The GNI Innovation Challenge is a global program that empowers news organizations from around the world to demonstrate new thinking in digital journalism. The GNI Innovation Challenge in Europe focuses on innovation in any form. It follows the DNI Fund which ran from 2015 and funded 662 projects across Europe. Selected projects will produce learnings and thought leadership to share with the wider industry.
Application eligibility requirements
The European Innovation Challenge is open to all types of news organizations, including freelancers and sole traders, that produce original journalism and whose projects focus on creating a more sustainable and diverse news ecosystem.
This GNI Innovation Challenge is primarily intended for news organizations with an editorial staff of 50 or fewer full time (FTE) journalists, including freelancers. However, publishers employing just more than 50 FTE journalists may be considered subject to Google’s discretion.
Geographically, applicants must be based in Europe.
News organizations must be incorporated in one of the eligible countries. Unincorporated organizations must be registered in the region or, if unregistered, have their principal place of business there.
All ideas are welcome but we require all projects to have clear indicators showing the potential impact of the project from a user perspective and/or from a business perspective. Selected projects will also need to be delivered within one year.
We encourage innovative projects - focused on, but not limited to - the areas below:
- Ways to increase reader engagement and/or reader revenue
- Developing and diversifying business models
- New methods of distribution
- Combating misinformation
- Increasing trust in journalism
- Reaching new audiences
- Improving the efficiency of workflows
- Exploring new technologies
Projects will be evaluated against five main criteria:
- Innovation: Preferred projects will be innovative and transformative for the applicant and for users.
- Impact on the news ecosystem: Preferred projects should demonstrate potential for significant positive impact for the wider industry. For example, collaborative approaches and open source projects are encouraged.
- Feasibility: Preferred projects should demonstrate their potential through clear indicators and expected metrics. They should set out key risks and mitigation steps.
- Diversity: Preferred projects will be able to demonstrate their self-defined commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion whether that is within their audience, organization or content. Google is committed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and works to support companies/projects that are in line with such values.
- Inspiration: Preferred projects will show willingness to share knowledge and to contribute to the improvement of the ecosystem overall. This could include activities such as attending events, writing blogposts or contributing to case studies. Selected recipients will be required to produce a public report with learnings from the project.
Projects that would NOT qualify for Innovation Challenge funding include:
- Projects relating to news coverage only or projects merely translating news content into other languages.
- Upgrades of legacy publishing systems.
- Projects that relate to simply collating or listing data (for example, the publication of job listings or stock exchange data, or the re-publication of newswire articles).
- Projects on training or education only.
- Projects which do not impact a news organization.
Google will fund up to €150,000 for selected projects. Out of the total project budget, Google will finance up to 70% while at least 30% must be provided by the applicant. The self-funded portion may include operational costs. Eligible expenses include personnel costs, engineering costs and the purchase or licensing of any equipment, tools, hardware, software and other assets or materials needed for the project. Marketing expenses should not exceed 20% of the total amount of Google funding requested.
Editorial expenses are not part of the eligible costs and will not be covered. Funding may not be spent on general and overhead costs.
Applications to the European GNI Innovation Challenge are reviewed by a team of experts which may be composed of Google employees and industry experts who have knowledge and expertise in the news industry. This diverse group will review every application received by deadline and make a selection on those to fund.
For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.