The International Press Institute (IPI) is excited to  announce the launch a call for its Transition Accelerator, an EU-funded programme supporting news media developing innovative, market-specific solutions to challenges such as digital transformation, adapting to user needs and developing sustainable revenue streams. 

The programme will support up to 18 established digital or legacy media organizations, offering grants of up to €20,000 each. The accelerator is a tested model of funding, advisory and community building designed to help news media build and test solutions to their most pressing business and editorial challenges. .

The eight-month accelerator programme provides a comprehensive training, granting and advisory framework to support the successful implementation of digital transformation and revenue-focused projects. 

For example, Spanish fact-checking organization Maldita found that they needed a seamless platform to get that content in front of community members at the appropriate time, while Hromadske Radio used text-to-speech to create low-effort audio products.

Selected media organizations will nominate a team of up to three staff members to guide and implement and transfer knowledge back to their respective newsrooms. 

These teams will benefit from personalized advisory, one-on-one needs assessments, training in human centered design, strategic planning and audience research, “Ask-me-anything” sessions, guest speaker engagements, workshops, and mentoring from industry experts. IPI’s innovation department has developed a network of active professionals and experts across all types of journalism that each participant is able to take advantage of. T

The first edition of the Transition Accelerator took place in 2022 and included 15 news organizations, totalling €240,000 in grants.

>> Learn more about the participants of the first edition and their impact stories

Selection process

Applicants to the Transition Accelerator will need to submit a detailed plan outlining the specific challenge they aim to address. This plan should include any audience research or market testing already undertaken, and a general strategy for tackling the identified challenge. Applicants must also describe what success would look like for their project, their target audience, and the financial and advisory resources required for implementation. 

Flexibility is a key component of the programme, with open-ended criteria to accommodate the diverse needs of media outlets. Additionally, applicants must describe how the funds would be used. The grant can cover necessary costs, including software, web development, human resources, research- and production-related costs, travel costs and translation costs. Hardware costs (e.g., computers and video cameras) are not eligible.

The selection process involves a two-stage review. Initially, projects will be screened to ensure they meet the basic criteria. Subsequently, a jury comprising independent expert media innovators across Europe will select the final grantees. 

See the previous jury here.

>> Click here to apply and learn more about the selection process and eligibility criteria

Successful projects will receive an initial 60 percent of the grant upon signing a contract with IPI, followed by 25 percent at the four-month mark upon successful review, and the final 15 percent upon completion of the programme.

Innovation activities included in the programme

Throughout the accelerator, participants will engage in a mix of needs assessments, pre-recorded lectures, live discussions, workshops, and expert guest speaker sessions, tailored to the needs of the cohort and active projects 

Small-group and one-on-one coaching will be tailored to individual needs, ensuring that each team receives the guidance necessary to achieve their project goals. The accelerator aims to build systemic and lasting relationships that will enhance the viability of participating media organizations.

This initiative by IPI represents a significant opportunity for European media organizations to innovate and adapt to the evolving landscape of journalism. By providing financial support and expert guidance, the Transition Accelerator aims to foster a vibrant and sustainable media ecosystem. Visit the programme website for more information and submit your application through the Jotform application portal.

>> Apply now for the Transition Accelerator

The European Union co-funds this Accelerator, as part of the renewed Media Innovation Europe programme led by IPI.