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Google Grants $30 Million to European Tech News Publishers as the First Batch of the $170 Million Project

March 3
7:29 AM 2016

Google announced that it has distributed more than $30 million to news publishers across Europe. Last year, the company already opened up applications for startups and other companies in the tech news publishing sector who are interested in receiving the grants, the Digital News Initiative (DNI).

The $30 million grants is a part of the almost $170 million project introduced last April aimed at the news industry to enhance their digital journalism. Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated, as quoted by Tech Story, "The fund's goal is to help stimulate innovation in digital journalism over the next three years." The application rounds will run twice each year and funding will be granted in batches accordingly.

When the initiative was first introduced, head of the DNI Innovation Fund Ludovic explained the ideal candidate for the program. "We're looking for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism, that support the development of new business models, or maybe even change the way users consume digital news," he writes. There's no requirement to use any Google products and the grants would be awarded with no strings attached.

According to Tech Crunch, the first round of contributions is distributed to 128 selected projects in 23 different European countries. The largest project investments are reported to be in Germany, the UK, Spain, France, and Belgium. It's also worth noted that Google and European news organizations have had a tense relationship over the past few years, and this initiative could mean that Google hopes to make amends and improve its relationship with European news organizations. One of the remarkable clashes happened in Germany, where publishers wanted Google to pay for using short snippets of copy on Google News.

Furthermore, Pichai added the description of the companies applying for the grants. "The funding will go to a wide variety of organizations which are wonderfully diverse, ranging from automated content personalization and robot journalism to hoax-busting apps and tools to verify social media in real-time reporting."

When Google first announced the program, it says that the funding will fall into three categories: prototype projects, medium projects, and large projects. The program is available for various individual or organization, ranging from startups to established news publishers. AdNews listed that prototype projects could claim up to $55,000 funding, and medium tech news organizations could receive up to $333,000, and even more than that for larger projects with more ambitious goals.

Google has announced its first batch on the Digital News Initiative (DNI) program, whereas 128 projects received more than $30 million grants. The program is expected to help tech news publishers to improve and enhance their digital journalism, especially in Europe. 

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