Grants for projects that reduce the digital divide

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22 June, 2021


Ufi VocTech Trust has released details of its Challenge Fund, which aims to tackle digital exclusion and reduce the digital divide in adults. VocTech stands for 'vocational technology'.

The challenge it has set is to 'address barriers and build bridges to create a step-change in learner confidence and motivation, leading to better outcomes for the learner, for the employer and for society as a whole'. 

The focus is on adults who experience the digital divide (a lack of access to technology or related services, such as affordable broadband) and who may not be able to learn or progress in their career because of it. Ufi VocTech Trust wants these adults to feel confident that they can pick up the digital skills needed for the workplace. The trust is particularly keen to support groups and individuals that are least likely to be learning at the moment, because of barriers to engagement.

All grant holders can access an initial £10,000 of funding for the Define phase of their project, where you should focus on user needs and the potential to scale up the project. Your funding application should also be targeted at one of the following grant project types:

  • £15,000-50,000 for testing early stage ideas, as Activate projects - these aren't ready to launch to the public, but can be user tested with a minimum of 50 participants. Projects can last 4-12 months, including the Define phase.
  • Up to £150,000 for VocTech solutions that will benefit a large number of learners, as Impact projects - these have already been user tested, and there are at least 200 participants for the next level of user testing. Projects can last 18-24 months, including the Define phase.

Match funding will be required if you have significant resources.

Stage 1 applications are open from Tuesday 29 June - Thursday 29 July 2021, with a range of workshops on the fund also available to book. Stage 2 applications will be by invitation only, for those who succeed at Stage 1.

Click here for more details and the application process.

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