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Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge 2019 (Funds up to $250k)

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DEADLINE: July 23, 2019

Applications are open for the Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge 2019 for Latin America. As a part of the Google News Initiative’s $300M commitment to help journalism thrive in the digital age, they are launching GNI Innovation Challenges in Latin America to support projects that focus on new business models and new news products.

The Google News Initiative (GNI) Innovation Challenge will fund projects from around the world that meet specified criteria, with the intention of producing learning and thought leadership for the wider industry. The first Latin America GNI Innovation Challenge will give everyone an opportunity to inject new ideas and innovation in the news ecosystem.

The Google News Initiative (GNI) is global effort to work with the news industry to help journalism thrive in the digital age. Through rounds of regional funding, the GNI Innovation Challenges will empower news innovators from around the world to demonstrate new thinking in online journalism and the development of new publishing business models. In turn, they will share knowledge generated from the projects with the wider industry.

In the first year of the Google News Initiative, their efforts have centered around a spirit of experimentation, with programs focused on three pillars: working with the news industry to evolve their business models, raising up quality journalism and driving new thinking and approaches in newsrooms. There’s still much to be done, but they remain committed to collaborating with publishers to build a stronger future for journalism.



Eligible Projects

The first GNI Innovation Challenge in Latin America will focus on projects that help build a more sustainable ecosystem for digital news in Latin America through the development of new business models and new news products. All innovative ideas are welcome and projects can be experimental but must have well-defined goals and measurable impact. There’s no requirement to use Google products for the project. They encourage applicants to clearly demonstrate the value of the project by providing actionable key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs should further the news organizations’ digital news objectives (i.e., digital subscription growth, online daily active users, digital ad revenue, etc.). Special consideration will be given to collaborative projects involving multiple news organizations. Successful projects will also need to be delivered within one year.


    • Google will fund selected projects up to $250k and will finance up to 70% of the total project cost.
  • Other eligible expenses include in-kind expenditures, engineering and operations costs, the purchase or licensing of any equipment, tools, hardware, software and other assets or materials needed for the project, and marketing expenses (capped to 20% of the total amount requested).


  • The Latin America GNI Innovation Challenge is open to organizations of every size – digital natives, startups, NGOs, industry organizations, broadcasters, traditional news organizations, freelancers, and sole traders – whose projects focus on encouraging a more sustainable news ecosystem.
  • Organizations must be incorporated or based in one of the eligible countries in the Latin America region as outlined.

Eligible Regions: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela.




  • Apply online through the given link.
  • Provide descriptions, detailed project plans and budget information.
  • Projects will be evaluated against four main criteria: Impactful, Innovative, Feasible & Inspirational.

Application Deadline: July 23, 2019


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