Three years ago, we launched the Digital News Innovation Fund (DNI Fund) to stimulate innovation within the European news industry by providing no-strings-attached funding to companies or individuals looking for some room—and budget—to experiment. Since then, the DNI Fund has supported over 559 ambitious projects in digital journalism—whether it is to help investigative journalists with tools to collaborate at scale across borders, create open-source software that enables independent journalism business models to thrive or use VR to help others combat their own empathy-walls. In total, we have granted more than €115.2 million to news organizations across 30 countries. Today, we’re opening the sixth and final round of applications—the deadline to apply is December 3, 2018.
How the Fund works
The Fund is open to established publishers, online-only players, news startups, collaborative partnerships and individuals based in the EU and EFTA countries. We’re on the lookout for great ideas and welcome any brilliant plan for which applicants (especially new ones) need some time, space and budget to bring it to life. There are three categories of funding available: Prototype (up to €50k of funding), Medium (up to €300k of funding) and Large (between €300k and €1 million in funding). For more information on eligible projects, criteria and funding, see our website.
For this round, we’re looking for creative approaches that seek to build sustainable business models for news—whether that’s diversification of revenue streams, creative applications of technology to save costs, boosting all aspects of reader revenue (e.g. subscriptions, memberships, contributions, etc.) or designing new ways of thinking around monetisation through products and user engagement.
Applicants whose project falls under the medium and large categories will need to ensure their proposal comes with clearly identified monetisation opportunities. The prototype track does not have this requirement and can remain focused on innovation only.
New approaches have never been more needed so it’s time to experiment and try something novel. We’re ready and waiting to help you bring your ideas to reality—submit your applications now.