EU 100 future-themed digital painting competition

  • Insights
  • 09/08/2017 11:42

#eu2017ee #digimaal #digitalart

Future-themed digital painting competition
The goal of the competition is to receive 12 difference digital images that can be printed in a large format and used in a number of digital channels (photo: Aron Urb, Valdek Laur/EU2017EE)

The Estonian Government Office is collaborating with the Estonian Academy of Arts to organise the digital painting competition ’EU 100’ to visualise the effect that the trends of the European Union have on the lives of ordinary citizens and society as a whole, depicting various scenarios that are based on the developments of today.

It is an international competition that welcomes all artists regardless of where they are based. The categories are based on the priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, but also on broader, forward-looking themes in order to stimulate an exchange of ideas about how the EU could react to technology-related social change, including in the context of social care and the job market. 

The aim of the competition is to receive 12 different digital paintings that can be printed in a large format and used in various digital channels. The competition has 12 categories that represent life in the European Union 100 years after the signing of the Rome Treaty, i.e. in 2057.

The submissions must fall into the indicated categories (the name of the category will become the title of the work), but the works do not have to stick to indicated sample scenarios; artists can interpret the categories according to their visions. In the judge’s assessments, a panel of judges will look at how the works meet the criteria of the category, the technical quality of the work and the accompanying text by the author. The categories and sample scenarios of the competition are listed below. The submissions will be assessed by a five-member panel that includes representatives of the Estonian Academy of Arts and the EU Secretariat of the Estonian Government Office.

The competition is open to all artists, illustrators and designers who create high-resolution digital paintings. One artist can submit works in several categories, but only one work per category. 

The Estonian Government Office has the right to organise an exhibition with the submissions that have been awarded prizes.

Participating artists should submit:

  • a sketch of a digital painting with a minimum size of 1920x1080 (.jpeg or .tif format, with the category clearly indicated in the file name)
  • a short description of the concept (around 150 characters), to be exhibited with the printed work
  • at least three screenshots of the work process that show how the sketch was made
  • contact details of the artist
  • a statement that the person submitting the artwork is not liable to be excluded from the procurement process according to the § 38 section 1 clauses 1-4 of the Public Procurement Act

The final artwork must be a bitmap file at least 8 000 pixels wide and 5 000 pixels long (in .jpg or .tif format), with no traces of upsampling. Only the winner of each category will be asked to present a finished, large-format artwork. 

The organisers reserve the right to select a new winner if the quality of the finished artwork does not meet the standards of the competition. The organisers also have the right to not announce a winner in some categories.

Assessing the submissions

The panel of judges will select one winner in each category. The panel will rank the submissions according to scores, that is, the highest-scoring work will be in first place, and the following sketches will be, accordingly, in second and third place and so forth. The unanimous decision of the panel and the ranking of sketches will be determined in the course of a joint discussion. If an unanimous decision is not reached, a vote will be held, and each member of the panel will have one vote. If the votes are distributed equally, the chair of the panel casts the deciding vote. A sketch will receive an award or will be declared the winner if more than half of the panel members vote for it. If at least three panel members suggest not naming a category winner, the panel may not award all prizes.

Prize money

The winner of each category will receive a €500 prize. If possible, three honorary mentions will be awarded €250 each. 


The public can access and use the winning submissions for free (Creative Commons Share Alike). The winning submissions must not be used for commercial purposes. 

Categories and sample scenarios

1. A digital society (e-governance)


Digital e-services are the first step towards the automatisation of governance. Digital solutions help reduce administrative burden and also contribute to society by freeing up resources. 

2. e-Commerce 


Big data allows making the consumer experience extremely personal. At the same time, a connected market that adheres to unified rules offers novel opportunities to small producers. 

3. e-Health


Available and efficient personalised medicine; personal gene therapy; preventive final diagnoses; digital lifestyle guides (the prevention of illnesses); advanced prosthetics and organ printing; old-age pension vs life-extension treatment. 

4. Free data 


The internet of things, data collected by devices, big data, the ownership of data, and the once-only principle in the communication between institutions.

5. Technology and internal security/terrorism


Crime databases are interconnected as well as the exchange of information (joint databases); automatic identification of dangerous people (or vehicles), other biometric identification tools in addition to fingerprints and facial recognition systems.

6. Trust and safety


Cyber attacks, cyber warfare. How do protection and prevention work? How do telecommunications companies keep log files, when is their access allowed? Blockchain. Strong encryption, cryptography. 

7. Future of work 


Artificial intelligence and the future of the middle class; automated industries; changing the labour market. Types of work that will remain – creative work, management, analysts, police officers, writers, caretakers (homes, gardens, people), builders, technicians, stylists. Jobs that will disappear – drivers, textile industry, low-level programmers and accountants, mediators, salespeople. 

8. Transport in the future


Driverless transport, swarm transportation.

9. The future of energy


Energy production at home; green energy and smart grids. 

10. Nature and technology


Cultivated virgin forests; an industry of cultured meat; cleaning marine pollution (in the Baltic Sea); sustainable consumption. 

11. The future of audiovisual media


The practical use of virtual or augmented reality; a virtual classroom and the entertainment of the future.

12. Space


ESA missions; space technology on the ground (such as navigation, weather measurement); space tourism; solar sails.