Late in December a colleague suggested that there might be some funding available from the Knight Foundation under their News Challenge program to utilise UCTV services in a community project. He heard about the opportunity from the Carrick Institute. The Division has already received a number of grants for research through the Carrick Institute itself.
Several of us met in late December and decided to submit a letter of intent, in which they proposed to develop a system where local television news can be recorded, subtitles extracted for text search, links provided to local online news stories, and community input facilitated so the local community could become involved in local issues (a key requirement of the News Challenge grant). Our supervisors agreed we should submit the letter of intent to see what happened.
The Knight Foundation asked us to submit a full proposal. The original group worked with the School of Professional Communication and submitted an expanded proposal in mid-January (deadlines were very short). The Foundation expects to announce the successful applicants by late April 2007.
[Update: While we weren't successful this time, we received strong encouragement for our proposal from the Knight Foundation. We will be looking for other funding opportunities to support the proposed project.]