Lacuna Fund 2020 for Research Institutions and Social Enterprises

Lacuna Fund 2020 for Research Institutions and Social Enterprises

Deadline: September 3, 2020

Applications are open for the Lacuna Fund 2020. The Lacuna Fund provides data scientists, researchers, and social entrepreneurs with the resources they need to either produce new labeled datasets to address an underserved population or problem, augment existing datasets to be more representative, or update old datasets to be more sustainable.

The Lacuna Fund aims to make its funding accessible to as many organizations as possible in the AI for social good space and cultivate capacity and emerging organizations in the field. Lacuna Fund supports the creation, expansion, and maintenance of equitably labeled datasets that enable the robust application of machine learning tools of high social value in low- and middle-income contexts globally.

The Fund aims to:

  • Disburse funds to institutions to create, expand, and/or maintain datasets that fill gaps and reduce bias in labeled data used for machine learning.
  • Make it possible for underserved populations to take advantage of advances offered by AI.
  • Deepen understanding by the machine learning and philanthropy communities of how to most effectively and efficiently fund development and maintenance of equitably labeled datasets.

Focus Areas

  • Agriculture: Enabling new and more robust AI applications through remote sensing and other critical datasets.
  • Language: Translation, speech recognition, and other datasets to enable the promise of digital communication for all.
  • Health: Improving the robustness and availability of AI solutions in healthcare through datasets across the value chain.


To be eligible for funding, organizations must: 

  • Be either a non-profit entity, research institution, for-profit social enterprise, or a team of such organizations. Individuals must apply through an institutional sponsor. Partnerships are welcome but only the lead applicant will receive funds.
  • Have a mission supporting societal good, broadly defined.  
  • Have all necessary national or other approvals to conduct proposed research. The approval process may be conducted in parallel with grant application, if necessary. Approval costs, if any, are the responsibility of the applicant. 
  • Have the technical capacity to conduct dataset labeling, creation, expansion, and/or maintenance. 
  • Be sufficiently stable to ensure the sustainability of the dataset or have arrangements with an organization of sufficient stability. 


Proposal submissions will only be accepted through the application portal. Applicants should download the request for proposals here.

The following sections are required:

  • Applicant Information (accessible in the portal)
  • Proposal Narrative
  • Timeline, Budget, and Budget Narrative
  • Due Diligence Self-Reporting Form

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Lacuna Fund.