Calls: Send in your ideas. Deadline October 1st, 2022.

Welcome to NLnet Foundation

When it comes to important ideas that can help improve our society, there really are no boundaries. The challenge is to turn those opportunities into reality. Great ideas just come, but they are gone in a breeze as well. Lets make good use of them.

Since 1997 NLnet foundation (after its historical contribution to the early internet in Europe) has been financially supporting organizations and people that contribute to an open information society. It funds those with ideas to fix the internet. The procedure is fast, competitive and open to anyone. The articles of association for the NLnet foundation state: "to promote the exchange of electronic information and all that is related or beneficial to that purpose".

NLnet has contributed funding to many important and very visible projects around fundamental standards from securing the core routing protocols and the domain name system of the internet to safer email, vendor-independent videoconferencing, more reliable wireless networks and private instant messaging - all based on open standards and verifiable open source software and/or hardware. It spawned the world-renowned NLnet Labs, and supported great open source projects like Jitsi, ARPA2, WireGuard, NoScript, Tor Hidden Services, GPLv3, GNUnet, and webODF. And many more ....

Want to work at NLnet?
NLnet is growing and we need good people. Why not look at our current job openings ...
Do you have a great idea?
Perhaps we can help you turn it into reality. Find out what NLnet can do for you.

If you are interested in learning about new technology that respects your privacy and helps to make you and everyone else more secure on the internet — take some time to browse through the many awesome projects we are currently supporting. There is an entire parallel world to discover that ranges from videoconferencing applications, collaborative editors, alternative search engines, social networks, reproducible software tooling, vpn technologies, and secure messaging - all the way up to open hardware laptops, smartphones and dumbphones, fully transparent computer chips, new internet routing mechanisms, alternative web browsers, operating systems and even entire mobile networks and satellites.

Check out our current projects...

NGI Assure funds free and open source technological building blocks that can provide strong assurances to internet users on what they interact with online - from cryptography, public key infrastructure, distributed hash tables, CRDT's, symbolic and formal proofs, reputation and key exchange mechanisms — and a lot more.


The User Operated Internet Fund wants to empower users to take ownership and control of the technology they depend on &x2014; especially at the infrastructure level. This includes mobile infrastructure, mesh technology, and open hardware routers and more.

We believe that tomorrow's internet is a future we should be working on today.

NGI Zero Entrust is a grant programme to strenghten the trustworthiness, openness and security of the internet. It invests in technology commons such as e.g. robust and reliable software applications, open standards that promote freedom of choice and interoperability, all the way up to open hardware devices that can be verified from the bottom up.

The NGI Zero PET and Discovery programmes are due to end October 2022 and are currently fully allocated, which means they can unfortunately no longer harbour new applications. But of course nearly three hundred amazing projects funded through NGI Zero are still under way, and you can propose to other themes or through the open call.


NGI Zero Discovery is a grant programme that funds R&D that allows people, objects, content, data, applications and services to be found online - by improving search, discovery and discoverability through free and open source tools (like Searx, Yacy and Nominatim, Open Data (like OpenFoodFacts, Wikirate and Software Heritage), implements open standards like ActivityPub, XQuery, microformats and LinkedData.

More about NGI Zero Discovery


NGI Zero PET is aimed at efforts that enhance privacy characteristics and trustworthiness of the technology we depend on. From the internet protocols that run underneath every packet sent, the operating system and browser that we run our applications on, the chips we use in every device, to even the design and manufacturing of silicon — projects within NGI Zero PET are breaking down barriers and working towards a technology commons.

More about NGI Zero PET