Nesta: Digital Makers Fund – Workshop December 10th 2012 notes

I attended the Nesta workshop on the Digital Makers initiative (twitter hashtag #digitalmakers) and thought I’d share my notes incase anyone missed anything – if you were there please let me know if anything’s incorrect and I’ll amend asap!

As a side note, the fund has at its heart the recommendations from the Nesta ‘Legacy of the BBC Micro’ report, which as someone who had a ZX Spectrum for Christmas in 1983 is a huge call to arms 😉

The Workshop was panelled by:

There is an ether pad link for notes written within the workshop

  • The initiative is aimed at projects that will encourage young people (age 6-18) to create digital products
  • It is jointly overseen by Nesta, Mozilla and the Nominet Trust
  • It is likely to be extremely competitive, the room was over subscribed and it was suggested all previous and future workshops have the same level of interest – which is a great thing but also a good indicator of your chances
  • Your product should already be working at some level, i.e. beyond the idea stage. This was the hot topic for everyone I think. I got the impression that there were a lot of people with strong ideas/concepts but they were not currently implemented and suspect a few were ready to be ‘opportunistic’ with the fund.
  • The most common question of the day was about what constituted a prototype and whilst the panel took the time to handle the many different nuances of the same question with care, one thing was clear: they were looking for demonstrable engagement, i.e. proved concept. That is, if faced with only being able to fund 5 projects and 5 of 6 applicants were already in the field with small success but the 6th was a prototype with great potential but no real usage, that would not as strongly favoured as the other 5.
  • Mozilla encouraged applications to use as much of their framework and tools as possible, not so much to improve chances of success but because they are free 🙂
  • Projects with match funding in place/being explored are going to be viewed positively
  • Nominet Trust has some additional funds that might be more suitable, especially if your project is at an earlier stage
    • Digital Edge
    • Open Innovation Fund
  • There is a big emphasis on being able to reach a large audience and this would influence your application if able to reach a very large group
  • Strong encouragement for collaboration, especially perhaps for organisations that can reach large audiences and those that might be specialists with technology – I’m open to that with non technical teams so if anyone wants to get in touch drop me a line on twitter @danfbridge

Here’s the Nesta URL for more and much more accurate details NESTA digital makers open call for ideas