A month or two ago I submitted an (unsuccessful:-( application to a joint Mozilla/Shuttlewoth Foundation call for an open education fellowship (though I believe it will call again – and accept resubmissions, later this year). The application process was via the Mozilla Drumbeat Platform, which encourages people to submit and join projects related to the idea of the open web:
As support grows around a project, it can get the attention of not only other people (maybe developers, maybe participants, maybe users) but also might attract the interest of Mozilla Foundation – and with it, funding…
At the< JISC Innovation Forum today, a similar approach was pitched for attracting small amounts of JISC rapid innovation funding: the JISC Elevator (mock-up).
Unlike the traditional JISC project application route, where proposals are submitted in response to project calls, the idea that seems to be being proposed here is to cheaply capture ideas for proposals that require only a small amount of funding (£5k-£30k) – simply provide a short elevator pitch and a pitching video:
Low cost, easy submission is essential for this sort of pitch: if it costs, in practical terms, £2k-£3k of internally costed funds to make it pitch, that can be 60% of the amount pitched for…
One question that does come to mind is how this money might get spent? If you have an immediate development need, requiring 1-2 weeks of developer effort, for example, to prove some concept or other, and in return develop a working, if not necessarily production ready, service, where will that developer effort come from. Although I never really understand why, a few days work is the sort of work it can be really hard to schedule… So maybe we need slack capacity in the system, capacity that can work on short, itch scratching or blue skies doodles (not projects, doodles: always lightweight, small pieces lightly joined style applications or services), and pitch next step ideas around those doodles to elevator?
That said – I can think of several little projects that would benefit from a small amount funding…;-)
The Elevator idea is very much up for discussion, and very much in the spirit of the idea, capturing feedback on Uservoice… There’s also a poll to capture more immediate feedback – find it here: Is JISC Elevator a good idea? poll.