Application Deadline: Monday 11th July 2016
The Digital News Initiative (DNI) Innovation Fund’s goal is to support and stimulate innovation in digital news journalism over the next three years. Over this period, Google will make available up to EUR 150m for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism.
- The DNI Innovation Fund is open to for-profit organisations, non-profit organisations and individuals that aim to produce original journalism and to enlighten citizens with trustworthy journalistic content.
- Established publishers, online-only players, news startups, publisher consortia, national or international associations, companies and individuals are all eligible to apply.
- Incorporated organisations must be incorporated in the EU or EFTA. Unincorporated organisations must be registered in the EU or EFTA (or, if unregistered, have their principal place of business there). Individuals must be EU or EFTA residents.
- Eligible countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia , Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
There are three categories of funding available:
- Prototype projects: open to organisations, to individuals, and to organisations comprised of one individual, that meet the eligibility criteria and require up to €50k of funding. These projects should be very early stage, with ideas yet to be designed and assumptions yet to be tested. We will fund 100% of the total cost.
- Medium projects: open to organisations with preferably a minimum of one journalist in the team and that meet the other eligibility criteria requiring up to €300k of funding. We will accept funding requests up to 70% of the total cost of the project.
- Large projects: open to organisations with preferably a minimum of one journalist in the team and that meet the other eligibility criteria requiring more than €300k of funding. We will accept funding requests up to 70% of the total cost of the project. Funding is capped at €1 million.
Exceptions to the €1 million cap are possible for large projects that are collaborative (e.g., international, sector-wide, involving multiple organisations) or that significantly benefit the broader news ecosystem.
Projects will be evaluated against the following main criteria:
- Impact on the news ecosystem: preferred projects will demonstrate potential for significant positive impact on the production of original journalism, the creation of new revenue streams or even change the way people consume digital news.
- Innovation / use of technology: preferred projects will use technology in innovative ways and be transformative for the applicant and for users.
- Feasibility: preferred projects will have a sound business plan, clearly outline key performance indicators or metrics, and set out key risks and how to mitigate them.
Which expenses are eligible?
Eligible expenses include editorial and other personnel costs (for example, on staff or freelance employees), engineering costs and the purchase or licensing of any equipment, tools, hardware, software and other assets or materials needed for the project (e.g. for product development, project management, user experience design, database build and maintenance, and hosting) and marketing expenses. Please note marketing expenses will only be covered up to 20% of the total funding awarded.
Funding may not be spent on general and overhead costs such as office rental, furniture and travel expenses, among others.
Please note that the effective date for the project will be the date that we sign the funding agreement. No expenses incurred before this date can be covered by the funding.
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