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Unprecedented contribution from the European Commission to the future internet

January 2024 by by Pierre-Yves Gibello, OW2 CEO

OW2, the international community for professional open source software, introduces NGI Zero Commons Fund (NGI0 Commons), a new project from the Horizon Europe Next Generation Internet initiative.

Since 2018, NGI provides support through a cascade funding mechanism to projects from researchers, startups, SMEs, communities and independent developers, to help build the Internet that responds to people’s fundamental needs, including trust, security, and inclusion. NGI follows a bottom-up approach, supporting the builders directly by operating at the fine-grained scale of human talent, and opening the calls to individuals.

NGI0 Commons Fund is NGI’s vehicle for the next 3 years: it aims at funding the future of a European internet based on technology commons, through the development of shared building blocks that enable people to control their digital lives, respect their privacy, and create a fair, innovative economy. NGI0 vision is to help restore public ownership of the internet, making it healthier and more open – both as infrastructure and as ecosystem.

The program is steered by NLnet, and includes many European foundations (OW2 for the community, FSFE, the Internet Society and the Association for Progressive Communications for free and neutral projects, Open Forum Europe for policy and society, the Free Silicon Foundation for open hardware, APELL for the business world), as well as committed open source players (such as NixOS, Tolerant Networks, Radically Open Security, Commons Caretakers, Center for the Cultivation of Technology, and academics (HAN Arnhem University).

The project will receive a grant of EUR 27 million from the European Commission, 80% of it being redistributed across continuous open calls, with no less than 300 projects expected to be funded. The first open call starts on February 1st, 2024, and applying is as simple as filling a form!

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