Search giant Google today is taking the next step in its bid to rehabilitate its relationship with the news and publishing industry.
In Europe today, the company is opening up applications for startups and others who are interested in receiving grants from Google’s Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund: Google has put aside €150 million ($170 million) for startups and others building new services, products and technologies for the news industry, and it will give out in grants twice a year, typically ranging from €50,000 to €1 million, but occasionally higher, with no strings attached, Google said today:
“We’re looking for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism; that support the development of new business models, or maybe even change the way users consume digital news,” writes Ludovic Blecher of Google, who heads the DNI Innovation Fund. “Projects can be highly experimental, but must have well-defined goals and have a significant digital component. There is no requirement to use any Google products. Successful projects will show innovation and have a positive impact on the production of original digital journalism and on the future sustainability of the news business.”
At the same time, Google said that it now has over 120 news organizations in its Digital News Initiative, the European umbrella group for the fund, which was first announced in April with 11 members and a pledge to work on projects and products focused on high quality journalism. It includes publishers like Die Zeit, FAZ and Der Spiegel, the Guardian, Financial Times, the BBC, The Economist, La Stampa, El Pais and Les Echos.