Core Infrastructure Fund [Open Technology Fund]

Due Date: 1.5 2019. The Fund supports the ‘building block’ technologies, infrastructures, and communities relied upon by digital security and circumvention tools strengthening internet freedom, digital security, and the overall health of the internet. It strives to uphold and increase capacity for individuals, organizations, and companies working to fortify the foundational components of demonstrably important technology relied upon by people in repressive countries.

Priority consideration given to projects from individuals or organizations new to the internet freedom community, identifying as under-represented within the field, and requesting less than USD $300,000 for efforts with a duration less than 12 months.

Open to individuals of all ages irrespective of nationality, residency, creed, gender, or other factors. Non-profit and for-profit organizations, universities, research institutions, and consortia in any country are also eligible.

Focus Areas:

  • Key developers or organizers working full-time on crucial core efforts in need of additional support;
  • New developers or organizers focused on improving security standards, quality assurance, and best practices within core infrastructure projects;
  • Developers, authors, or organizers drafting or promoting digital security and civil society needs within standards and protocols;
  • Researchers exploring new methods of circumvention that would improve the resiliency of widely utilized tools;
  • Specific outcomes, such as the necessary maintenance and upgrades to existing open source projects (database, hosting, or other tool migration; rewriting test suites; major new features);
  • Efforts that make existing projects more accessible and easier to contribute to (ex. documentation, tool migration, refactoring code, testing);
  • Efforts that develop new or evolve existing organizational and governance structures and sustainability models beyond work-for-hire;
  • Efforts that increase the understanding and awareness of relevant actors in this space, their roles, and how they contribute to maintaining the internet’s core ecosystem;

Applicants should demonstrate experience administering successful projects, preferably targeting the requested program areas. Ideal applicants should not duplicate or simply add to efforts supported by other USG funding programs;

Ideal applications are: open in nature, collaborative, promote a broader understanding of existing challenges and limitations, are preemptive in approach, and/or exist at the core of the internet’s ecosystem. Common applicants come from the community of developers and organizers working on open-source projects recognized as critical dependencies of one or more active platforms or tools strengthening internet freedom and digital security.

NOTE:The Fund is not able to support applicants within countries that the United States has trade restrictions or export sanctions as determined by the U.S. Office ofForeign Assets Control (OFAC). Applicants must not reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization, whether or not elected members of government.