Application deadline: September 2nd, 2019.
As part of this program, the Google News Initiative Innovation will fund a set of projects from around the world that meet specified criteria, with the intent of producing learning and thought leadership to share with the wider industry. The Google News Initiative (GNI) is Googles global effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age.
GNI’s first Innovation Challenge in the Middle East, Africa & Turkey Region. The Challenge will focus on reader engagement and new business models in any form. Google will fund selected projects up to USD $150,000 and will finance up to 70% of the total project cost.
The Middle East, Africa & Turkey GNI Innovation Challenge is open to organizations of every size, including freelancers and sole traders, that aim to produce innovative, original journalism and to enlighten citizens with trustworthy journalistic content, whose projects focus on encouraging a more sustainable news ecosystem.
The application window will open on 12 June 2019 at 10 GMT (11am London time), and close on close on Monday, September 2 at 23:59 GMT.
Google will fund up to $150k for selected projects. Special discretion on the total project cap may be considered by The Jury depending on the scale and impact of a very large collaborative effort. Google will finance up to 70% of the overall costs of the selected projects.
The remaining self-funded costs can be 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 as well as marketing expenses (capped to 20% of the total amount requested).
All ideas are welcome but we are requiring all projects to have clear indicators showing the impact of the project from a user perspective and/or from a business perspective (eg: audience indicators, business plan when relevant). Successful projects will also need to be delivered within one year.
We encourage innovative projects – focused on but not limited to- the areas below:
- Business Models
Projects can be experimental but must be measurable with well-defined goals. We encourage you to clearly underline the opportunities of the project by providing clear key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs should have a significant digital component.
Projects will be evaluated against four main criteria:
- Impact on the news ecosystem: Projects should demonstrate potential for significant positive impact on the creation of new revenue streams and/or change the way people consume digital news.
- Innovation: Preferred projects will be innovative (use of technology, business model, new reader engagement approaches etc) and be transformative for the applicant and for users.
- Feasibility: Projects should demonstrate clear indicators and metrics, or even a business plan when relevant, and set out key risks and mitigation steps.
- Inspiration: How can the project help news organizations learn from each other? Willingness to share knowledge, open source code or/and to contribute to the improvement of the ecosystem overall.
- Open to organizations of every size, including freelancers and sole traders, that aim to produce innovative, original journalism and to enlighten citizens with trustworthy journalistic content, whose projects focus on encouraging a more sustainable news ecosystem;
- Established publishers, online-only players, news startups, publisher consortia and local industry associations are all eligible to apply. Incorporated organizations must be incorporated in one of the eligible countries in the Middle East, Africa & Turkey region. Unincorporated organizations must be registered in the region (or, if unregistered, have their principal place of business there).