The basic idea of the Danube Small Project Fund is to provide an uncomplicated funding platform for Danube-wide collaboration that can disburse even small amounts (<5,000 €) for the most important costs (travel expenses, organisation etc.) without major administrative hurdles. Such an uncomplicated small project funding scheme has been a long-term desire of the cultural sector in the Danube region since the very beginning of the EUSDR activities.
The intention of such funding is also confirmed by the fact that it has found its way into the new "Action Plan" of the EUSDR: "C) Examples of projects/activities (past, present or future): Small Project Fund" (p. 34). The Covid-19 crisis has once again clearly underlined the importance – indeed the necessity – of such a funding tool.
The Ministry of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Württemberg initiated a pilot action for the DSPF which is to elaborate the final structure and to test the long-term function of this innovative funding platform. The Partners followed the initiative of the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Württemberg and agreed to jointly establish a DSPF pilot implementation phase from 2021-2023.
European Danube Academy, involving all Partners. For the elaboration of the DSPF structure the international translation network Traduki was used as a role model. The concrete preparation of the fund was strongly supported by the long-standing experiences of the Working Community of the Danube Regions (ARGE Donauländer). The final structures and procedures have been discussed and confirmed by all Partners.
The pilot phase is based on simple online calls at least once per year (depending on funding possibilities). Cultural actors in the Danube region can describe their concepts and enter them into an online form to apply for funding.