Announcing Our Tech and COVID-19 Grant

We are very excited to announce our Tech and COVID grant. Over the next six to twelve months, Algorithm Watch, the Ada Lovelace Institute, the Balkan Investigate Reporting Network (BIRN), the Global Data Justice project at Tilburg University, the Civil Liberties Union for Europe, and Superrr Lab will conduct research that monitors, documents and critically analyses the role that data, automated decision-making, and technology more broadly plays in Europe’s ongoing tech response to the pandemic. Find out more about our grantees and their projects here.

Why WE ARE supporting work on tech and COVID-19

Almost a year into the pandemic, it has become evident that the diffusion of technology and norms that arise as a result of our collective societal response will have implications for generations to come, not just for society at large, but also for the civil society partners we aim to work with. Many of the ethical and human rights challenges we have identified in AI are also potential risks in the global (tech) response to COVID-19.

As each funder reflected on the individual and collective ways, they could respond to COVID-19, it became clear that the European AI Fund could help facilitate some of these actions.

With our tech and Covid grants, we want to play our part in helping to make sure that there is enough research and evidence about the role that data, automated decision-making, and technology more broadly has played (and continues to play) in Europe’s tech response to the pandemic. If we are able to identify lessons now, we collective learn from this current moment, and change course, where needed.

The fund’s long-term vision is to promote an ecosystem of European public interest and civil society organisations working on policy and technology. The Covid-19 pandemic means that civil society organisations continue to operate under extraordinarily challenging circumstances. As the collective response to the pandemic is fast-tracking Europe’s digital transformation, the voice of civil society has become more important than ever. To respond to the current reality, we have deliberately designed our first open call as targeted core funding, aimed at strengthening organisational capacity around policy and advocacy.  However, beyond offering core support to civil society organisations, we also realised that there is an urgent need to fund projects that monitor, analyse and challenge Europe’s tech response to the pandemic more directly.

We will be sharing regular updates about this work on our website and social media. Over the next few weeks and months, we will also be hosting a series of events.

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