Third round of grant funding awarded to researchers studying the future of the Internet

We are thrilled to award a third round of grant funding through our Research grant program to six exciting projects that examine the future and sustainability of the Internet. Launched in 2020, this program supports a diverse group of researchers around the world who are generating solutions today to meet the Internet challenges of tomorrow.

The selected projects examine important issues around the Internet’s relationship to society, such as: the role language plays in promoting digital inclusion, the impact of data sharing practices on children’s privacy, and more.

Through these grants, we look forward to enabling new 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 and the people it serves.

Learn more about each awardee in the list below.

Data & Society Research Institute – United States – $200,000

Theme: A Trustworthy Internet

Project Title: Platform Mediation and the Verified Internet

Research Questions: What types of evidence are platforms requesting from users as they verify their identities, their property, or their content? How might this evidence unintentionally privilege or disadvantage certain groups who are requesting verification?

Jens Finkhaeuser – Germany – $100,000

Theme: A Trustworthy Internet

Project Title: On the Far Side of REST: An Architecture for a Future Internet

Research Question: How can we establish an alternative web-scale architecture that embraces REST’s strengths, yet addresses its current drawbacks around privacy and security?

Joanna Kulesza and Berna Akcali Gur – Poland –  $192,000

Theme: Decolonizing the Internet

Project Title: Global Governance of LEO Satellite Broadband

Research Question: What are the potential ‘data/digital sovereignty’ and jurisdictional challenges to the integration of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations onto the (5G) telecommunications network? How will the current geopolitical and economic hegemony of developed states in standard-setting for LEO broadband impact developing countries?

ME2B Alliance Inc – United States – $100,171.46

Theme: A Trustworthy Internet

Project Title: U.S Ed Tech Industry Benchmark: Data Sharing in Primary & Secondary School Mobile Utility Apps

Research Question: How is mandated technology treating our most vulnerable (young students)?

Pollicy – Uganda – $199,421.25 

Theme: Decolonizing the Internet

Project Title: Are we Together? The Role of Local Languages (and the Lack of) for Digital Inclusion

Research Questions: How do the predominant languages that digital platforms use impact the usability and accessibility of digital platforms and content? What are the barriers for both users and content creators that communicate in local languages?

Uppsala University – Sweden –  $194,791.00

Theme: Greening the Internet

Project Title: Developing the Internet Microscope

Research Question: How does the traffic volume and energy requirement of Internet services support what people do in everyday life? Conversely, what kinds of traffic are difficult to tie to any value or meaning, and thus might be wasteful?

The Research grant program is open to independent researchers and research institutions worldwide and is currently accepting statements of interest, to be reviewed on a rolling basis. Research themes include: Greening the Internet, The Internet Economy, Decolonizing the Internet, and A Trustworthy Internet. Grants of up to US$200,000 will be awarded for research lasting up to two years.

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