Nesta begins new funding round for digital platforms

Second round of innovation organisation’s ShareLab fund to support projects within the theme of ‘prevention’

Innovation funding organisation Nesta has launched the second round of its competition for ideas on digital platforms to relieve the pressure on local public services.

Heart app on mobile phoneIt has invited applications for its ShareLab fund, indicating that grants of £15,000-£30,000 are available for projects that fit within the theme of ‘prevention’. The competition is open to people who work for a public service, charity or social enterprise, and tech entrepreneurs.

“We’re interested in funding and supporting ideas that have the best potential to exploit collaborative digital platforms to make a real social impact,” it said in the announcement.

The platforms can be apps or websites that help to connect and mobilise assets, time, skills, money, other resources and people to deal with a social challenge. Nesta said it will favour those that can be tested with a public sector organisation.

Among the areas on which projects could focus are coordinating people to build stronger communities, and promoting wellbeing among those with learning disabilities, mental health problems or long term health conditions.

Costs and support

The grants can be used to cover direct project costs, related staff costs, learning and development, and user research. Nesta is also offering support in the form of mentorship, helping to identify local authorities or other community partners that may support a pilot, and finding other sources of funds.

Nesta launched the ShareLab fund last year and has supported eight pioneer projects from the first round. These include the Milk Donor App, which supports the collection and distribution of donated breast milk, and Beam, which connects homeless people with skills and training opportunities.

Image from Nesta