Send in your ideas. Deadline October 1, 2024

Apply for funding

We support projects that contribute to an open, resilient, trustworthy, sustainable and human-centered internet. Are you working on open hardware, open software, open data or open standards? We financially support organisations and people who are developing open solutions that empower users on all layers of technology.

What we offer

We are seeking project proposals between 5.000 and 50.000 euro — with the possibility to scale them up if there is proven potential. With the aim to support the quality and maturity of the digital commons, grantees can request support services such as security and accessibility audits, mentoring, and copyright & licensing advice.

How to apply

We have back-to-back rolling calls so you can always submit a proposal. There is a deadline on the 1st of every even month. We do our best to offer a low-threshold application mechanism. We've kept the application form short so as not to waste your time.


In principle anyone can apply: individuals, research organisations, non-profits, public institutions, companies of any size and type, etc. However, do read the eligiblity section of the fund you are applying for, as specific conditions may apply. All projects must be free/libre/open source: all scientific outcomes must be published as open access, and any software and hardware developed must be published under a recognised free and open source license in its entirety.

Submit a proposal

Active funds

Here is a quick overview of our active funds. You can find more information on each fund's main page. There you'll find the Guide for Applicants, FAQs and eligibility criteria. We advice you to have a thorough look. It gives you an idea of the type of projects we are looking for and which conditions apply. But if you are unsure which fund best fits your project, submit to our open call.

NGI Zero Core

Upgrading the internet architecture

NGI0 Core supports the development of free and open source software, libre hardware and open standards that improve the open internet architecture. For example, increasing the performance of the network, adapt it to new application requirements, improve quality of service, make it more resilient to security threats, more energy efficient and respectful of the environment (e.g. repairability, recyclability), and increasingly supportive of open and decentralised technologies and services.

NGI Zero Commons Fund

Reclaim the public nature of the internet

The commons model works. Free and open source software and hardware, open standards, open data & AI, open science and creative commons benefit everyone instead of a few. The goal of the NGI0 Commons 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.

Open calls within pilot programmes

Pilots are existing larger efforts in which NLnet takes part, with a specific and fairly concrete (= more applied) objective and scope. Typically a consortium of organisations will be developing or enhancing a specific open technology or set of open technologies of interest, or applying these to specific (real-world) use cases. The role of NLnet is to involve additional parties through open calls, providing grants to free and open source projects which are aligned with the goals of the pilot. If you do not specifically target the technologies developed within the pilot, you are generally better off applying to our other open calls.


Privacy-preserving digital payments

NGI TALER is a pilot programme with the very concrete objective to roll out a new, best-in-class electronic payment system. Part of the budget is reserved for open calls to fund additional free and open source efforts that improve, build on top or integrate GNU Taler.

NGI Mobifree

Working towards mobile freedom

NGI Mobifree is a pilot programme designed to push beyond the status quo of mobile software, and create a virtuous cycle of innovation through free and open source software, libre hardware and open standards. Funding is avialable for projects that contribute to the objectives of Mobifree.

NGI Fediversity

Creating the hosting stack of the future

NGI Fediversity is a pilot programme to bring easy-to-use, hosted cloud services that have service portability and personal freedom at their core to everyone. Funding is avialable for projects that contribute to the objectives of Fediversity.

Support activities

NGI Zero Review

Supporting quality and maturity of digital commons

NGI Zero Review offers support to projects with Accessibility, Diversity and inclusion management, Community building and mentoring, Copyright and license due diligence, Internationalisation, translation and localisation, Packaging, Security audit, Standardisation. Note that this fund is only open to projects which have received funding within the Next Generation Internet initiative.


NGI Zero funds are made possible with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology.