FRIDA Awards and Funding for Ten Innovative Latin American and Caribbean Projects

FRIDA Awards and Funding for Ten Innovative Latin American and Caribbean Projects

The Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean (FRIDA) is pleased to announce the ten projects selected as the winners of the 2016 call for Information Technology related proposals. These projects will receive financial support for a total of US$235,000 in the form of awards, grants and scale-up funds.

The winners were decided by the FRIDA Selection Committee after evaluating 551 proposals submitted this year from 23 Latin American and Caribbean countries under the FRIDA Awards, FRIDA Grants and FRIDA Scale-Ups categories:

The selected projects are from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago.

"The fact that the community entrusts LACNIC with its ideas for promoting the Internet's potential for social and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean makes us proud," noted Carolina Caeiro, head of the FRIDA Program.

The FRIDA Selection Committee is made up by six leading experts with complementary profiles: Ida Holz, Amparo Arango, Jesus Martinez, Daniela Kreimer, Antonio Moreiras, and Juan Manuel Casanueva. After an exhaustive evaluation and selection process during which the more than 500 projects received by the Program were analyzed, the Committee came to a decision on the 10 most outstanding project proposals.

Speaking on behalf of the Selection Committee, Amparo Arango said that the number of projects submitted in response to the FRIDA call for proposals was very encouraging. "We received highly innovative projects involving the use of ICTs and the adoption of new trends; this shows that various groups are in the process of appropriating ICTs and that, in turn, ICTs are no longer merely a promise ? they are already becoming a reality and contributing to the development of our region," she concluded.

Two FRIDA Awards were presented to innovative initiatives and practices that have contributed to the region's social and economic development.  The two winning projects are AgriNeTT by the University of West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago) and Mexicoleaks (Mexico).

Likewise, six projects will receive FRIDA Grants for a total of US$ 145,000 to promote social and economic development and Internet access throughout the region.  Each winning project will receive between US$20,000 and US$30,000. The Committee selected the following project proposals: Digital Mapping, by Organización Perpendicular (Guatelama); Digital and Accessible Library, by Unión Nacional de Ciegos del Uruguay (Uruguay); Radio Amazónica: Digital High-Frequency Radio, by Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP, Brazil); IPv6 Deployment, by Universidad Nacional del Tucumán (Argentina), Protecting the TOR Network against Malicious Traffic, by Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Brazil); and BGP Security in RENATA's Infrastructure, by RENATA (Red Nacional Académica de Tecnología Avanzada, Colombia).

FRIDA Scale-Ups will provide US$40,000 to each project selected by the Committee: Speaking with Julis (Colombia) and Open Router by Altermundi (Argentina). The goal of the scale-up funds is to strengthen these social enterprises and help them gain scale by replicating successful technologies.

In this case, winning projects will also benefit from institutional strengthening and capacity building activities valued at an additional US$10,000.

FRIDA is the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean. This LACNIC initiative is supported by the International Centre for Development Research (IDRC) of Canada and the Internet Society.