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The term can mean different things to different people, but for the purposes of this open call, we are using the definition:
Digital making is the creative process of making a product, or digital artefact - from websites, apps, games, and 3D animations to physical objects driven by microcontrollers.
Digital making will often mean using coding and programming skills as well as the creative use of digital tools to make new products. Digital making skills are fundamentally underpinned by an understanding of computational thinking but may also include things like creative teamwork, problem solving, engineering and design in order to build new technologies.
Technology is redefining every aspect of our lives. From raising finance for a business to hailing a taxi, managing a long-term health condition to working from home, digital start-ups and innovations are rewriting the rules, creating new products, services and business models that weren't previously possible and turning established industries on their heads.
To understand how technology works and have power within it we believe getting your hands dirty and 'making' is an effective and exciting route for young people. We want to move people from using to making, from consumption to creation - this is central to job creation, international competitiveness, engagement in civil society and creative self-expression.
During 2013 there will be more targeted activity around specific themes of digital making. Announcements of these strands will be made through Nesta's website.
If you are interested in applying for future funding calls, please complete an Expression of Interest form.
We are open to proposals from all sources and sectors and all types of organisations - communities, charities large and small, social entrepreneurs, businesses, academia, public services or other organisations. We cannot fund activity which is party-political in intention, use, or presentation and we will not normally fund the purchase of capital equipment.
The Fund is open to for-profit, private companies; however funding will only be awarded for projects that have an identifiable public benefit related to the aims of the Fund and our charitable objects. Any financial profit arising from the funding provided must be reinvested in the same or similar social purpose.
The Fund is focused on increasing participation in digital making in the UK. While your organisation can benefit international markets, your proposal should focus primarily or significantly on UK audiences.
Yes, as long as your idea meets the criteria for this programme. Previous levels of funding may be taken into account during the evaluation process.
The call is backed by a fund of £225,000 and expects to make a small number of grants of between £20,000 and £50,000.
Alongside the grant, a package of tailored support will be offered; this includes expert advice and mentoring, access to Nesta, Nominet Trust and Mozilla's expertise and networks, desk and event space. The support package will be designed with you to strengthen and develop your initiative to maximise impact and sustainability.
We hope to see applications for projects at a range of price points within the £20,000 - £50,000 scale. Not every grant will be made at the highest level.
This call will close 5pm, 17 January 2013 and grants will be awarded in March 2013.
Successful applicants will receive an initial grant in March 2013, the duration of which will be agreed on a case by case basis, although we would expect the grants to last between 4 and 12 months.
We don't want to fund x number of Raspberry Pis / iPads / laptops / other kit for schools or clubs without clear guidance and support for their use as part of a wider project.
However, we do want to support partnerships between product creators / suppliers and networks of instructors to bring digital making to life.
We will fund the costs of staff directly involved in delivering a project e.g. project managers, trainers or web developers. We do not provide funding to cover organisational running costs unconnected to the project.
IP is retained by the person/organisation that develops it. However, non-personal data, information, documents and materials from running the project will be made available to Nesta and Nominet Trust for the purposes of research designed to provide the sector with useful knowledge/insights and to promote the programme. Nesta plans to publish findings from the programme.
All organisations receiving support from Nesta and Nominet Trust agree to:
We will also encourage sharing of ideas and collaboration between partners involved in the programme; we will facilitate this interaction through workshops with digital making organisations.
Yes, you can submit more than one application and be named as a partner on more than one application.
No, a precondition of applying to the fund is involvement in either a workshop or a webchat.
Geographical spread will be taken into account, but it will not be a deciding factor.
We want to see and hear the idea presented by the team proposing to deliver it. It is also an opportunity to make your idea jump out from a written application form.
Video pitches should briefly and clearly explain your idea. You are not expected to cover all five of the core criteria in your video pitch and we advise that you focus particularly on impact, innovation and the audience of your work
Videos will not be assessed on the quality of production. The main objective is to take two minutes (maximum) to explain your idea as clearly as possible. Feel free to be creative where that helps you explain your idea, but it is perfectly acceptable to simply talk to a camera.
In line with our wider ambitions for the programme to generate knowledge about Digital Making, we want all of the video pitches to be publicly available. We want others to see the good ideas being generated too and we think that this may also encourage awareness and, potentially, collaboration.
Details of who will sit on specific selection panels will be notified to shortlisted applicants in Feb 2013
The most promising ideas will be invited to pitch their idea to a selection panel drawn from experts in the field. The final decision on selection will be taken by this panel.
The stages of the application process are:
Action: Deadline for submission of video pitch and written application form
Date: 5pm, Thursday 17 January 2013
Action: Invitation to pitch to a selection panel
Date: Thursday 14 February 2013
Action: Selection panel pitches
Date: Late Feb/Early March
Action: Confirmation of Awards
Date: March 2013
A core goal of the Digital Makers programme is to increase access to digital making activities for young people. As such we need to understand the impact of the programme in these terms. Equally though, we want to be able to share the wider learning that emerges from the projects involved in the programme for the benefit of sector. For this reason we will require projects to share their progress through regular monitoring and, with support from Nesta and Nominet Trust, undertake evaluation in order to understand the impact of the work.
Yes. We recognise that, even with support, evaluation takes time and money to do effectively and that the costs for this need to be made visible. For this reason we ask projects to allocate at least 5% of their total project budget for evaluation. This means that resource for evaluation and monitoring is ring fenced and, crucially, always proportional to the overall size of a project.