Internet Society Foundation awards $1M to projects that examine the future and sustainability of the internet

The Internet Society Foundation has awarded over $1 million through its Research grant programme to seven projects that examine the future and sustainability of the internet. In its pilot year, this programme seeks to support a diverse group of researchers who are generating solutions today to meet the internet challenges of tomorrow.

The selected projects explore important issues around the internet’s relationship to society, such as: the economic cost of the digital gender gap, the impact of digital labour platforms on worker’s rights, what climate solutions might help decarbonize the subsea cable network, and more.

Environmental Law Institute – USA- $200,000
  • Theme: Greening the internet
  • Project title: Creating a research strategy to green the internet
  • Research question: How can we identify high-value, high-impact research on the energy and environmental impacts of the digital economy?
The Centre for Internet and Society – India – $200,000
  • Theme: The internet economy
  • Project title: Labour futures: Intersectional policy making for the platform economy
  • Research question: How are digital platforms broadly, and digital labour platforms specifically, occupying and performing their roles as intermediaries and infrastructure in the global south?
Chomora Mikeka (Independent Researcher) – Malawi – $57,017
  • Theme: Greening the internet
  • Project title: Greening Internet of Things (IoT) for smart cities
  • Research question: Can IoT sensors used for smart garbage collection in smart cities be green powered?
World Data Lab – Austria – $193,660
  • Theme: The internet economy
  • Project title: International internet inequality index
  • Research question: Which economic and demographic factors contribute to global Internet access in the future?
World Wide Web Foundation – USA – $199,974
  • Theme: The internet economy
  • Project title: The cost of excluding women: The digital gender gap & economic prospects
  • Research question: What is the economic impact of not having women participate in digital economies due to the digital gender gap?
Digital Rights Watch – Australia – $187,299 – 18 months
  • Theme: The internet economy
  • Project title: An international internet for local needs
  • Research question: How can we rebalance bargaining power between local actors and international Internet players?
SubOptic Foundation – USA – $200,000 – 24 months
  • Theme: Greening the internet
  • Project title: Decarbonizing the subsea cable network
  • Research question: What is the average carbon footprint of a cable station, and what climate solutions might help to mitigate this footprint?

“The internet has reshaped almost every sector of our society,” stated Sarah Armstrong, Executive Director of the Internet Society Foundation. “We established this grant programme to enable new and valuable research on the future of the internet, research that will influence policy and industry decisions and ultimately help shape a more equitable and sustainable future for the internet.”

Selected by an Independent Programme Review Committee, the awardees are from Australia, Austria, India, Malawi, and the U.S. The grants are intended for applied research that will be published and made available to the scientific community at no cost. The Research programme is currently accepting statements of interest, to be reviewed on a rolling basis.




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