Google has given a grant of $2.7 million (£1.67 million) to the Vienna-based International Press Institute for its News Innovation Contest.

Announcing the sponsorship on its blog, Google said that while it is "keen to play its part on the technology side" with publishers, such as through the development of its One Pass system, it is also investing at "the grassroots level".

The grant, announced this week, will help to financially support the IPI's News Innovation Contest, a project which funds new ways to inform communities using digital technology in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, by both non-profit and profit organisations. Proposals can now be submitted for the contest until 1 June.

The technology firm announced in October last year that it would be giving away $5 million (£3.9 million) in grants to non-profit organisations working on developing new approaches to journalism, with 40 per cent of the total fund allocated to the Knight Foundation in the US.

"The IPI has a long tradition of working on innovation in journalism, freedom of expression and other important issues. We're sure they'll be able to find and advance some great digital journalism projects over the next couple of years―and we encourage anyone with innovative ideas, large or small, to apply for a grant from the IPI," Google added in its announcement.

"In the meantime, we'll continue to work with the news industry to help develop new projects, products and experiments that make it possible for journalism to thrive online."

Image courtesy of brionv on Flickr. Some rights reserved

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