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Open call: Demonstrator projects

This is a call for Demonstrator projects that can display and disseminate technologies for digital transformation and its impact on society. Projects are expected to show novelty, high impact, and wide outreach.

Researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm University (SU) and Research Institutes of Sweden RISE can apply for funding under this call.

Important dates:

Call announced: 2024-05-20
Project proposal registration: 
Proposal submission deadline: 
Phase 2 evaluation hearing:
Early November 2024
Expected funding decision:
December 2024
Expected start of projects:
January 2025


Digital Futures is a cross-disciplinary research centre that explores and advances digital technologies to tackle societal challenges in Sweden and globally. Established jointly by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, we fund strategic research projects aligning with our vision. Find out more about Digital Futures’ background here.

Digital Futures targets several Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): societal outreach and industrial and societal transfer of the core KPIs. The demonstrator projects are the main instrument of Digital Futures to foster these KPIs. Societal outreach entails contributions to the public (political) discourse, public lectures, consulting to public agencies and institutions, and presence in print and social media. Industrial or societal transfer as KPI materializes, for instance, through joint demonstrations with industrial/societal partners, follow-up transfer grants (on national and European levels), impact on industrial research and development, patents, standardization and/or open-source contributions, and industrial-academic mobility.


Demonstrator projects aim to disseminate findings in high-impact venues and contribute to industrial or societal transfer. Outputs may include prototype software systems (preferably open source), digital services, experimental artefacts, or evaluations of novel digital technologies. Projects must demonstrate significant impact, involve interdisciplinary teams, and create tangible results displayed at the Digital Futures hub.

Demonstrator projects are expected to collaborate with Digital Futures Industrial and Societal partners and/or other external industrial or societal entities to enhance project value and access resources. However, industrial and societal partners and/or other external industrial or societal entities are not eligible to receive Digital Futures funding for this call.

The projects should:

  1. Demonstrate technologies with significant potential industrial and/or societal impact
  2. Demonstrate the results in at least one high-impact event at the end of the 2-year project time and provide a preliminary demonstration after one year
  3. Involve researchers, competencies, data and resources that enable interdisciplinary research and demonstrations.
  4. Create a tangible result that can be displayed at the DF hub, for example, a demo installation or a video.
  5. Collaborate with Digital Futures Industrial and Societal partners and/or other external industrial or societal entities and testbeds on data sets, algorithm integration, and/or the project’s demonstration.


  1. The proposals shall address subject areas at an intersection of the Digital Futures Research matrix. More information about the research matrix can be found here.
  2. Each project should list two (2) Principal Investigators (PIs) of complementary backgrounds. PIs should belong to either i) two different KTH schools, ii) KTH and RISE[1]/SU, or iii) RISE and SU. Applicants can only be PI or co-PI for one proposal.
  3. The PIs do not need to be Digital Futures faculty when applying but will become Digital Futures faculty. The PIs must fulfil the requirements to become a Digital Futures Faculty when applying for this call. More information about the eligibility criteria can be found here.

[1] Researchers employed by RISE Digital Systems Division in the Stockholm area are eligible to apply. 

Project duration and maximum funding

Up to five projects will be selected for a two-year duration, with a maximum funding of 2 MSEK per project (1 MSEK per project year). The budget must be split between the PIs with a minimum of 300 KSEK per PI for each project year. This distribution remains consistent across both years of the project duration.
Projects must allocate 5% of the budget for dissemination purposes. This allocation may cover expenses such as creating a demo installation at the DF hub, producing high-quality videos, or other tangible outputs. How the dissemination budget will be spent has to be coordinated with Digital Futures Executive Committee.

Industrial or societal partners are welcome to provide cash or in-kind funding and tangible contributions, such as access to data sets, testbeds and other research infrastructures. A Letter of Intent from the corresponding project partner(s) is highly desirable to be provided with the application. Such contributions are positively regarded in the evaluation of the project proposal.

Applicable Funding Policy for Digital Futures Faculty 

Researchers can be involved in several projects under different instruments, but within Digital Futures, the funding per PI is limited to 1 MSEK/year. Hence, funding that you may have received under the current Digital Futures instruments Collaborative Impact projects, Flagship projects, Research Pairs, Research Pairs Consolidator, Demonstrator Projects, and Collaborative projects targeting Diversity and Inclusion, and Seed projects will be taken into consideration. Funding from Digital Futures to Societal Innovation Projects, Partner Innovation Projects, Industrial Innovation Projects, and ISPP Demo Projects is included, but not the part from partners. Digital Futures Postdoctoral Fellows projects or Digital Transformation Institute projects are not considered.

How to apply

  1. Fill in the application according to the project description template: Project description template – Demo call 2024
  2. Create an account on the application submission system and register the application stating the title, PIs and a short abstract by the registration date (see at top) at this link:
  3. Complete the application, including uploading the project description, to the submission system before the call deadline (see at top) using the same link as in step 2.


The project proposals will be evaluated by an external international expert panel. The evaluation will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Project plan: Novelty of the goals and feasibility of the project plan, including access to data, testbeds, and other infrastructure necessary to complete the project.
  2. Conformity to the scope of Digital Futures and team composition: The project proposal fits the Digital Futures research matrix, and the composition and competence of the proposed research team, including potential external collaboration partners.
  3. Potential for societal and industrial impact: Degree of novelty with respect to potential societal and industrial impact and possible transfer to society and industry.
  4. Societal and industrial engagement: Involvement of external partners in the project, ISPP members and others, and their level of engagement, for example, co-funding, access to data, and/or testbeds.
  5. Dissemination and outreach plan: Scope, audience, and visibility of the demonstration events or demonstration methods.

The evaluation will be carried out in two phases. In the first phase, the evaluators independently grade the project proposals according to the criteria. Based on the outcome, the top proposals will be invited to the phase 2 hearing, where the applicants present their projects and answer questions from the evaluation panel. After the hearing, the panel finalises their ranking and recommends a set of projects for funding.

Based on the evaluation and available funding, the DF Executive Committee compiles a funding proposal on how many of the top project proposals to fund. The funding proposal is then sent to the DF Governing Board and the KTH President for decisions in that order.

Information meeting

Digital Futures offers an optional information meeting to get first-hand information on all call conditions.

This meeting will be held on May 29 at 11 am digitally on Zoom:
No registration is required before the meeting.


Contact for further questions. Please include “Demonstrator projects 2024” in the subject of your email.