The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) launched a call Tuesday for applications for projects to improve internet access in Canada. Over C$1 million in grants will be awarded to community groups and researchers working on infrastructure, cybersecurity, digital literacy and community leadership projects – with preference given to those that benefit students, as well as northern, rural, and Indigenous communities.
CIRA, the Canadian .ca ccTLD registry, conducted a landmark study late last year and found there is limited funding for organisations working on internet-related projects. CIRA Grants offer a unique funding opportunity for Canadians to help improve the internet in their community. In addition, CIRA encourages any not-for-profit internet service providers applying to the federal government’s Universal Broadband Fund to submit their project for additional support under CIRA Grants’ infrastructure stream.
“COVID-19 has us relying on the web more than ever before, but too many Canadians still lack the connections and skills needed to participate online,” said Tanya O’Callaghan, vice president of community investment, policy and advocacy. “We know that much of the work done to improve Canada’s internet happens at the grassroots, community level, but our research has shown that funding for this kind of work is practically non-existent. This is why we support community-led internet projects through our CIRA Grants initiative. If you have an idea for how to improve the internet in your community, submit an application before the April 14th deadline.”
CIRA Grants focusses on internet-related projects in Canada and awards grants of up to $100,000, including one grant of up to $250,000.
The program is looking to fund projects in these four areas:
- Infrastructure research or projects that improve internet speed, access, and affordability.
- Digital literacy tools, research, and training programs to develop digital skills.
- Cybersecurity projects or research that promote users’ safety online.
- Community leadership initiatives including events or research that engage Canadians in domestic internet policy issues
Since 2014, CIRA has provided $7.95 million in funding for 171 projects across Canada. CIRA is holding a webinar on how to apply for CIRA Grants in English on March 9th at 13:00 ET or in French on March 10 at 14:00 ET.
CIRA Grants is open to:
- Organisations recognised by the Canada Revenue Agency as registered charities
- Not-for-profit organisations
- Academics and researchers affiliated with a Canadian university or college.
Applications close on 14 April at 14:00 ET.