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Lacuna Fund provides data scientists, researchers, and social entrepreneurs with the resources they need to either produce new labeled datasets to address an underserved population or problem, augment existing datasets to be more representative, or update old datasets to be more sustainable. All datasets produced will be locally developed and owned, and they will be openly accessible to the international community while adhering to best practices regarding ethics and privacy.

Application

You can review a copy of RFP questions, including the prompt for the narrative portion of the proposal, under each RFP. When an RFP is open, proposals are accepted through the application portal.

Eligibility

Lacuna Fund aims to make its funding accessible to as many organizations as possible in the AI for social good space and cultivate capacity and emerging organizations in the field.  

To be eligible for funding, organizations must: 

  • Be either a non-profit entity, research institution, for-profit social enterprise, or a team of such organizations. Individuals must apply through an institutional sponsor. Partnerships are welcome but only the lead applicant will receive funds.
  • Have a mission supporting societal good, broadly defined.  
  • Have all necessary national or other approvals to conduct proposed research. The approval process may be conducted in parallel with grant application, if necessary. Approval costs, if any, are the responsibility of the applicant. 
  • Have the technical capacity to conduct dataset labeling, creation, expansion, and/or maintenance. 
  • Be sufficiently stable to ensure the sustainability of the dataset or have arrangements with an organization of sufficient stability. 

Selection Process

Lacuna Fund uses an open solicitation process, conducting requests for proposals (RFPs) for projects aligned with Fund goals in a particular domain on a fixed timeframe. In other words, we are not accepting proposals for every domain at all times, but when we are, solicitations are open to any applicant who meets the eligibility criteria. 

Initial screen: RFPs are generally open for 45 days or more. Proposals are submitted through an online portal. After the conclusion of an RFP, the Secretariat and partners perform an initial screen for qualifications and eligibility criteria.  

Panel review: Following the initial screen, a Technical Advisory Panel of domain experts review proposals based on selection criteria, then meet to make selections. Technical Advisory Panel members who review proposals for an RFP are not eligible to submit or collaborate on proposals for that call 

Notification and revisions: After the Technical Advisory Panel meets, the Secretariat will finalize selections or communicate any needed revisions to potential recipients. All communication and revisions will be finalized through the applicant portal.  

Post-award confirmationUpon notification of selection, recipients will be prompted to submit due diligence and financial information through the applicant portal. 

Potential grantees should not begin work until a contract has been signed. More details on expectations and support after a grantee begins work are available through the portal for current grantees. 

28 April 2022 - 17 July 2022

Datasets for Climate Applications

Lacuna Fund seeks proposals from organizations interested in developing datasets for equitable climate outcomes in climate & energy and climate & health.

Read a full copy of the RFP’s for more details on potential areas of funding, eligibility, and selection criteria: 

  • Climate & Health HERE
  • Climate and Energy HERE

Applications are accepted through the application portals here:

  • Climate & Health HERE
  • Climate and Energy HERE

Partnership and Mentorship Programs 

Lacuna Fund is partnering with Climate Change AI (CCAI) to provide a digital partnership platform where teams or individuals seeking to collaborate can connect and find potential partners. CCAI will also facilitate a mentorship program to connect potential applicants with experts working in relevant topic areas.   

Register for the partnership and mentorship platform! 

Timeline: 

Question and Answer Period: All questions related to the RFP should be submitted to secretariat@lacunafund.org with “Climate & Energy RFP 2022 Question” or “Climate & Health RFP 2022 Question” in the subject line. Questions submitted by 20 May will be de-identified and answered publicly by 3 June on the Lacuna Fund website in a document posted on this page. 

Please note that for this RFP, lead applicants must be headquartered in or have a substantial partnership in Africa, Latin America, or South or Southeast Asia.

Past Funding Opportunities

All past Funding Opportunities can be found here.

Focus Areas

The Steering Committee of Lacuna Fund: Our Voice on Data has identified the following areas as domains where a lack of labeled training data limits the potential of machine learning or presents the risk of bias or inequity.

Agriculture

Enabling new and more robust AI applications through remote sensing and other critical datasets.

Language

Translation, speech recognition, and other datasets to enable the promise of digital communication for all.

Health

Improving the robustness and availability of AI solutions in healthcare through datasets across the value chain.

Climate

Filling data gaps in the climate domain to enable communities around the world to better mitigate and adapt to climate change.