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Nesta: Invitation for Expressions of Interest, ShareLab Fund – deadline 5 Jan 2018

We’re pleased to announce the launch of this year’s ShareLab Fund, which aims to support early stage organisations to develop and apply collaborative digital platforms to tackle real world challenges. Grants of £15,000 – £30,000 are available.

In last year’s fund, we worked in partnership with eight pilot projects, which focused on areas as broad as sharing community spaces to helping the homeless. We’re using what we’ve learnt to inform our thinking and help shape the debate around the collaborative economy, but there’s more to be done.

What is the ShareLab Fund?

The ShareLab Fund was established in 2016 to grow evidence and understanding of how collaborative digital platforms can deliver positive social impact. To date, most applications of collaborative digital platforms have been driven by the corporate world – and especially by Silicon Valley – in for-profit business models. We believe there is potential for some of the characteristics of those platforms, such as enabling new ways to find and mobilise assets, time, skills, money, resources and people, to be directed specifically towards addressing social needs.

The ShareLab Fund aims to test this hypothesis by supporting early stage organisations to develop and apply collaborative digital platforms to tackle real world challenges that deliver positive social impact.

By collaborative digital platform we mean: A web based digital tool, such as an app or a website, that helps find, connect or mobilise assets, time, skills, money, resources or people

This year’s fund theme: Prevention

The theme of this year’s fund is “Prevention”. Recognising the intense pressure on local authorities and other public sector organisations, we invite expressions of interest (EOIs) from people with ideas for how collaborative digital platforms can help relieve pressure on existing local public services. These ideas might be focused on preventing social problems from starting, from growing worse, or from creating follow-on needs.

Examples areas might include:

  • Connecting the elderly
  • Addressing transport poverty
  • Sharing community resources
  • Reducing waste and improving sustainability
  • Supporting communities to help themselves
  • Supporting people with low-level care needs
  • Encouraging children to learn and play
  • Addressing anxiety and mental health issues in young people
  • Tackling homelessness

We are offering grants of between £15,000 – £30,000 to organisations who best meet our criteria (see below), and who wish to test an innovative idea, or move from prototype to pilot.

Nesta’s grant funds can be used to cover:

  • Direct project costs
  • Related staff costs
  • Learning and development / user research

 

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