Kids’ collaborative art competition

Kids’ collaborative art competition

The European Patent Office (EPO) has launched a collaborative art competition for primary schools on the topic of sustainability, technology and innovation. The competition is open to any primary school located in any EPO member state, extension state or validation state. It is part of an exciting programme of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the European Patent Convention.

Why collaborative art and sustainability?

Being creative and thinking about new solutions to problems are precious skills that need to be nurtured among young children. They are also key skills that every inventor needs to come up with new inventions and contribute to building a more sustainable world.

The EPO's collaborative art competition is an opportunity to raise children's awareness of sustainability in a playful way and let them express, in a group with the help of a teacher, their dreams about the world in which they want to live. In this way they can creatively explore innovative solutions to achieve a better quality of life on Earth. Teachers may wish to check out the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for further inspiration.

The outcome of this collaborative creative process should be an artwork. It can be a drawing, a painting, a sculpture in which children express their innovative ideas for achieving e.g. less pollution, more green spaces, improved health and nutrition, equal opportunities for all. Whatever the children consider to be most important.

What must schools submit?

To participate in the competition, the schools must use our submission form to submit:

  • a high-resolution photo showing the artwork. The artwork should be kept by the school.
  • a short description (around 500 words) of the educational initiative that your school proposes to raise children's awareness of sustainability (e.g. an excursion to a museum, the acquisition of new art materials that are then introduced to new learning activities, etc.).

What are the prizes?

  • Three different winning groups, each from a different school, will each win 3000 EUR funding for their proposed educational initiative to raise children's awareness of sustainability in connection with technology, art or innovation. The prizes will be awarded based on the result of the selection process explained below.
  • Before mid-June 2023, every participating school will receive a thank-you gift for the children who participated in creating the artwork.

How will your submission be assessed?

  • Artworks will be assessed based on the level of creativity, vibrancy and originality they display, as well as how successfully they handle the topic of sustainability, technology and innovation. The simplest ideas, and the most surprising ones, are all welcome.
  • Your proposed educational initiative, either for the school or the participating children, must be part of your submission but will not be taken into consideration when assessing the artwork.

The basic principles of the competition in a nutshell

  • The competition is open to any primary school located in any EPO member state, extension state or validation state.
  • The objective is to submit an artwork created by a group of at least five children.
  • There should be one artwork per group of children; several groups from the same school can participate but please note that only one artwork per school will ultimately be eligible for a prize.
  • The artwork can be, for example, a drawing, painting, sculpture or installation portraying an innovative solution to achieve a better quality of life on Earth.
  • A high-resolution photo showing the artwork must be submitted to participate in the competition, along with a proposal for an educational initiative to raise children's awareness of sustainability in connection with technology, art or innovation. The artwork should be kept by the school.
  • Each participating school will receive, at the end of the school year (June 2023), a thank-you gift for each child who participated in creating the artwork.
  • Following a selection process (see below), three winning schools will each receive a prize of 3000 EUR to support their proposed initiative to raise children's awareness of sustainability in connection with technology, art or innovation.
  • Several groups from the same school can participate but a school can only win one prize of 3000 EUR once.

Further important information for your submission

  • A photo of the artwork: The photo must be in high-resolution format (JPEG, min. 2 000 pixels wide and 300 dpi). It is important that this photo shows the entire artwork. To protect the privacy of the children involved, please also ensure that the children's faces, names or any clearly identifying features are not in any way visible in the photo.
  • A short description (around 500 words) of the educational initiative that your school proposes to raise children's awareness of sustainability (e.g. an excursion to a museum, the acquisition of new art materials that are then introduced to new learning activities, etc.).
  • Please fill in our submission form, which requires you to kindly submit the following information, in addition to the photo and short description:
    • Name and country of your school
    • Name of the class or group that created the artwork
    • Number of children who participated in creating the artwork
    • Name and e-mail address of the teacher responsible for the group
    • E-mail address of the school
    • Postal address of the school (this address will be used to send the thank-you gifts to each group)
    • A few personal impressions from the teacher about the children's creative process: How was it? (around 500 words)

At the end of the form, please remember to tick the boxes concerning: rules; guidelines; and data protection.

Selection process and timeline

  • The deadline for submissions is midnight (CET) on 15 April 2023.
  • The winning schools will be informed before mid-June 2023.
  • Thank-you gifts will be sent to all participating schools by post before mid-June 2023 too.
  • After submission, all entries will be assessed by the EPO's 50 Years' European Patent Convention Taskforce and the artist Bernard Boissel. Together, they will create a shortlist of the most outstanding artworks.
  • Pre-selected artworks (JPEG files) will be presented anonymously in a virtual gallery which will be accessible to all EPO staff members, who will vote for their favourite artworks.
  • The school which submits the artwork that receives the most "likes" will receive 1st prize; 2nd prize will go to the school which submits the artwork with the second highest number of "likes"; and 3rd prize to the school which submits the artwork with the third highest number of "likes".

Data protection

  • For this competition, we will only collect the data mentioned in the "how to submit" section in order to prepare the event. The only data to be published (for promotional purposes) on the epo.org website and EPO social media channels will be the names of the winning schools and the teachers/representatives of the three winning groups.
  • Children's personal information (e.g.: name or audio-visual material) is not processed. If you wish to know more about how the EPO will process data in the context of the EPC 50 Years celebration, please see our Data Protection Statement. In case of any doubts, you can always contact our Data Protection Liaisons at PDComm-DPL@epo.org, ideally by enclosing the following data subject request to your query.

Prizes

  • Three different winning groups, each from a different school, will each win 3000 EUR funding for their proposed educational initiative to raise children's awareness of sustainability in connection with technology, art or innovation. The prizes will be awarded based on the result of the selection process explained above.
  • Before mid-June 2023, every participating school will receive a thank-you gift for the children who participated in creating the artwork.

A few final tips

  • How to take the picture of your artwork: Remember to submit a photograph in which no child's face is visible. Check that the lighting, etc. enables a faithful representation of the original artwork as far as possible.
  • Document the work of the children: If you are selected as one of the three winners, you might be asked to provide some documentation or audio-visual recordings of the creative process that went into the making of the artwork. You may want to show the different steps of development of the artwork. Please remember that no child's face should be visible at any time in the documentation / recordings either. The documentation / recordings may be used by the EPO for promotional purposes.
  • Don't forget to include a short proposal for an educational initiative to raise children's awareness of sustainability in connection with technology, art or innovation.

What if my question remains unanswered by the above?

Please send your question(s) to 50years@epo.org and be sure to enter “Kids collaborative art competition” in the subject field.

FAQ 

What form can the artwork take?

You can submit any kind of artwork: For example, the artwork can be a drawing, a painting or sculpture, installation, etc. The only requirement is that your submission should be a photograph of the artwork or digital art (JPEG file (.jpg) in a high-resolution format: min. 2 000 pixels wide and 300 dpi). To protect the privacy of the children involved, please ensure that the children’s faces, names or any clearly identifying features are not in any way visible in the submission.

What is the role of the teachers in informing children and parents about the competition and copyright?

The participation of the children in the EPO Kids' collaborative art competition is voluntary. This webpage provides all the information teachers need to be able to inform children and parents about the competition and how it functions. We recommend that teachers inform the children and their parents from the outset about their plans to enter the competition. If any information is missing, teachers should contact the EPO by email at 50years@epo.org.

Please note that the original artwork remains the intellectual property of the creators: the children themselves. The EPO will attribute authorship of the entry to the participant(s), referring to the name of the school and the teacher(s) responsible. However, by submitting an entry to the competition, you give permission to the EPO to use the artwork for all the steps involved in the competition and for communication and promotion purposes around the competition.

As the teacher represents the group of children, it is his/her responsibility to obtain the consent of the children and their parents to submit their artwork in the EPO Kid's collaborative art competition.

For further details, please see the section on Intellectual Property in the Terms and Conditions, which you can find in full at the end of the submission form.

What information should I provide about the artwork?

We’d love to learn about the creative process. Some examples of what you may wish to tell us:

  • What is the idea behind your work?
  • How did you come up with the idea?
  • How does it relate to the topic of the competition?
  • What did the creative process involve?
  • Did everything go as expected?

Can one school participate multiple times?

Yes, as long as each artwork was created by a different group of school children.

Please note that only one artwork per school will be eligible for the three prizes.

What can we do with the prize money if we win?

The prize money should be spent on an educational initiative either for the school or the participating children (a museum excursion, art materials, technology materials, etc.). Your description of what you intend to do with the prize is requested in the submission form but will not be taken into consideration when assessing the artwork.

Can I submit multiple photos / digital artworks?

Please submit a single JPEG of each artwork. If appropriate, you can create a composite picture of each artwork (e.g., several angles of a sculpture). If the jury deems it necessary, you might be requested to submit extra pictures.

Is there a maximum number of children who can be involved?

No, there is only a minimum requirement of five children per group. Apart from that, you are free to work with a small group of children, a class or a couple of classes, or the whole school, or any configuration that works for you.

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