Do you have a creative idea on the future of the web and how to connect people through digital art? We want to support the best proposals, up to a maximum grant of 40,000 GBP (or equivalent in Indian rupees). 

To mark the 30th anniversary of the web in March 2019, the British Council in India would like to explore our changing concept of connection by supporting digital culture projects inspired by how the web has connected us and exploring what it could do for us in the future. We would like to use the opportunity of this milestone to explore what artists and art of tomorrow look like through digital creativity.

Proposals designed to be inclusive will be prioritised. By this we mean projects which celebrate diversity, inclusion, equal opportunity and freedom of expression. At the heart of projects should be artistic experiences that can show collaboration between India and the UK. As the world wide web was created to allow for equal access and for people to connect, learn and have more opportunities. Our open call wishes to honour this motto.

Themes the call seeks to address

Projects can connect broadly to the thematic of the celebration of the creation of the world wide web and address as many of the points below as possible:

  • Have artistic creativity, connection, culture and collaboration at their heart.
  • Connecting people and providing access to information and conversations through artistic digital experiences – i.e. projects might look at what the artist of tomorrow is; crowd sourced experiences; explore themes such as data collection or privacy; changing communication such as social media and how we interact with one another digitally etc. 
  • Explore how we can make the web more inclusive through artistic platforms, looking especially at equal economic access or access to digital connectivity for women and girls for example. 
  • Be intended for an audience primarily in India but with potential to reach beyond.
  • Have demonstrable potential to achieve large digital reach and engagement across the web. 
  • Have a particular emphasis on cross hardware engagement from desktop to smartphone - thus allowing for multiple types of interaction and activity - from accessing the projects in the public space or on the go. 
  • Promote greater social inclusion and cohesion.
  • Respond clearly to the aims and outcomes in the background section below.

In order to be eligible to apply, you must:

  • Be based in India or the UK.
  • Have a track record of developing artistic digital projects or experiences that demonstrate strong impact and have successfully reached new audiences.
  • Demonstrate innovation in previous work whether in technology or in engagement with audiences.
  • Have clear benefit to India – We are looking for projects that focus on audiences in India and can deliver developmental outcomes in India.

How to submit your project proposal?

The aims for the Digital Open Call

  • To excite and inspire young people with digital and mobile content and collaborations between the UK and India and continue to see the UK and the British Council as the source of inspiring and challenging work.
  • To provide access to knowledge and information.
  • To create new relationships between artists, producers, curators, storytellers and organisations in the UK and India and to develop new creative networks, build capacity and seed collaborations.
  • Reach and engage large new audiences in India for UK arts and culture with a focus on the 18-40 age group.
  • Respond to user needs (i.e. available technology & connectivity) and digital approaches to maximise audience reach.

How much funding is available and how many projects?

From this open call, we will select projects for funding of up to £40,000 (inclusive of marketing costs) to develop their idea which should launch during 2019.

How we will assess the proposals

We will assess submissions on the following criteria:

  • How your proposal demonstrates great, contemporary creativity
  • The extent to which your idea connects to the thematics of the 30th anniversary of the world wide web as specified above
  • Potential to reach a large and diverse audience 
  • Your previous experience
  • Cost
  • Applicants should be willing to share their experience on this project with UK or Indian partners so that there can be a mutual exchange of learning during the process.

How to apply

Project proposals that meet the criteria in the background to this note must be submitted by noon, UK time, on Thursday 31st of January 2019. Your submission should be completed using this online application form and should answer:

  • Your idea
  • How it connects to open call brief
  • Technology and format for delivery
  • Target audience and how you plan to reach them
  • Track record and case studies
  • Timelines
  • Total cost of project – please include breakdown and include marketing cost in overall budget
  • Outcomes: an outline of how your project supports social inclusion/ social engagement for individuals and society.

Proposals must be submitted via the online application form here

For any queries, please write to with the subject ’British Council India Digital Open Call’


A lot happened in 1989 - walls came down, Sachin Tendulkar made his international cricketing debut and satellite TV broadcast for the first time in Britain.  But something else truly fundamental took place - the idea for the World Wide Web was born and, silently at first, the world changed. 

Transforming how people communicate with one another, providing access to knowledge and information, challenging industries while giving birth to others - the world wide web has changed our lives profoundly. It has created communities and facilitated connections, bringing people directly together that previously would never have been able to meet, quickly and efficiently, creating new platforms and frameworks for communication, creation and exchange.

Over the past two years the British Council in India has created and facilitated numerous large scale digital platforms reaching and engaging millions of people and providing opportunities for UK and Indian artists to inspire and for the public to participate. 

As the World Wide Web was created as a tool for everybody the British Council wishes to explore the issue of equal access and facilitate the creation of digital work that has the potential to engage and impact a large audience. 

The Web in India

There are 462 million internet users in India, with 430 million mobile internet users, and 230 million Indian language users with tier 2 and 3 cities growing fastest. By 2020 this will have risen to 650 million. The rapid uptake of connected devices and broadband connectivity will be instrumental in media consumption shifting beyond traditional media formats such as broadcast and cable TV towards digital mediums. Digital India is a flagship programme of the Govt of India with a vision to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. “Faceless, Paperless, Cashless” is one of the key objectives of Digital India.

We want to hear from artists from the UK and India to dream brilliant, creative, digital ideas to match our ambitions to excite and draw in and inspire millions of young people across India to engage, participate and interact with our projects. 

What is the context of our Digital Open Call

In 2017, the UK and India hosted a bilateral year of cultural exchange. The UK-India Year of Culture reached across India, celebrating the modern-day relationship between our countries, and inspiring people to build a relationship for the next 70 years. Our world-class cultural organisations have been working together to create new works and share new stories around the UK, India and online. 

We launched Mix the City in 6 Indian cities, worked with Adil Hussain and Kalki Ceochlin in Mix the Play and brought British choreographer Wayne McGregor and the Attakalari Dance Company together to Mix the Body.

Our first open call for digital ideas funded Saptan Stories  – a collaboration between the British Council and Oscar-winning British Studio Aardman Animations. Over 7 weeks, young people across India wrote a story together and British and Indian artists and graphic designers brought it to life. 2 million people were actively engaged in Saptan Stories. We ran workshops in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai reaching 400 participants face to face. We received thousands of votes and storyline entries; and achieved an 18 million social media reach and press readership of over 93 million. The project website attracted 160,000 visitors, 97% of whom were from India, most users accessing the site via their Android mobile devices (94%) and visitors spent an average of 1 minute on the website.

We are looking for brilliant, creative, digital ideas to match our ambitions to excite and inspire millions of young people across India, that help tell our story #70yearsinspired – taking our digital work forward for the future.

Here's some background info about the upcoming season by the British Council and its themes.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

Arts is a cornerstone of the British Council’s mission to create a friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the wider world. We find new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through the arts, to develop stronger creative sectors around the world that are better connected with the UK.

We believe arts and culture are vital to prosperous, secure societies, and that offering international cultural connections and experiences strengthens their resilience. 

We are uniquely able to make a difference thanks to our extensive and diverse networks in the UK and internationally, enabling us to respond to the individual context of each place within which we work.

Through our UK and worldwide network of experts, we support business to business connections, working in partnership to create programmes that responds to the needs of local markets. We foster collaboration; share arts work with the world; build resilience and creative responses to crisis; shape policy; and develop skills and livelihoods. Our programme of seasons and focus countries allows us to rapidly develop relationships between the UK, major trading partners and important emerging economies. These seasons build a modern, dynamic and creative image of the UK and develop new audiences for British culture around the world.