The Prototype Fund is a funding program of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) that is supported and evaluated by the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany.
Individuals and small teams (of freelance coders, hackers, UX designers and more) can receive funding in order to test their ideas and develop open source applications in the areas of Civic Tech, Data Literacy, IT Security and Software Infrastructure.
We believe that software for the common good should be maintained and supported with public funding, and that open source practices can help to make technology more sustainable. We aim to enable freelance developers that bring a wide skill set to the development of technology into digital social innovation.
From idea to implementation, the Prototype Fund was (and is) led by a group of people who regularly collaborate with different communities in tech, security and design. We consider the Prototype Fund itself a prototype: It is constantly evolving and adapting.
We support applicants with or without funding experience in their application process and design our processes with as little bureaucracy as possible.
We also offer coaching in the areas of User-Centered Design, UX Design, project management and communication. The Prototype Fund brings together iterative software development and innovation research and links projects with existing communities and target groups.
To date, we have already funneled 3 millions to 81 projects in total(status after Round 4). The program will be active for a total of 8 funding rounds until 2020.
Approximately 25 projects can be funded in each cohort, and each project receives a maximum of €47,500.
More details on the terms and conditions of our funding can be found here.
Contact the team via email: info-at-prototypefund-dot-de.
Please update this info under “Team Members”
The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
We were inspired by the work of the Knight Foundation in the USA and adapted the program to Germany accordingly.
Katja Jäger (scientific evaluation)
Ame Elliott (User Experience Design Coaching)
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