Local technical communities create and defend a stronger, more resilient Internet.
The Sustainable Technical Communities funding program supports the organization of technical events, in order to enable strong and sustainable technical communities.
- Contribute to the exchange of knowledge and best practices on technical topics related to the development and evolution of the Internet, including peering.
- Contribute to strengthening technical communities’ position to offer advice on the implementation of Internet-related policies and regulations, and to serve as a focal point on technical expertise for their identified ecosystem(s).
- Support technical communities to increase technical expertise in their ecosystem(s) through trainings, content, and best practices on governance and administrative operations.
- Strengthen the impact of the Internet Society Foundation’s mission through open and collaborative dialogue and follow-on actions from funded events.
Funding can cover costs associated with hosting the event (space rental, catering) and/or costs associated with encouraging diverse participation (publicity, outreach).
What is a Technical Community?
A technical community is a group of like-minded people with some degree of technical knowledge who gather together through different channels with the intention to build, promote, and defend an open, globally connected, trustworthy, and secure Internet based on local and regional needs. People can also gather around specific topics, without being located in the same country or territory. To achieve its goals, a technical community can carry out capacity building activities, leverage partnerships with relevant actors at the local / regional level, offer advice on the implementation of Internet-related policies and regulations, and serve as a focal point on technical expertise for its local /regional ecosystem. Some examples of technical communities include: Network Operator Groups (NOGs), National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), country-code Top Level Domain Operators (ccTLDs), CSIRTs, among others.
Eligibility and Review Process
Sustainable technical community event funding is available to organizations who are directly involved in the planning and execution of an event. In addition, in order to receive the funding, organizations must have an official bank account in their name (based on their legal registration).
Applications must be submitted at least 8-10 weeks before the event’s start date. The Internet Society Foundation requires sufficient time to review, conduct due diligence, make a determination about eligibility and alignment, and complete administrative duties for processing funding requests.
The selection criteria against which staff will review eligible applications are:
- The proposed event supports the program objectives of the sustainable technical communities funding
- The proposed event effectively responds to a clearly identified need and issue related to Internet development or peering within the relevant communities
- The applicant demonstrates the necessary knowledge and experience to accomplish the event goals
- The applicant has described and identified relevant objectives that demonstrate sufficient expected outcomes relative to the funding level
- If previously funded, has completed and submitted all required reports for previous grants and sponsorships.
Funding of up to $4,000 USD is available on an annual basis (per calendar year):
- One per organization for local or national events
- Two per organization for regional events
Please note that on the application form you will be asked to provide a budget for how you will spend the money you are requesting from the Internet Society Foundation.
How to Apply
Applications must be submitted online using the Internet Society Foundation’s grant management platform. Only applications submitted online will be considered.
Incomplete applications, applications that do not meet eligibility requirements, and applications that do not allow sufficient time for review will not be considered.
Some examples of events that can be supported by this program include:
- The launch of a new technical community in a country
- A technical community gathering to identify current or future threats to the Internet
- A technical community gathering to share best practices on specific topics
Project proposals aren’t limited to these. They are meant to provide some context for what this funding opportunity is.
The recipient organization will submit a narrative report about their event directly to the Foundation using the online Fluxx platform six weeks after the event.
If you have questions about this program or the application process, contact us.
If you’d like to learn more about network operations and peering, we provide a group of online courses to anyone interested in strengthening their knowledge on these topics: Fundamentals of Designing and Deploying Computer Networks, Introduction to Network Operations, Advanced Network Operations 2.0, and IXP 2.0.