Nesta has just announced the launch of this year’s ShareLab Fund, which aims to support early stage organisations to develop and apply collaborative digital platforms to tackle real world challenges. Grants of £15,000 - £30,000 are available.
What is the ShareLab Fund?
The ShareLab Fund was established in 2016 to grow evidence and understanding of how collaborative digital platforms can deliver positive social impact. To date, most applications of collaborative digital platforms have been driven by the corporate world - and especially by Silicon Valley - in for-profit business models. Nesta believes there is potential for some of the characteristics of those platforms, such as enabling new ways to find and mobilise assets, time, skills, money, resources and people, to be directed specifically towards addressing social needs.
The ShareLab Fund aims to test this hypothesis by supporting early stage organisations to develop and apply collaborative digital platforms to tackle real world challenges that deliver positive social impact.
By collaborative digital platform they mean: A web based digital tool, such as an app or a website, that helps find, connect or mobilise assets, time, skills, money, resources or people
This year's fund theme: Prevention
The theme of this year’s fund is “Prevention”. Recognising the intense pressure on local authorities and other public sector organisations, Nesta invites expressions of interest (EOIs) from people with ideas for how collaborative digital platforms can help relieve pressure on existing local public services. These ideas might be focused on preventing social problems from starting, from growing worse, or from creating follow-on needs.
Examples areas might include:
- Connecting the elderly
- Addressing transport poverty
- Sharing community resources
- Reducing waste and improving sustainability
- Supporting communities to help themselves
- Supporting people with low-level care needs
- Encouraging children to learn and play
- Addressing anxiety and mental health issues in young people
- Tackling homelessness
Nesta’s grant funds can be used to cover:
- Direct project costs
- Related staff costs
- Learning and development / user research
They also aim to offer non-financial support in the form of:
- Providing mentorship and advice to develop and grow the idea
- Helping to identify local authorities or other community partners who may be willing to support a pilot
- Accessing other funding opportunities
If you interested in submitting an Expression of Interest (EoI) please check their website for the criteria and how to apply: