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Every six months, through the Open Call for the International Visitors Programme, Het Nieuwe Instituut offers cultural organisations in the Netherlands the opportunity to request a financial contribution towards the costs of inviting one or more international guest(s) to the Netherlands. These visits stimulate international exchange and increase awareness of the Dutch design field in the broadest sense, including architecture, urban planning, (multidisciplinary) design and digital culture. Applications may be submitted for a maximum of €2500 (excl. VAT) from 1 April to 30 June.

The restrictions on international travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting the ability to receive international guests. Het Nieuwe Instituut wants to provide appropriate support for cultural organisations in the Netherlands to continue the international exchange of knowledge that is so valuable to the sector. We have therefore temporarily adapted the Open Call for the International Visitors Programme to meet changing needs during this period of uncertainty.


From 1 April to 30 June 2021, cultural organisations and educational institutions based in the Netherlands may submit an application for a maximum of €2500 (excl. VAT). Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, advice against international travel and severe travel restrictions, requests for physical visits will not be honoured until further notice. We have therefore temporarily expanded the cost categories for which applications can be made under the Open Call scheme to accommodate a digital visitors programme.

This could include organising online meetings between the guest(s) and their own organisation, a discussion with a group of international colleagues or the online presentation of one or more guests to a larger audience. The underlying criterion remains the same: the programme must facilitate international knowledge exchange and network expansion for the design sector in the Netherlands.

Applications may be submitted up to one month before the start of the programme by completing the online application form. Applications are assessed by an external committee. The programme must take place within four months of the date of application. A maximum of €2500 may be awarded per organisation in 2021. A .pdf version of the application form, an overview of the conditions the application must meet, and an explanation of the costs that are covered by this scheme can be found at the bottom of this page.

Who can apply?

Cultural organisations based in the Netherlands. Educational institutions are eligible for a contribution if the visit benefits a specific activity that demonstrably falls outside its regular activities and which is accessible to the public. Foreign organisations and embassies may not apply via the Open Call.

About the International Visitors Programme

Every year, dozens of international professionals visit the Netherlands through Het Nieuwe Instituut’s International Visitors Programme. Guests are invited in one of three ways: Het Nieuwe Instituut invites visitors directly, Dutch embassies abroad propose guests, and Het Nieuwe Instituut offers cultural institutions in the Netherlands the opportunity to realise their own visitors programme through an Open Call. The International Visitors Programme is made possible by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Because of the impact that COVID-19 has had on Het Nieuwe Instituut’s International Visitors Programme – visits in preparation have been cancelled and no new visits can currently be planned – in April 2020, the institute began working on a format for a digital visitors programme.

The first pilot has now been successfully completed and evaluated, and the format will be developed further in the near future. Het Nieuwe Instituut sees the current situation as an additional incentive to develop a more sustainable visitors programmes in the short term, which both limits the movement of people to a necessary minimum and optimises remote encounters: an urgent design challenge in which the value of the human experience and encounter remains central.

If you have any questions about the possibilities of this scheme, please contact Eva Harmsen, Producer International Visitors Programmes, at or +31 (0) 6 83 21 69 21.