We have recently established a new Centre for Collective Intelligence Design that will focus on the practical skills and knowledge needed to design intelligence well. We believe that every individual, organisation or group could thrive more successfully if it tapped into a bigger mind— drawing on the brainpower of other people and machines.
Making progress in how we understand, think and act together is critical to solving some of the most complex challenges of our times – from climate change to prosperity and wellbeing. That is why our focus is on advancing knowledge and practical applications of collective intelligence in fields with public benefit.
We know that new digital technologies such as artificial intelligence can help us to analyse, predict, learn, communicate, and make better decisions faster – enabling groups to become smarter than the sum of their parts, and mobilising human intelligence at greater scale. But it is not a given. It requires careful design and committed orchestration.
Through our small grants programme we want to encourage practical experiments that generate insight and knowledge about how collective intelligence can be designed and applied effectively, and to support our grantee community to accelerate learning in this area.
We will support practical experiments and applied research that help advance knowledge about the design and application of collective intelligence for social good.
You must be able to show that what you are doing will help generate actionable knowledge or insight, ideally in a way that has generalisable practical application. This could be through testing a particular aspect of collective intelligence design, or applying collective intelligence to a new problem. Either way, your project should include using new digital technologies and methods for collaboration, deliberation, observation, analysis, prediction or idea creation, memory or learning - functions that enable collective intelligence at scale. We are open to working with start-ups and large firms, public bodies and charities, universities and research organisations. You must be motivated by learning and want to work with us to start building out the collective intelligence playbook. Collaboration with our team of researchers and commitment to careful research is critical. We welcome applications from organisations based anywhere in the UK or globally. We will not fund individuals. Once you have read all the documentation below, submit a short Expression of Interest (EOI) by 11am on Friday 9th November.
Your application will initially be reviewed by one or more relevant members of our external advisory group and experts from other relevant Nesta teams to help us assess the application. Final decisions about funding will be made by the team at the Centre for Collective Intelligence Design in March, and all applicants will be contacted by 31 March 2019.
May people representing different organisations form a consortium for the research?
Yes, that's possible. However, you need to decide on one lead organisation and one lead contact person.
Can I submit more than one application?
Yes. There is no restriction on the number of projects you can submit via the same lead organisation.
What kind of costs does the grant funding cover?
- Direct project costs
- Related staff costs (but usually not the costs of recruiting any new staff for the project - this would need to be individually discussed)
- Limited amount of project-related marketing costs (this will be considered individually for each project)
- Learning and development / user research (this will be considered individually for each project)
In the initial Expression of Interest you should indicate the overall costs that you expect, and do not need to add a detailed breakdown of the costs. If your project is shortlisted, we will go into the details of your estimated budget with you and will see if there is anything we cannot cover.
Please note that Nesta can only fund projects that advance our charitable objects for public benefit.
Is there any requirement for a financial contribution from the institution through which I am applying?
There is no need for any additional financial contribution from the institution. The maximum amount of funding Nesta can provide is £20,000, so in case you need more than that for your project you will need to find alternative funding sources.
My project already receives funding from another source - can I still apply?
We are open to fund additional activities within an existing project/projects that receive additional funding, as long as the proposals clearly demonstrate the added value of Nesta funds and explicitly show what the Nesta-funded component of the project is.
If any of my partner organisations wish to make a further financial contribution to the project, will this be an advantage or disadvantage in my application?
Your application will not be affected by further financial contributions from another partner. You will be asked in the application form to indicate if you need further funding from other organisations and if so whether you have already secured this, but this will be neither an advantage nor a disadvantage for you.
Are non-UK projects eligible to apply for the grants?
Yes - we welcome applications from organisations based anywhere in the UK or globally.
I work for a private business - can I still apply?
Of course: we are open to working with startups and large firms, public bodies and charities, universities and research organisations.
When will the call close?
Deadline for submitting your Expression of Interest is 11am on the 9th of November 2018.