The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is launching a new program that will fund projects by as much as $100,000 each if they can improve the Internet for all Canadians.
CIRA, which manages the .ca domain name registry, announced this week it has set up what it calls the Community Investment Program (CIP). It will divvy up as much as $1 million among successful applicants to its program.
From Feb. 3 til the Feb. 28 deadline, non-profit organizations, academic researchers, and community groups in need of funding can apply. If CIRA approves their projects, they’ll receive anywhere from $20,000 to the $100,000 cap in funding.
The program will accept a wide range of ideas, but what’s key is that projects need to show how they can benefit all Canadians. A committee of CIRA board members and community stakeholders will be making the funding decisions.
In an email, CIRA indicated it had created five categories for potential projects:
1) Research proposals focused on technological aspects of the Internet.
2) Projects improving web access, online services and/or web safety for vulnerable or disadvantaged groups.
3) Initiatives that contribute to the development of knowledge-sharing activities that lead to more effective Internet governance.
4) Internet-related projects that aim to increase participation of the public in policy making and political processes.
5) Internet-related projects that address social, economic and/or environmental needs.
“CIRA’s top priorities include managing the .CA domain; ensuring Canada’s Internet infrastructure is safe, secure, and stable; and supporting other Internet-related activities in Canada,” said Byron Holland, CEO of CIRA, in a statement.
“We have always championed initiatives that help Canadians take full advantage of the Internet as one of the greatest drivers of positive social and economic change the world has seen in recent memory. With the CIP, we will take this many steps further by making strategic investments that will help other stakeholder groups make the Internet better for all Canadians.”
More information will be available at CIRA’s website on Feb. 3, when the program becomes open for applications.
CIRA has launched a number of programs for Canadians online. In January 2013, it launched a “Factbook” detailing how much time Canadians spend online in any given day, how much they pay for broadband access, and how much of Canada’s economy is reliant on the Internet.
It also provides a WHOIS database allowing users to search for .ca domain names and to find out who registered the site and how to contact them.