The challenges of improving Internet growth are multi faceted and interrelated, particularly in developing countries. They include, for example, access to technical skills and knowledge, the diffusion and reliability of infrastructures and services, an enabling business and policy environment for information and telecommunications, as well as unique local economic and social challenges. Meeting and overcoming these challenges requires innovative solutions and the involvement of local actors, who are best placed to understand their needs and requirements. Critical to reach these goals are the availability of Internet infrastructure and services that are affordable and efficient; innovative Internet applications; successful and sustainable models for the provision of Internet services and finally, business environments which can become commercially competitive and sustainable.

The Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF Asia) is dedicated to empowering organizations that research, design and implement technical solutions that support Internet development and facilitate human and economic development in the Asia Pacific region, with a focus on Inclusion, Infrastructure and Knowledge from a technical and operational perspective.

  • Inclusion: ISIF Asia supports efforts to ensure that everyone has meaningful and efficient access to the Internet, online applications and services, from a technical and operational perspective, and in support of the Internet industry in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Infrastructure: ISIF Asia supports efforts to increase Internet speed, reduce maintenance and operational costs, improve reliability and/or security from a technical and operational perspective, and in support of the Internet industry in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Knowledge: ISIF Asia supports efforts to develop technical capacity and/or research around Internet network operations, from a technical and operational perspective, and in support of the Internet industry in the Asia Pacific region.

Since 2008, ISIF Asia has offered support through annual competitive grants processes as well as offering support for a range of capacity building opportunities for selected recipients. ISIF Asia offered Awards from 2011 until 2018 and reopen in 2021. Open funding opportunities are announced on the Apply section of the website.

ISIF Asia has supported 77 grants and 29 awards allocating over USD 3.58 million to 106 innovative initiatives across 24 economies that focus on innovative access solutions, connectivity, education, health, localization, language preservation, freedom of expression, open data, disabilities, and more. ISIF Asia has received 1898 funding applications to date.

Objectives

  1. Support research on Internet operations, infrastructure, technologies and protocols, conducted within the Asia Pacific region.
  2. Support implementation and refinement of digital solutions that make strategic use of Internet technologies in an innovative way, responding to the needs and challenges that different communities face.
  3. Provide higher visibility and share evidence of the positive influence that the Internet is having in the Asia Pacific region, and in particular the contributions from Asia Pacific digital innovators to these developments.
  4. Build the capacities needed by organizations and their project teams, to scale-up their solutions; whether through better management, fundraising, or partnership development.

Management

The APNIC Foundation hosts the administrative functions and technical infrastructure for the fund. The general management of the program (including the specific project criteria, eligibility rules, reporting requirements, and acceptance of additional partners), is a matter for ISIF Asia funding partners to act jointly.

None of the work the ISIF Asia does could be completed without the support from volunteers from the technical and development communities that support the selection process as members of the Selection Committees. Since its beginning, the program has been managed by Sylvia Cadena, Head of Programs and Partnerships of the APNIC Foundation. Hannah Durack joined the Foundation team in 2021 on a new role as Grants Management Lead, working on a new chapter for the ISIF Asia program.

As part of our commitment for transparency and accountability, funds raised to support ISIF Asia activities are audited annually.

For information about how to apply and to know more about projects supported, explore our collection of reports and awards videos. We encourage you to explore the ISIF Asia website, our blog, and follow us on social media.