Nominet Trust invests £2m in innovative new projects
Nominet Trust, the social investor that champions innovative and positive approaches to using digital technology to tackle major social challenges has announced the results of a new funding round, totalling in excess of £2million.
The investment, which will be distributed across 13 projects and a number of partnerships, is the largest single funding round the organisation has made to date – a testament to its commitment to improving the lives of disadvantaged, vulnerable people through digital solutions.
In addition to partnerships with organisations including The Design Council and the School for Social Entrepreneurs, projects include:
- Comparefutures, a new resource from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, which will allow users to compare the educational, employment and personal circumstances of young adults in every neighbourhood across England and tailor interventions accordingly
- RadioActive, a scheme from the University of East London which will use internet based community radio and social media to engage with and increase the employability of disadvantaged and disaffected young people
- Getting Digital Public Services Right Where It Matters Most, a project from The Policy Exchange, will look at how to improve the delivery of effective digital public services to disadvantaged individuals
- Tyze Personal Networks are personal, private, online networks for older people and caregivers. These networks coordinate care and will not only contribute to improved health and social outcomes but will also save money and time.
In addition to funding, Nominet Trust provides projects with a range of ongoing business planning and communications support. This ‘Funder +’ approach is part of Nominet’s commitment to ensuring that each project realises its full potential and can make a significant difference to the greatest number of people.
Annika Small Nominet Trust CEO commented: “Whether it’s connecting with our disaffected youth or ensuring vulnerable older people aren’t disenfranchised, at a time when the race is on to re-engage everyone in building an inclusive, more equal and economically viable society, it is essential that we find new, more effective approaches to addressing these persistent social and economic challenges.
The projects in this quarter’s funding cohort not only address these issues head on, but more importantly they also provide new solutions– something today’s society desperately needs.”
Dan Sutch, Head of Development Research adds: “The projects we’ve supported marry positive social change with a clear recognition of the current economic challenges. For example, the Tyze Personal Networks, the creation of private, secure online networks which the older generation and caregivers can tap into, will not only improve health and social outcomes but will save a considerable amount of money and time for formal caregivers."
Since 2008, when Nominet Trust was established, the organisation has invested more than £10million in over 170 projects, all of which use digital technology to improve lives of disadvantaged, vulnerable people and aim to strengthen communities.
Although Nominet Trust is always open to new ideas, it also places specific emphasis on investing in projects that address specific social groups or issues. Currently it is interested in receiving applications that support both younger and older people and their communities.
The deadline for the next funding round is 1st June 2012. First stage applications should be made online.
Notes to editors
This announcement relates to applications that were approved during the February 2012 board meeting.
The full list of this quarter’s Nominet Trust funded projects is:
- Digital Assistant Academy - an initiative enabling low income, single parents (women) to generate sustainable flexible income for themselves and their family. The ultimate goal is to help these women move from benefits into the workplace.
- Big Issue World - will allow Big Issue vendors and ultimately The Big Issue, to exploit opportunities created by new technologies.
- Comparefutures - will be a free to use website allowing individuals to compare the educational, employment and personal circumstances of young adults in every neighbourhood across England.
- Basic English for Deaf Sign Language Users - will involve three deaf organisations from the UK, Spain and Germany developing an online course to teach Deaf Sign Language users to read and write English.
- Tyze Personal Networks - will make it easy for Britons to launch social networks for their loved ones. These networks will improve health and social outcomes for individuals and caregivers, while also saving significant time and money for formal care providers. This project has also received funding from NESTA's Innovation in Giving Fund.
- netWork - will give unemployed people the skills to take control of their online presence and promote themselves effectively to potential employers using simple online tools such as a blog, Facebook page or LinkedIn profile.
- RadioActive - will aim to use internet-based community radio and social media to promote the engagement, empowerment, informal learning and employability of hard to reach, disadvantaged and disaffected young people.
- YouthNet’s project for supporting young people through mobile devices – aims to address a significant gap in knowledge regarding how young people access online information and use mobile devices when they are both on the move and in their own personal sphere.
- HypARlocal - aims to show community based hyperlocal publishers how to create public service Augmented Reality (AR) content from their community websites
- The Impact Assessment App – working as an easy to use app, this impact assessment tool will allow workers on the ground to record free text on the subject of how clients are being services/ helped. This text will be connected to video and audio stories and used to approach policy makers. The tool will ultimately be used to change the face of public engagement when it comes to policy making.
- Street Galleries – using the Street Gallery concept, this project will illustrate how the internet can be used to address specific social problems. It will invite the public to explore and engage with these galleries.
- Getting digital public services right where it matters most will seek to examine the challenges for delivering truly transformational and effective digital public services. It will focus in particular on two areas where there is the potential for digital developments to have powerful and important effects: disadvantaged younger groups, and older (often offline) groups.
- Go ON Gold 2012 will be a national campaign to raise awareness and break down barriers when it comes to disabled people accessing modern technologies, from the internet to smartphones and digital TV.