Google Announces $25 Million in Digital Innovation Grants

Google Announces $25 Million in Digital Innovation Grants

Google.org has announced grants totaling nearly €22 million (approximately $25 million) through its Digital Innovation Fund in support of innovative projects across the European news industry.

Grants awarded through the fund, a component of Google.org's Digital News Initiative, a partnership between the tech giant's charitable arm and European news publishers, will support fact-checking experiments, artificial intelligence programs, investigative reporting, virtual and augmented reality experiments, and collaborative efforts between organizations as well as across borders.

Grant recipients include the Open State Foundation, which was awarded €50,000 (approximately $57,000) to prototype a database that tracks what politicians say and do in real time, with the goal of increasing transparency and giving journalists better access to political information; Público.es, which will receive €208,500 (approximately $240,000) to develop an open source application that gives readers behind-the-scenes access to the Spanish digital publication's editorial process; Deutsche Welle, which was awarded €437,500 (approximately $500,000) to build a platform that integrates a mix of off-the-shelf tools that enable the automated transcription, translation, and summarizing of video and audio content in virtually any language; and WikiTribune, which will receive €385,000 (approximately $439,000) to scale its efforts to counter the proliferation of low-quality news sources with fact-based, transparently sourced articles that are written by professional journalists and verified and improved by a community of volunteers.

"From startups to large newsrooms, at national and local news outlets, DNI-funded projects are embracing the opportunities of big data, blockchain technology and machine learning, evolving and reinventing everything from subscriptions and fact checking to video production and reader engagement," said Ludovic Blecher, head of the DNI Innovation Fund. "These projects are helping shape the future of high-quality journalism — and some of them are already directly benefiting the European public today, too."

The application window for the fourth round of DNI funding will open in early September and run for thirty days.