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NGI Zero Commons Fund Background information

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Who is behind this?

This effort to fund 21.6 million euro of R&D on technology commons is a significant effort by a large group of organisations. In alphabetical order:

Association Professionnelle Européenne du Logiciel Libre (APELL – BE)
APELL is Europe’s Open Source Business Association. APELL brings national Open Source Software (‘OSS’) organisations together into a European network to provide them with peer support and collective marketing, as well as capacity building and policy support for public affairs, both nationally and on the EU-level.
Association for Progressive Communications (APC – ES)
Logo APC
International network of organisations that pioneered the use of ICTs for civil society in many developing countries. The APC network has 62 organisational members and 29 associates active in 74 countries and five continents. Members collaborate in working groups and work locally to make the world a better place through the internet. APC brings in a unique diverse network, as well as vast expertise in gender issues, feminism and minority representation in the technology space.
Center for the Cultivation of Technology (CCT – DE)
Logo CCT
Non-profit host organisation for international Free Software projects, with ample experience in mentoring and nurturing early stage projects.
Commons Caretakers BV (CCBV – NL)
Logo Commons Caretakers
A not-for-profit company that provides targeted support to commons efforts - development of open source software, open hardware, open education materials and more. CCBV brings together domain experts, mentors and multidisciplinary thinkers and strategists.
Free Silicon Foundation (FSi – CH)
Logo Free Silicon Foundation
Foundation with the scope of promoting free and Open Source (FOS) CAD tools for designing integrated circuits, sharing of hardware designs and libraries, common standards and the freedom of users in the context of silicon integrated circuits. Organisers of the Free Silicon Conference.
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE – DE)
Logo Free Software Foundation Europe
Association that builds its work on over 1,500 volunteers and supporters throughout Europe, all dedicated to free and open source software. Facilitates the world’s largest network of over 400 lawyers and technologists with an interest in legal matters around free and open source software and hardware. FSFE maintains the leading Reuse.Software best practices on copyright assignment, and within RIANAME helps projects to apply these – both with tooling and hands-on work.
HAN University of Applied Sciences dept. Inclusive Design & Engineering (HAN – NL)
Logo HAN University of Applied Sciences
HAN is one of the core competence building centres of accessibility in the Netherlands. HAN has significant in-house expertise on accessibility auditing, and for certification is supported by, the official WCAG certification body in the Netherlands and long-standing W3C member.
Internet Society Switzerland ( – CH)
Logo Internet Society Switzerland chapter is a recognized Chapter of the global Internet Society, founded in 1992. With a global membership of > 100 000 members and aims to ensure a multi-stakeholder participation in the development of the Internet. ISOC has the goal to benefit the whole community, including academic, professional, business and private Internet users.
NixOS Foundation (NixOS – NL)
Logo NixOS foundation
Non-profit that supports the development and use of purely functional configuration management tools, in particular NixOS and related projects. All projects within NGI use the same state-of-the-art packaging system. Through the Summer of Nix capacity building programme, the NixOS Foundation has delivered many thousands of hours of packaging effort to the NGI ecosystem.
NLnet Foundation (coordinator – NL)
Logo NLnet foundation
Public benefit organisation that introduced the internet in Europe in the eighties, which is now the driving force behind NGI Zero. NLnet is the coordinator of NGI Zero Commons Fund.
OpenForum Europe (OFE – BE)
Logo OpenForum Europe
OpenForum Europe is a European open source software and open standard not-for-profit think tank. Its key objective is to contribute to achieve an open and competitive Digital ecosystem in Europe. OFE advises European policy-makers and legislators on the merits of openness in computing and provides technical analysis and explanation.
OW2 (OW2 – FR)
Logo OW2
OW2 is an independent, global, open-source software community that fosters open source projects and actually delivers software. The only such non-profit open source organisation of EU origin and DNA.
Radically Open Security (ROS – NL)
Logo Radically Open Security
The world’s first not-for-profit security company, led by Dr. Melanie Rieback. Worked for major clients such as Mozilla, Google, the European Commission and Open Technology Fund. Co-operated the security auditing part of the emergency tech review facility for the European Commission on contact tracing and other COVID related technologies. ROS executes independent security scans on projects.
Tolerant Networks (TN – IE)
Logo Tolerant Networks
Tolerant Networks is a Trinity College Dublin campus company focused on robust interoperable communications mechanisms for extreme and unpredictable environments.

The money for NGI Zero Commons Fund is kindly provided by the European Commission's DG CNECT, with additional funding from the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).

The first and primary objective of NGI Zero Commons Fund is to provide an agile, effective and low-threshold funding mechanism to enable individual researchers and developers, as well as small (potentially distributed) teams of them, to research and develop important new ideas that contribute to the establishment of the Next Generation Internet. It shares this goal with its predecessors NGI0 PET, NGI0 Discovery, NGI0 Entrust and NGI0 Core please check

Our humble mission is to enable the best people to work - by themselves and together - on their most relevant ideas in the best possible way, using short non-bureaucratic funding cycles and to iteratively mature the most promising ideas through an elaborate 'pipeline' of supporting activities that live up to high standards (sometimes called 'walk the talk') in terms of security, privacy, accessibility, open source licensing, standardisation, etc.

Review Committee

NLnet has installed a Review Committee for the NGI0 Commons Fund. This Review Committe consists of independent experts from the internet and open source field, academia and the public sector. The committee is appointed for a period of one year, with the possiblity of renewal. The committee receives no remuneration for its work, and its members have no other economic interests with any projects funded by NGI0.

The Review Commitee receives the outcome of the selection process, and independently validates that all the projects that are selected are indeed eligible for funding, budgets are frugal, and that there are no other concerns.