Earlier today we reported on the second full year of our Tech Research & Development Fund, and once again we were inspired by the quality of research we were able to support and the speed with which many researchers transformed their proposals into results that created real value for the global Internet community.

When we created the Tech R&D Fund in 2013, we decided to focus on small to midsized research projects that carried great potential to make the Internet stronger and safer, but which may have otherwise slipped through the cracks of traditional research funding.

The response we received in 2013 and 2014, and continuing through our current operating year, has demonstrated to us just how many worthy and important projects deserve support. Through 2013 and 2014, we were honored to be able to fund 40 projects proposed by researchers from 10 different countries.

While the scope of the fund is deliberately broad in order to encourage the widest possible range of worthwhile proposals, we have placed particular focus on projects that:

  • Address critical cybersecurity threats

  • Support the deployment and adoption of IPv6 and other advanced Internet standards

  • Strengthen (or create) important open-source projects

One of the remarkable aspects of the sorts of projects we are able to support, is how quickly they generate tangible results. Of the 21 projects the fund supported in 2014, 10 are already completed.

Researchers we funded in 2014 included:

  • April Lorenzen of Dissect Cyber, who received an open-source development grant to investigate a dangerous and widespread class of cybersecurity threats that exploit the Internet port (Port 53) used to deliver DNS traffic.

  • Ondrej Filip and Bedrich Kosata, who received an open-source development grant to build open-source Internet routers for home- and small-office environments.

  • The AfterSchool Alliance, which received a general research grant to conduct research into how Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education is being incorporated into major after-school programs.

From what we’ve seen so far, we’ve only scratched the surface of the global community of researchers who are the fund’s target participants. We’re committed to continuing this project into the foreseeable future, and to helping promote the accomplishments of the researchers who participate.

To learn more about the fund – or to submit your own proposal – please visit http://techfund.comcast.com.