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Alternative Sources of Support - December 2019

Funding opportunities from OTF and elsewhere

OTF regularly compiles upcoming deadlines for funding opportunities relevant to Internet freedom, including those from both OTF and alternative funding sources.

If you’d like to receive this announcement directly in your inbox, you can sign up for our low traffic OTF-announce mailing list here. In addition, you can find our compiled list of alternative funding sources here. The opportunities listed below are those with approaching deadlines, while a number of funders accept applications on a rolling basis.

OTF Funding

OTF - Internet Freedom Fund
Next deadline: January 1, 2020
The Internet Freedom Fund is OTF's primary way to support projects and people working on open and accessible technology-centric projects that promote human rights, Internet freedom, open societies, and help advance inclusive and safe access to global communications networks. Successful applicants are awarded monetary support up to $900,000 and no less than $10,000, with preference given to projects and people who are new to the Internet freedom community, directly serving those living within repressive environments, and are requesting less than $300,000 for a duration of 12 months or less.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/internet-freedom-fund

OTF - Core Infrastructure Fund
Next deadline: January 1, 2020
The Core Infrastructure Fund supports the development, improvement, and increased adoption of foundational 'building block' technologies that are relied upon by digital security and circumvention projects. This may include efforts focused on sustaining or improving PGP, SSL, SSH, Tor, OTR, pluggable transports, code libraries, or other technologies, infrastructures, and standards that make up the core building blocks of everyday Internet freedom technologies and which are used by people throughout the world to increase their access, privacy, and security online.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/core-infrastructure-fund

OTF - Community Prototype Fund
Deadline: Ongoing
The Community Prototype Fund (CPF) is OTF’s newest fund, focused on supporting the rapid development of innovative Internet freedom technology prototypes that serve the immediate needs of the human rights and Internet freedom communities. The CPF works from an idea pool populated with ideas sourced from the Internet freedom community. Activists, journalists, and human rights defenders with urgent technology needs can submit their ideas to this pool. Technologists (applicants) can then view eligible ideas and apply to build them. Alternatively, if you have an idea and want to build it yourself, you can also apply to do that. Focusing on short-term seed funding to jumpstart good ideas, the CPF offers up to $6,000 USD for a maximum duration of 12 weeks. Applications will be reviewed by the OTF community, consisting of current and former fellows and projects, the Advisory Council, and OTF staff. You can learn more in this announcement blog post, or click the link below to apply.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/funds/community-prototype-fund/

OTF - Rapid Response Fund
Deadline: Ongoing
The Rapid Response Fund is part of a broader OTF initiative which aims to facilitate the development of a strong digital emergency response community that can work together to resolve threats in a timely and comprehensive manner. OTF offers both direct financial support as well as technical services from trusted service partners to resolve digital emergencies experienced by high-risk Internet users and organizations, such as bloggers, activists, journalists. and human rights defenders.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/rapid-response-fund

OTF - Labs
Deadline: Ongoing
For more specific, one-off support needs and services, check out OTF's Labs: Localization, Community, Engineering, Usability, Red Team, Learning, and Legal.
Learn more about OTF’s Labs here: https://www.opentech.fund/labs

Alternative Funding

Data & Society - Fellowship Program
Deadline: December 17, 2019
“Our fellows help ensure that new connections and perspectives deepen and expand our community’s understanding of the challenges and opportunities society faces in a data-centric world...We currently have an open call for two to three Faculty Fellows to join us starting September 1, 2020...Data & Society prioritizes ambitious empirical research projects that address complex socio-technical questions. We are looking for Faculty Fellows who have strong analytic, methodological, and theoretical foundations who are passionate about working alongside and with empirical researchers. Faculty Fellows may be looking to advance technical work, design policy interventions, bring historical insights into current conversations, or do new fieldwork...Residency typically runs from September 1 through June 30 of the following year...Fellows commit to two days a week in residence for the full term and are offered a stipend of $25,000 with additional, approved project costs up to $5,000 available to them...While you don’t need to live in New York City, you will need to live within reasonable travel distance to New York.” Note that D&S “anticipate[s] launching additional fellowship calls in 2020,” and you can sign up to be notified via a newsletter at the link below.
More information: https://datasociety.net/engage/#fellows_program

Facebook - Privacy Preserving Technologies RFP
Deadline: December 20, 2019
“By integrating novel privacy preserving technologies in our products we aim to build trustworthy experiences that people love to use. To foster further innovation in this area, and to deepen our collaboration with academia, Facebook is pleased to invite faculty to respond to this call for research proposals pertaining to the topics below. We anticipate awarding a total of five research awards, each in the $50,000 – $100,000 range. Payment will be made to the applicant’s host university as an unrestricted gift...This year, we are specifically interested in proposals that fall into the following categories: Technologies to support people’s privacy rights (access, deletion, portability, and so on); Privacy preserving analytics and machine learning; Data anonymization and quantification of privacy leaks; Private, high-integrity, client-side services (end-to-end encryption, blockchains, and so on); Privacy-by-design methodologies, technologies, toolkits, and frameworks; Encrypted data processing; Techniques to proactively discover and surface privacy violations in complex applications; Application auditing methodologies to assure transparency, privacy, and compliance...Applicants must be current full-time faculty at an accredited academic institution that awards research degrees to PhD students.”
More information: https://research.fb.com/programs/research-awards/proposals/privacy-preserving-technologies-rfp/

Counterpart International - Short-Term Technical Assistance (STTA) CertainTLS Developer
Deadline: December 31, 2019
Counterpart International has issued an Annual Program Statement (APS) “seeking proposals from prospective partners to implement activities that propose creative and effective approaches to improving the regulatory environment that will enable national, regional and global actors to defend against censorship, surveillance, and legal developments that threaten digital rights…[Counterpart International] anticipates awarding approximately 6-12 grants to fund successful applications submitted in response to this APS. The total amount of funding currently available for proposals is approximately $10,000 to $90,000...Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis.”
More information: https://www.counterpart.org/internet-governance-freedom-grants/

Next Generation Internet - H2020 ICT Calls
Deadline: January 16, 2020/April 22, 2020
“H2020 ICT calls enable Europe to step up its research activities in the areas building on the promising digital technologies which offer a significant competitive boost for our economies and respond to key societal challenges. For the 2020 Work Programme, the areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI), key technologies for digital transformation from photonics to software, advanced and smart connectivity with the emerging 5G, and Next Generation Internet including distributed ledger technologies and Blockchain are prioritised...” Calls for Next Generation Media, Blockchain for the Next Generation Internet, and Next Generation Internet of Things have a deadline of January 16, 2020, while the call for An Empowering, Inclusive Next Generation Internet has a deadline of April 22, 2020. NGI is financed by the European Commission, and applicants should be registered (for organizations) or residents (for individuals) in an EU Member State or a Horizon 2020 Associated country.
More information: https://www.ngi.eu/get-funded/ec-calls/#1565253038140-a91f1640-975c

Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society - Academic Year 2020-2021 Fellowship
Deadline: January 31, 2020
“Fellows appointed through this open call come into their fellowship with a personal research agenda and set of ambitions they wish to conduct while at the Center. These might include focused study or writing projects, action-oriented meetings, the development of technical tools, capacity-building, testing pedagogical approaches, or efforts to intervene in public discourse and trialing new platforms for exchange…Some broad topics of interest at the Center include (but are not limited to): Education, Libraries, & Digital Humanities; Ethics and Governance of AI; Governance of Technology & the Internet; Internet Health; Justice, Equity, & Inclusion; Media, Democracy, & Public Discourse; Privacy & Security; and Technology & the Law...During their fellowships, fellows are expected to live in Cambridge or elsewhere in the Greater-Boston area...Berkman Klein fellowships awarded through the open call for applications are rarely stipended, and most fellows receive no direct funding through the Berkman Klein Center as part of their fellowship appointment. To make Berkman Klein fellowships a possibility for as wide a range of applicants as possible, in the 2020-2021 academic year we will award a small number of stipends to incoming fellows selected through our open call for applications.”
More information: https://cyber.harvard.edu/getinvolved/fellowships/2021Fellows

Facebook - Ethics in AI Research Initiative for the Asia Pacific RFP
Deadline: January 31, 2020
“Facebook is supporting independent academic research work in the Asia Pacific in the field of AI ethics that takes into account different regional perspectives...We are particularly interested in proposals that pertain to the following topics: 1) Ethics / fairness by design...2) Governance…[and] 3) AI ethics and diversity...This RFP is open to academic institutions, think tanks, and research organizations registered and operational in the Asia Pacific region...Research findings will also serve as the basis for discussions for a workshop to be held in Hong Kong in September or October 2020...Organizations must be a nonprofit or non-governmental organization with recognized legal status in their respective country (equal to 501(c)(3) status under the United States Internal Revenue Code) and should comply with the applicable laws to receive foreign funds in their respective country.”
More information: https://research.fb.com/programs/research-awards/proposals/ethics-in-ai-research-initiative-for-the-asia-pacific-request-for-proposals/

Next Generation Internet Initiative - Decentralized Technologies
Deadline: January 31, 2020
The Next Generation Internet (NGI) Initiative’s Ledger Open Call is accepting submissions from applications looking to “shift data management, leveraging on decentralised algorithms based on blockchains, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and/or peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies to address Privacy-by-Design, reliability, trustworthiness and openness to build human centric solutions.” Ledger plans to accept 16 proposals for up to €150K in funding for each, with the top eight receiving an additional €50K. Ledger is financed by the European Commission and applicants should be registered (for organizations) or residents (for individuals) in an EU Member State or a Horizon 2020 Associated country.
More information: https://www.ngi.eu/opencalls/ledger/

NLNet - Next Generation Search and Discovery
Deadline: February 1, 2020
NLNet is seeking proposals requesting between €5,000 and €50,000 for projects looking to improve online search and discovery functionality. Specifically, projects should focus on ways “to put powerful new technology in the hands of future generations as building blocks for a fair and democratic society and an open economy that benefits all.” This effort is part of the EU’s Next Generation Initiative (NGI), which seeks to “re-imagine and re-engineer the internet for the third millennium and beyond to shape a value-centric, human and inclusive society for all.”
More information: https://nlnet.nl/discovery/

NLNet - Privacy & Trust Enhancing Technologies
Deadline: February 1, 2020
NLNet is seeking proposals requesting between €5,000 and €50,000 for projects for Privacy and Trust projects “aimed at providing people with new instruments that allow them more agency - and assist us with fulfilling the human need of keeping some private and confidential context and information private and confidential.” This effort is part of the EU’s Next Generation Initiative (NGI), which seeks to “re-imagine and re-engineer the internet for the third millennium and beyond to shape a value-centric, human and inclusive society for all.”
More information: https://nlnet.nl/PET/

Motorola Solutions Foundation - 2020 Grant Program
Inquiry Form Deadline: February 3, 2020
Application Deadline: April 17, 2020

“The Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, focuses its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee volunteerism and education, especially engineering and information technology programming...Motorola Solutions Foundation strongly prioritizes programs within North America and internationally that take place in or near the metropolitan area of Motorola Solutions offices as well as the universities Motorola Solutions recruits future employees.” Grant request maximum is $50,000.
More information: https://www.motorolasolutions.com/en_us/about/company-overview/corporate-responsibility/motorola-solutions-foundation.html

Library Freedom Project - Library Freedom Institute
Deadline: February 10, 2020
“Library Freedom Institute (LFI) is a privacy-focused training program for librarians to teach them the skills necessary to thrive as Privacy Advocates; from educating community members, to installing privacy software, to influencing public policy...Participants will spend 5 hours per week on a combination of readings, webinars, exercises, class discussion, and assignments. LFI is a free online course with one in-person requirement, which will take place on a weekend in New York City...There is no cost to this program; including the weekend in NYC. LFI is primarily seeking public librarians, but we welcome applications from all librarians who do outreach in their communities.”
More information: https://libraryfreedom.org/index.php/lfi/

State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) - Internet Freedom Annual Program Statement
Deadline: March 6, 2020
The State Department’s Internet Freedom program has issued its annual program statement detailing its desired criteria for applicants interested in submitting a Statement of Interest (SOI). There are four funding themes: 1) “Technology: Uncensored and Secure Access to the Global Internet,” 2) “Digital Safety,” 3) “Policy and Advocacy,” and 4) “Applied Research,” with preference given to open source technologies and projects that include a long-term sustainability model, feature collaborative partnerships, and which benefit at-risk and marginalized populations. Eligible SOIs should not request “less than $500,000” or “more than $3,000,000.” Organizations may submit no more than two SOIs per deadline.
More information: https://www.state.gov/request-for-statements-of-interest-drl-internet-freedom-annual-program-statement/

Cybersecurity Tech Accord/United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs - Apps 4 Digital Peace
Deadline: July 30, 2020
“...[T]he Cybersecurity Tech Accord is excited to be partnering with the United Nations Office of Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) to launch Apps 4 Digital Peace, a first-of-its-kind competition, to stimulate new thinking from innovating young minds across the world (the “Competition”). The goal of the Competition is to develop original technology-based solutions, such as mobile applications, to both help limit the use of the internet as a domain of conflict, and to increase the stability of our online environment...Submissions will be reviewed by technical and policy experts from the Cybersecurity Tech Accord and UNODA, and finalists will have an opportunity to present their proposals during a dedicated event during High Level week of the United Nations in September 2020...Finalists for the Competition will be in the running to receive both cash prizes and networking opportunities to help get their ideas off the ground. This will include $15k for first prize, $10k for second, and $5k for third, as well as an opportunity to attend the Cybersecurity Tech Accord’s annual meeting to present the winning submission to some of the world’s leading technology companies committed to improving security online for users everywhere.”
More information: https://cybertechaccord.org/cybersecurity-tech-accord-announces-new-contest-in-partnership-with-the-un-office-of-disarmament-affairs/

CISCO - Global Impact Cash Grants
Deadline: Rolling
“Global Impact Cash Grants go to nonprofits and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that address a significant social problem. We’re looking for programs that fit within our investment areas, serve the underserved, and leverage technology to improve the reach and efficiency of services. We accept applications year-round from eligible organizations...Organizations and programs must focus on at least one of our social investment areas: access to education, economic empowerment, or critical human needs...The maximum request amount for first-time grant recipients is US$75,000.”
More information: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/csr/community/nonprofits/global-impact-cash-grants.html

Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation - Grants
Deadline: Rolling
“We support social enterprises — non-profit, for-profit and hybrid organizations — that can expand enough to directly benefit a large number of beneficiaries and impart enough momentum to influence broader systems that encumber progress...We fund: Leaders tackling important social issues that can make a difference in the lives of many; Models that have the likelihood to be able to scale...[and] Social enterprises that are national or global in reach and/or social issue.”
More information: https://www.drkfoundation.org/apply-for-funding/

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In addition to the open application windows listed above, you can always check our compiled list of alternative sources of support: https://guide.opentech.fund/appendix-iv-alternative-sources-of-support

To receive this and other funding or OTF-related announcements, sign up for our low-traffic OTF-announce mailing list here: https://groups.google.com/a/opentech.fund/forum/#!forum/otf-announce/join