Google launches Asia-Pacific innovation challenge offering up to $300,000 for publishers’ projects

Google has launched an Asia-Pacific innovation challenge funding as part of its News Initiative program offering funding of up to $300,000 for projects that inject new ideas into the media industry.

The launch comes as the Federal government’s Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund remains bogged down five months past its original launch date.

Google’s scheme is inviting proposals for projects designed to increase media revenues from groups across the Asia-Pacific, including Australia, with submissions being vetted by a panel of Googlers and other tech industry executives.

Successful submissions receive up to 70 percent of the total project cost.

The Asia-Pacific scheme follows a similar program Google has run in Europe for the past three years. Last month the company opened the final round of applications under the EU scheme.

Interestingly, Google’s European program has a similar structure to the Federal government’s stalled innovation fund, offering three tiers of funding ranging €50k to €1 million.

Earlier this year, the company made 2,000 two-year G Suite licenses available for free to publishers with fewer than 500 employees under the program and last month appointed communications and public affairs manager, Nic Hopkins, as the inaugural lead of Google’s News Lab in Australia and New Zealand.

Applications for Google’s program open on November 28, with the submission deadline being January 9. The company will also have a briefing session on Monday, December 11 at 6.00 pm Sydney time.


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