ICANN Launches Internet Connectivity Grant Program

ICANN Launches Internet Connectivity Grant Program

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, is now accepting applications for the first phase and they will be distributing $10 million for the first phase.

This program seeks to support projects contributing to a more open, resilient, and globally interconnected internet.

ICANN began accepting applications for this grant on March 25. The deadline for submissions is May 24.

Following the application window, a thorough review process will take place. This includes checks for admissibility and eligibility in June and July and a detailed assessment by an independent panel from August to October.

This funding opportunity is specifically available to non-profit organizations. ICANN plans to announce the successful projects in December, with negotiations for grant agreements slated for January 2025.

The offered grants range from $50,000 to $500,000, with projects having a maximum duration of two years. ICANN is particularly interested in funding projects that:

  • This will benefit the development, distribution, and evolution of the services and systems that support the Internet’s unique identifier systems.
  • Providing capacity development.
  • Advancing developments, innovation, and open standards for the benefit of the Internet community.
  • Contributing to diversity, participation, and inclusion across stakeholder communities and geographic regions.
ICANN Launches Internet Connectivity Grant Program
ICANN Launches Internet Connectivity Grant Program

Sally Costerton, ICANN’s interim president and CEO, stressed the Internet’s critical role in modern life. “From banking and health to e-commerce and transport, the Internet has become indispensable to our daily lives,” she said in a prepared statement.

“But there are still far too many people, particularly in less developed countries, who remain offline or who face barriers that prevent them from fully experiencing the benefits that the Internet can bring.”

“Through the ICANN Grant Program, we will support ideas that advance the evolution and innovation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems for the benefit of a growing, more inclusive Internet community.

The funding for this grant comes from the proceeds of last-resort auctions from the 2012 New gTLD Program. Following a set of recommendations developed by a working group from the ICANN community, the ICANN Board approved establishing this Grant Program on June 12, 2022.

As of June 30, 2023, the total net auction proceeds amounted to $217 million, which is kept separate from ICANN’s general operational funds.

For this inaugural cycle of the Grant Program, $10 million is earmarked for distribution. However, the final amount available may vary as some funds remain in dispute.

The Grant Program is structured to run in multiple cycles, each distributing a portion of the total funds to successful applications. For this first cycle, the grant amounts will range from $50,000 to $500,000, and projects can last up to 24 months.

By encouraging innovation and development within the Internet ecosystem, ICANN not only supports current needs but also prepares for future challenges and opportunities.

Through this program, ICANN aims to significantly impact the internet ecosystem globally by investing in innovative solutions that align with its mission.

For more updates on ICANN funding, follow World-Wire.


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