29 October 2021
The Internet Society Foundation takes a futurist approach to support the development of innovative methods, technologies, and infrastructure that seek to enhance Internet connectivity and access. The Foundation aims to support teams of creatives, technologists, researchers, and social/cultural workers to design and build prototypes and pilots that will bring into reality innovative solutions to Internet connectivity particularly among communities where current technologies are unavailable or not readily accessible. By focusing our funding in this way, the Foundation will create opportunities to expand the vision of the Internet Society, that The Internet is for everyone.
BOLT Program Objectives
Award up to four grants in 2021 that:
- Advance Internet development
- Improve Internet access and connectivity around the world
- Promote responsible innovation
The Internet Society Foundation believes that innovation is at the core of providing better opportunities for people to transform and enrich their lives. The Foundation also believes that teamwork and collaboration are the cornerstone of forging new ideas, new realities, new systems and new ways of working. We believe the brightest future is the one we build together.
The Building Opportunities/Leveraging Technologies (BOLT) Grant Program is designed to support teams of innovators working to expand the possibility of Internet connectivity and access globally through the development of prototypes and pilots. Teams may include creatives, artists, technologists, researchers, social or cultural workers and must be housed in a relevant non-profit organization or institution.
Teams should be focused on building technical and social innovations related to Internet connectivity that strive to be:
- Environmentally sustainable
- Relevant to users and community
- Imaginative and engaging in experimentation and play
The basic eligibility requirements for all Foundation grants are outlined here. Teams must ensure that their lead organization meets these basic requirements.
The Foundation seeks to fund teams housed in organizations that align with the Internet Society’s mission and its work for an open, globally connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet for everyone.
Application Process and Timeframe
The 2021 BOLT funding round will be an open call. Any team which meets our eligibility criteria is welcome to apply.
- Applications will open for submission on September 27, 2021.
- The application window will close on Friday October 29, at 21:00 UTC.
- Decisions will be shared the week of November 15, 2021.
Assembled teams/collectives will be asked in the online application form to:
- Clearly articulate how the proposed project directly addresses the objectives of the BOLT program
- Demonstrate their affiliation with an organization that is a 501(c)3 or equivalent
An Independent Program Review Committee (IPRC) will determine the success of eligible applications based on the following:
- The proposed project effectively responds to a clearly identified need
- The team demonstrates the necessary knowledge, experience and capacity required to successfully implement this project
- The project team has identified relevant outcome indicators that demonstrate sufficient impact, relative to the funding level.
Grants of USD$200,000 will be awarded for 12-month projects.
How To Apply
Applicants are strongly encouraged to register their organization in the Foundation’s grants managements system prior to the application window opening. Please allow adequate time to prepare your registration submission as it will be closely reviewed by Foundation staff.
Only applications submitted in the Foundation’s grants management system by the deadline will be considered for funding. We encourage you to submit your application early.
Incomplete applications or applications that do not meet eligibility requirements will not be considered (see “Eligibility” section above).
Applicants will have the option to submit a portion of their application in written, visual, or audio form. Audio/visual submissions should be no longer than three minutes, and can be in any format
You may also consult this guidance on how to develop a strong application.
If you have questions about this program or the application process, please email us at [email protected].
Due to the anticipated volume of applications, we are generally unable to provide specific feedback to all applicants on submitted applications.