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NGI0 Entrust launches first open call

Open source R&D programme contributes 9.6 million € to "digital commons"

Amsterdam/Brussels, June 1st 2022

Today a coalition of 12 not-for-profit organisations from across Europe launches the first open call for a large new research programme, NGI Zero Entrust. The ambitious programme is part of the Next Generation Internet initiative which was initiated by the European Commission in 2016. The programme is the next iteration of NGI Zero, which is one of the most ambitious funding programme designs of its kind — providing bottom-up funding to create digital commons such as free and open source software, libre hardware and open standards with a pipeline of tailored support to help mature the technologies in question.

New calls will open up every two months until the budget is fully allocated. These European grants are available to any individual or organisation that has a worthwhile idea for making the internet more trustworthy internet and offer users more privacy, robustness and agency. NGI0 Entrust allows independent researchers and developers to work on new cutting edge solutions in the public benefit, creating a virtuous cycle of innovation through free and open source software, libre hardware and open standards.

Europe is starting to recognise the strategic importance of technology, and the critical role that open technologies play with regaards to sovereignty, states Michiel Leenaars, director of strategy at NLnet Foundation and project lead of the NGI Zero coalition. Everyone looking at the technology landscape knows it is deeply problematic, but the only way out is by creating viable alternatives and more fair solutions through R&D. Open source development and standards plays a critical role. .

The core premise of the fund is that reliability, confidentiality, integrity, security and data portability should be the 'new normal' of the internet, something ordinary users should not have to worry about. Users should have been in control from the start, states Leenaars, and there is no time like the present to fix it.

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. The programme is supported by the European Commission's DG CNECT.

With 9.6 million Euro of grants available, the new fund is one of the largest of its kind and in fact the single largest individual fund operated by NLnet in its 40 year history. The first projects from this bottom-up funding scheme are expected start as early as October.

More information

About NLnet Foundation

NLnet Foundation is an independent organisation whose means come from donations and legacies. The history of NLnet goes back to 1982 when a group of Europeans led by former NLnet director and member of the Internet Hall of Fame Teus Hagen announced the European Unix Network (EUnet) which became the first public wide area network in Europe and the place where Internet was introduced to Europe. NLnet also pioneered the worlds first dial-in and ISDN infrastructure with full country coverage. In 1997 all commercial activities were sold to UUnet (now Verizon) and since that time NLnet has focused on supporting the open Internet and the privacy and security of Internet users.

Its private capital ensures an absolute independent position. 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's core business is to support independent organizations and people that contribute to an open information society and to a safe, secure and open Internet.

Logo NLnet: letterlogo with abstract shape of four circles joining

A number of times a year NLnet organises a worldwide open call for projects to be supported. The long list of NLnet-funded projects includes NLnet Labs, Tor project, Unhosted, Qubes, Wireguard, Koruza, Serval, GNU Mes, Jitsi, ARPA2, NoScript, CeroWRT and GNUnet.

NLnet currently spearheads NGI Zero, a unique consortium that includes Radically Open Security and funds privacy and trust enhancing technologies and improves search and discovery as part of the Next Generation Internet initiative of the European Commission.

For further information contact us: bureau [at]

NGI Zero Entrust is a joint effort of the following organisations:

  • Association for Progressive Communications - A global network and organisation that strives towards easy and affordable access to a free and open internet to improve the lives of people and create a more just world
  • Center for the Cultivation of Technology - A charitable non-profit host organization for international Free Software projects
  • Commons Caretakers - A not-for-profit service provider for the development of Commons
  • Free Software Foundation Europe - Association charity that aims to empower users to control technology.
  • HAN University of Applied Sciences, dept. Inclusive Design & Engineering - one of the core competence building centres of accessibility in the Netherlands, with significant in-house expertise on accessibility auditing.
  • NixOS Foundation - Foundation supporting development and use of purely functional configuration management tools, in particular NixOS and related projects
  • NLnet Foundation - Grantmaking public benefit organisation founded by pioneers of the early European internet
  • Petites Singularités - Non profit organisation working with free sofware and focusing on collective practices
  • Radically Open Security - Not-for-profit open source security company
  • Tolerant Networks - a Trinity College Dublin campus company focused on robust interoperable communications mechanisms for extreme and unpredictable environments, which delivers its standardisation experience.
  • Accessibility Foundation - Center of expertise on accessibility of internet and other digital media for all people, including the elderly and people with disabilities
  • Translate House - Develops and implements open source localization solutions
  • ifrOSS - Provides not-for-profit legal services and studies in the context of free and open source software

The internet can and should bring out the best in all of us.
Next Generation Internet initiative logo


Logo European Commission

NGI0 Entrust 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 Europee research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101069594.