We’re launching the DFL Infrastructure Fund to support the development of open source software needed to foster a more fair and just data ecosystem.
Why it matters
While the pace of AI development continues to accelerate, it is often dominated by private interests. We want to ensure that communities and individuals are able to effectively exercise their rights and also gain meaningful value in this new era. At the core of all AI are large datasets that aim to represent us. So, we are investing in technical tools to address issues of privacy, security, bias, ethics, and agency in how these datasets are collected, processed, used, shared, and governed.
Examples of projects we are currently interested in supporting
- Tools to identify and address bias in datasets
- Tools for better informed consent management
- Tools to improve anonymization of data
- Tools that allow individuals, communities, organizations to better exercise digital rights (such as those enumerated in GDPR, CCPA, etc)
- Tools to assess interpretability and auditability of datasets
- Tools to support data donation projects
- Tools to support accessing and aggregating datasets for social good
- New data licenses that protect the rights and interests of individuals and communities
This list is in no way exhaustive. Successful applicants will come with a myriad of ideas, feel free to surprise us.
What we are offering
- Awards of up to $50,000 USD, according to the development stage of the project:
- Idea phase - up to $10,000 USD
- Development/testing phase - up to $25,000 USD
- Launched, in-use project (milestone deliverable) - up to $50,000 USD
- Opportunities to connect with our communities of open-source developers, Mozilla fellows and awardees, and others working on data stewardship challenges.
- Amplification of your work through Mozilla channels, including MozFest, and social media
- Relevance: The project is addressing a relevant and important technical data challenge that has clear implications for transparency, bias, privacy, or agency.
- Public Benefit: The project can clearly articulate who their beneficiaries are and they align with fostering a more fair and just data ecosystem.
- Feasibility: The project is technically sound, feasible, and is a valid approach to addressing the articulated challenge.
- Differentiation: The proposed concept differs from or improves upon existing solutions.
Applicants must meet the following requirements:
- You are legally able to receive funds from the Mozilla Foundation, which is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
- Have a core team in place to support the development of the project. We are particularly interested in teams that are members of the communities their project aims to serve.
These awards are open to all applicants regardless of geographic location or institutional affiliation, except where legally prohibited. However, Mozilla is especially interested in receiving applications from members of the Global Majority or Global South; Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color; women, transgender and/or gender diverse applicants; migrant and diasporic communities; and/or persons coming from climate displaced/impacted communities, etc. We strongly encourage all such applicants to apply.
The deadline to submit Letters of Intent (LOIs) was August 31, 2023 (23:59 PST / UTC−08:00). If your LOI is accepted, we will invite you to complete a full application. See the Infrastructure Fund Application Guide for the complete schedule.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hosted a virtual information session for interested applicants on August 10, 2023 via Zoom. A recording of this session is available here.