user prototype


Our 6th CfA

"Commit: update system"

is closed since March 31st. Find all current projects here.

We fund Public Interest Tech.

4 Mio






The Prototype Funds aim is to aid software developers, hackers and creatives in furthering their ideas from concept to demo.
We support innovative open source projects in the areas of Civic Tech, Data Literacy, Data Security and Software Infrastructure and support you with up to 47.500 Euro per team/developer.
With the grant you can code for up to six months and develop a prototype of your open source software. In addition, you will receive coaching, consulting and access to an extensive and diverse network of tech and other communities.

Theme focus* of the 6th round:
Commit: update system

The technology sector is playing an increasingly important role in global challenges such as climate change, extinction of species and scarcity of resources:
For example, the CO2 emissions produced by the Internet through its data centres are now higher than the CO2 footprint of global air traffic.

(Tech) communities are also often not sufficiently resilient to defy the coming challenges in terms of personal, financial and knowledge resources and to shape the world and the environment in a sustainable way. Our accompanying research presents further interesting findings.

We need a change of course!
For as astronaut Alexander Gerst explained in a video message to his grandchildren, we don’t want to be remembered as the generation that selfishly and ruthlessly destroyed the livelihood of subsequent generations.

With the fresh thematic lense we want to invite projects to apply that bring resource efficiency and scaling effects into the development and operation of digital tools. We also want to support projects that help existing communities contribute to a sustainable world.

In particular, we are looking for ideas that think along with the commit, i.e. the change of a system for the better: How can they be translated into productive systems after funding period ends in order to be able to fully unfold their effect there?
“What do we need, what do we consume” are two of the important questions that we want to ask and answer in the course of the 6th call for proposals:

  • How can technology contribute to and support sustainability in all its facets?
  • What opportunities are there in digital applications for climate and resource protection?
  • What digital tools can help build strong, actionable communities and long-term projects?
  • What structures are needed to sustainably promote the growth and sharing of knowledge – the one non finite resource we possess – and to make it available to the communities that need these ressources for their work?

In a blogpost
we have curated projects and ideas that illustrate our thematic focus.
All other important information can be found in the FAQs.

*Worry not, projects outside this core topic can also be funded if they are rooted in the areas of digital infrastructure, data security, data literacy or Civic Tech.

Who can apply?

Self-employed developers and small teams who live in Germany can apply for funding.


Each project is backed with a maximum of 47,500€, coaching from experienced mentors, and collaboration within an exciting network. From 2016 through 2020, there will be eight funding rounds. Each round, we can support up to 25 innovative open source projects.

Time frame

You have 6 months to implement your idea from the first concept to a prototype.

Open Source

Your results must be made publicly available under an open source license.


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