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CIRA launches $1M+ granting round for projects to improve Canada’s internet

By Josh Tabish
Public Affairs Manager

OTTAWA – MARCH 2, 2021 – This morning the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) launched a call for applications for projects to improve internet access in Canada. Over $1 million in grants will be awarded to community groups and researchers working on infrastructure, cybersecurity, digital literacy, and community leadership projects across the country – with preference given to those that benefit students, as well as northern, rural, and Indigenous communities.

A landmark study conducted by CIRA late last year found there is limited funding for organizations working on internet-related projects. CIRA Grants offer a unique funding opportunity for Canadians to help improve the internet in their community. In addition, CIRA encourages any not-for-profit internet service providers applying to the federal government’s Universal Broadband Fund to submit their project for additional support under CIRA Grants’ infrastructure stream.

CIRA Grants

CIRA Grants focus on internet-related projects in Canada and awards grants of up to $100,000, including one grant of up to $250,000.

The program is looking to fund projects in these four areas:

  1. Infrastructure research or projects that improve internet speed, access, and affordability.
  2. Digital literacy tools, research, and training programs to develop digital skills.
  3. Cybersecurity projects or research that promote users’ safety online.
  4. Community leadership initiatives including events or research that engage Canadians in domestic internet policy issues

Since 2014, CIRA has provided $7.95 million in funding for 171 projects across Canada. Learn more about how to apply for CIRA Grants or register to attend an informational webinar in English on March 9th at 1pm ET or in French on March 10th at 2pm ET.

Executive Quote

“COVID-19 has us relying on the web more than ever before, but too many Canadians still lack the connections and skills needed to participate online. We know that much of the work done to improve Canada’s internet happens at the grassroots, community level, but our research has shown that funding for this kind of work is practically non-existent. This is why we support community-led internet projects through our CIRA Grants initiative. If you have an idea for how to improve the internet in your community, submit an application before the April 14th deadline.”

-Tanya O’Callaghan, vice president of community investment, policy and advocacy

Who can apply?

  • Organizations recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency as registered charities
  • Not-for-profit organizations; and,
  • Academics and researchers affiliated with a Canadian university or college.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications in advance of the April 14th deadline at 2pm ET.

About CIRA and CIRA Grants

CIRA is the national not-for-profit best known for managing the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. The organization also offers enterprise-quality registry, DNS, and cybersecurity services to organizations across Canada and around the world. As a member-based, mission-driven not-for-profit, CIRA also has a much broader goal to promote a trusted internet for Canadians. CIRA Grants is one of our most valuable contributions toward this goal and funds projects in infrastructure, digital literacy, cybersecurity and community leadership. Every .CA domain name registered or renewed contributes to this program. To date, CIRA has supported 171 projects with over $7.95 million in contributions.