FRIDA Program Receives Record Number of Applications
A record number of projects were received in response to the 2016 call for proposals by the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA): a total of 551 proposals from 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries are hoping to obtain funding for their projects in the form of awards, grants and scale-ups.
The volume and quality of the proposals received by FRIDA —335 initiatives in the Grants category, 89 proposals in the Scale-Ups category— mean that the Selection Committee has hard work ahead selecting this year’s winners, who will receive a total of 235,000 dollars distributed among the three types of support. Winning projects will be announced on 15 June.
Most of the projects originated in civil society (309), while 105 came from the private sector, 72 from the academic sector, 55 from the government sector and the remaining 11 did not specify their origin.
These proposals represent 23 territories in the LAC region: Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Venezuela, Commonwealth of Dominica, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Paraguay, Haiti, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Belize, Bolivia, and Brazil.
Carolina Caeiro, head of the FRIDA program, noted that this large number of applicants represents a huge challenge for LACNIC. “We are proud that the region has entrusted us with their ideas for promoting regional Internet development to try to find answers to the social and economic challenges faced by the people of Latin America and the Caribbean,” she said.
Internet and technology for social and economic development was the category that received the highest number of applications, followed by Internet and technologies for social inclusion, strengthening democracy and the exercise of rights and freedoms. Likewise, 65 projects were submitted under Technical innovation for Internet access and development (including Security and IPv6 Grants).
Caeiro noted that this year FRIDA will begin providing funding in the form of small grants to technical projects that address key development issues in the region, such as IPv6 and Cybersecurity.
“Funding is now available for technical projects. The community should take advantage of this opportunity,” she concluded.