digital Catapult* is inviting startups and SMEs across Europe to apply to this Open Call designed to identify and showcase some of the most innovative future social media solutions across Europe.

The Open Call is also designed to demonstrate cohesion between technology providers, creative content makers, their users/adopters and research through social media, and the role (including opportunities and barriers) that different advanced digital technologies can have on the interplay of these.

The story so far

What is it and what will future social media look like, what do we need to do to get to that point, and what has to be done to enable it?

It’s well known that during the last couple of decades, social media applications have introduced significant changes to the way people and businesses communicate, and more over have influenced the way entire online communities are established and organised along channels of common interests.

Social media is extremely capable of obtaining information about the acceptance of a new product or service, identification of needs, or even the determination of ways to influence particular social acts and events. Opportunities as well as challenges abound – be that in relation to data protection, consumer trust, new areas of social media brought on by the convergence of technologies, disruption to business and cooperation models, not to mention citizen / user education.

As advanced digital technologies** – future networks, intelligent, data-driven and immersive – become more prominent in enhancing users’ social experiences, technology providers and creative content makers need to work together effectively in order to deliver relevant, accessible, cutting edge and user-focused innovations, products and services.

Why you should get involved

We’re looking for the most innovative future social media solutions to showcase and pitch their innovations in front of peers, investors, accelerators, incubators.

Successful applicants (up to three finalists) will have the opportunity to:

  • Showcase and pitch in front of peers, investors, accelerators and incubators
  • Promote their story via a case study that will be published online including on the NEM Initiative Digital Catapult, Technology Ireland Innovation Forum and Trinity College websites, and disseminated to a wide European (and wider) audience
  • Present / demonstrate their innovation at a workshop
  • Participate at a 1:1 business development mentoring session with relevant specialists / experts (for example, lawyers, established corporates ‘creative business mentor’, incubators/accelerators, investors or advanced digital technology experts)
  • Have all their expenses paid to attend the workshop in Dublin

Who should apply

We’re inviting startups, scaleups, and collaborative partnerships from across Europe to apply.

The Open Call is particularly relevant if you want to:

  • Increase exposure of your product, service and organisation
  • Gain access to investors / accelerators / incubators, which will potentially lead to investment or business development
  • Pitch your innovation to peers, leading to potential collaborations and adopters
  • Leverage advice and expertise to help your business overcome a challenge / accelerate innovation


Applicants are eligible to apply if they

  • Are based in Europe
  • Are either single entities or collaborations
  • Are investor/incubator/accelerator-ready
  • Are developing or have developed a project, innovation or solution using social media that aims to enhance cohesion between technology providers, creative content makers, their users/adopters and research (this could mean academic research or business-led R&D)
  • Are currently employing or looking to employ one or more advanced digital technologies in their innovation
  • Are available to attend the workshop on Tuesday 17 April in Dublin, Ireland
  • Consent to take part in a case study
  • Complete the Open Call application form

More about the event

As well as the Open Call, Digital Catapult has announced the Future Social Media workshop, taking place on Tuesday 17 April in Dublin.

Startups, scaleups, academics, researchers, cluster representatives (creative / technology) and representatives from citizen-focused and digital literacy organisations across Europe are invited to attend. This interactive workshop will not only be a learning and networking opportunity, but participants will also see the pitches from the successful Open Call finalists.

Application form:

Please note – we may not be able to give feedback to all applicants. Shortlisting will be undertaken by Digital Catapult, Technology Ireland Innovation Forum, Trinity College and the ADAPT Centre. Applications will be shortlisted based on how well the responses match the criteria.

* Digital Catapult is delivering this Open Call and a workshop as part of the Horizon 2020-funded Vital Media project. As part of our contribution to the project (which comes to a close on 30 May 2018) we are creating networking and showcasing events within the UK and Europe to facilitate collaboration between technologists and creative content makers, and the creation of a road map for digital media content and media innovation. A snapshot report from the first event that we held, in April 2017, can be found here.

Vital Media is aligned with the NEM (New European Media) Initiative – one of the largest research and innovation communities focused on media and content in Europe. The Towards the Future Social Media White Paper was published in December 2017 and aims to identify the next steps towards future social media, including required research and innovation activities to achieve defined goals, as well as related standardisation, regulatory, and policy actions – underpinned with a European approach.

** For the purpose of this Open Call and workshop, we describe advanced digital technologies as:

  • Immersive: Virtual (VR), augmented (AR), mixed reality & haptics
  • Data-driven: Blockchain/distributed ledger, cyber security
  • Intelligent: Artificial intelligence (AI) & machine learning (ML)
  • Future networks: 5G, low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) and IoT

Apply now

Company Registration Number, if registered:
Organisation Type:
If other organisation type, please specify
How mature is your business?
Please ensure your answers are pure numerical values, e.g. removing any commas and spaces

Please ensure your answers are pure numerical values, e.g. removing any commas and spaces

Please confirm that you have read and understood the eligibility criteria:
In which country is your organisation based?
Include how your innovation is exploiting / planning to exploit one or more advanced digital technologies (max 400 characters)

Do you have a product or service to demonstrate at the workshop on 17 April?
Does your innovation address any or all of these pressing challenges for the development of future social media (in relation to exploitation of advanced digital technologies)? Select up to five:
What specialist advice are you hoping to get out of the brokering and 1:1 mentoring sessions at the workshop on 17 April? Select up to two:
Who else might you need support from/ to collaborate with in order to advance your innovation? Select all that apply:
Are you happy for Digital Catapult to contact you about opportunities and initiatives that might be of interest to you?