Calls: Send in your ideas. Deadline April 1, 2024

NGI Zero Commons Fund

Reclaim the public nature of the internet

More about: Guide for Applicants | Who is behind this? | Eligibility | FAQ

The first call of NGI Zero Commons Fund opened up on February 1st 2024, with a deadline of April 1st 2024 12:00 CEST (noon).  Check out the guide for applicants and the frequently asked questions.

Submit a proposal


It is clear that the commons model works, and continues to gain ground. Free and open source software and hardware, open standards, open data & AI, open science, creative commons and open educational resources are democratising innovation and learning, and are together driving society and industry forward at an unprecedented pace. But it is also obvious that there are major gaps that need to be fixed still. The answer to market failure and dystopian runaway technology lies in collective action and public investment.

This is where NGI Zero Commons Fund comes into play. The goal of this new fund is to help deliver, mature and scale new internet commons across the whole technology spectrum, from libre silicon to middleware, from P2P infrastructure to convenient end user applications. We have a holistic, full-stack approach, simply because there is no other way. If we want to reclaim the public nature of the internet and yield the full benefits from technology as a society, we need to have full coverage — period.

Only though enough critical mass of shared building blocks and collective resources will our governments, businesses and civil society be able to count on digital security and long term operational availability. The same approach that empowers individuals to take full control of their digital lives, will also steer towards more fair, innovative economies and societies. So let's make it happen!

... the logical next step in making our technology stack more honest, open, inclusive, green and robust.

We believe the NGI0 Commons Fund has a critical role to play in helping to restore public ownership of the internet, making the internet healthier and more open — both as infrastructure and as ecosystem.

Between now and 2027 we will award an unprecedented 21.6 million euro in small to medium-size R&D grants towards solutions that bring the next generation of the internet closer.

Now, we need your contributions to help reshape the state of play, and to help create an open, trustworthy and reliable internet for all.

We are seeking project proposals between 5.000 and 50.000 euro's — with the possibility to scale them up signficantly if there is proven potential. And we provide all kinds of help too.

The changes we want to see are vast, and there is much technical debt to resolve as well. We are looking for troubleshooters that help society tackle the hard but very very important challenges ahead. Ultimately we believe in the power of the quadruple helix — the collaboration of the public sector, aligned companies, academia and civil society — to restore the internet (and our economies) back to health. Together we can create a strong and open internet for all, and bring about new paradigms like the European Commissions vision for Web 4.0 which aim to harness upcoming techologies like virtual and augmented reality, generative AI and intelligent mediators in a responsible way so they may sustainably serve society.

We need new ideas and disruptive technologies, while at the same time evolving and growing existing technologies that are still future-proof.

Have a look at other NGI Zeroprogrammes to see the kind of efforts we mean, but don't be afraid to send something completely different if you think you can contribute to the topic — it really is an open call.

Project results always become available under a free or open source license, so anyone can read and validate the source code, and anyone can use the code or open data to create solutions that fits their own purposes. The right to reuse and right to repair not only allow for unrestricted scrutiny and permissionless innovation, but also help to reduce e-waste. And the use of standards enables interoperability and redundancy in implementation to reduce the risk of compromise and failure.

The first call of NGI Zero Commons Fund opened up on February 1st 2024, with a deadline of April 1st 2024 12:00 CEST (noon).  Check out the guide for applicants and the frequently asked questions.

Submit a proposal

Next Generation Internet

A human centric Next Generation Internet shall reflect the openness, diversity and the inclusion that are at the core of European values - Roberto Viola

The overall mission of the Next Generation Internet initiative is 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. How we share and retrieve information is an essential part of that equation. The internet can and should bring out the best in all of us. It should enable human potential, mobility and creativity at the largest possible scale — while dealing responsibly with our natural resources. Doing so is essential to preserve and expand the European way of life. The Next Generation Internet initiative aims to mobilise the best ideas to improve how we find and connect people, devices, services and ideas.

The internet can and should bring out the best in all of us.

Acknowledgements

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NGI0 Commons Fund is made possible with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101135429. Additional funding is made available by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).

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