Digital News Initiative (DNI) Innovation Fund – Third Round Open
The aim Digital News Initiative is to encourage a more sustainable news ecosystem and promote innovation in digital journalism; through ongoing collaboration and dialogue between the tech and news sectors.
The programme focuses on three key pillars:
- Product development: Google and news publishers will establish a ‘product working group’ to enable a close, ongoing dialogue exploring product developments to increase revenue, traffic and audience engagement.
- Supporting Innovation: Google will support and stimulate innovation in digital news journalism over the next three years by creating an innovation fund to support and stimulate innovation in digital news journalism over the next three years.
- Training & research: Google will invest in new training and development resources for journalists and newsrooms across Europe, and will fund research into the changing media landscape.
The ambition and intent of the Fund is bold: to help incentivise innovation and spark new thinking, which could come from anywhere in the news ecosystem, to give news organisations – of all sizes – the space to try some new things. Google has set aside up to €150 million for that purpose, which it will make available in the form of awards over the next three years.
There are three categories of funding available:
- Prototype projects: open to organisations – and to individuals, and to organisations comprised of one individual – that meet the eligibility criteria, and require up to €50,000 of funding over a short period of time to design and test a prototype. These projects should be very early stage, with ideas yet to be designed and assumptions yet to be tested. Google will fast-track such projects and will fund 100% of the total cost.
- Medium projects: open to organisations that meet the eligibility criteria and require up to €300,000 of funding. Google will accept funding requests up to 70% of the total cost of the project.
- Large projects: open to organisations that meet the eligibility criteria and require more than €300,000 of funding. Google will accept funding requests up to 70% of the total cost of the project. Funding is capped at €1 million.
Applications will be allocated to funding tracks according to the amount of funding requested. The funding tracks are as follows: a) up to (and including) €50,000: fast track for prototypes; b) above €50,000 up to (and including) €300,000: medium track; and c) above €300,000 up to (and including) €1 million: large track.
Eligible expenses include editorial costs (for example, on staff or freelance employees), asset creation cost (such as licenses), engineering costs (eg product development, project management, user experience design, database build and maintenance, and hosting) and marketing expenses. Note: marketing expenses will only be covered up to 20% of the total funding awarded.
The DNI Innovation Fund is open to organisations and individuals that aim to produce original journalism and to enlighten citizens with trustworthy journalistic content, whose projects focus on encouraging a more sustainable news ecosystem. Established publishers, online-only players, news start-ups, publisher consortia, national or international associations, companies and individuals are all eligible to apply. Collaborative applications with other industry players are also welcome.
The third application round is now open with a deadline for the receipt of applications of 20 April 2017.
More information can be accessed at the programme website