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Facebook seeking Proposals for Economic Impact of Digital Technologies – United States

Facebook seeking Proposals for Economic Impact of Digital Technologies – United States

Deadline: 20 May 2020

Facebook is issuing a call for academic research proposals as part of its pledge to contribute $1 million to research that addresses the economic impact of digital technologies, including new tools that enable commercial opportunities.

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As progress in digital technology and the ongoing development of digital platforms continue to reshape the global economy, they have also contributed to the rise of new tools for conducting business in unprecedented ways. Many of these digital tools have empowered entrepreneurs and small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in particular to engage in commercial opportunities and drive growth where they may not have otherwise had access, for example, through digital payments, online consumer research, and data-driven advertising. Moreover, when growth is challenged by economic contraction or other disruptive circumstances (such as COVID-19), digital technologies may offer businesses the means to quickly adjust their practices, enabling them to minimize adverse impacts and remain resilient.

Facebook is especially interested in supporting projects that address the economic consequences and implications of developing digital technologies for small businesses. Topics of interest for this request for proposals (RFP) include, but are not limited to, measuring new types of economic impact — for example, assessing the implications of digital technologies for growth, resilience under challenging circumstances, inclusion of marginalized groups, efficiency of payment systems, or other business outcomes.

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Scholars may consider focusing their research on the following topics, though creative approaches beyond these areas are also encouraged:

Agile business strategies enabled by data-driven advertising and other digital technologies
Technological factors influencing the resilience of businesses during economic downturns, disruptions, and other market challenges
How digital technologies help businesses explore and uncover new economic opportunities when existing business models are not viable during emergencies, natural disasters, or other external interruptions to business operations (for example, during the COVID-19 outbreak)
How businesses are able to more quickly adapt to challenges stemming from natural disasters or other emergencies and respond to shifting needs and interests of their customers
The impact of digital advertising on online platforms
Estimation of the economic value of the internet without digital advertising
Evaluation of the differences (e.g., cost, effectiveness, social value) between data-driven and conventional contextual digital advertising
Advantages and disadvantages of existing vs. alternative models for non-advertising based online platforms and services (e.g., subscriptions, gig economy, etc.)
Understanding the relationship between, and influence of, data-driven advertising on new market entrants and novel product categories
Emerging metrics and practices; identification of the new signposts of business success and growth in the current digital economy
Impact of contextual versus data-driven advertising for unfamiliar brands or new products
The value of data-driven advertising with regard to consumers
Measurement of the financial impact (costs and benefits) of data-driven advertising versus contextual digital advertising for consumers
Assessment of the effect of digital advertising on business models for publishers (e.g., subscription or premium add-on services) on the longevity of businesses
Impact of data-driven advertising on the relationship between SMBs and their customers
Funding Information

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Award amount can vary but will typically be between $50K and $100K.
Payment will be made to the PI’s host institution as an unrestricted gift. Overhead is limited to 5% for gifts and should be included in the proposed budget.
Eligibility Criteria

The RFP is open to researchers (faculty, PhD students, post-doctoral scholars, etc) from all disciplines.
Each proposal must have one designated Principal Investigator (PI) who is able to receive the award funding at their institution. Additional researchers on the research team are acceptable/encouraged, but they are unable to divide gifts amongst multiple institutions.
Organizations must be an accredited academic institution or a non-governmental organization with recognized legal status in their respective country (equal to 501(c)(3) status under the United States Internal Revenue Code).
Applicants may submit one proposal per solicitation as the PI.
Awards must comply with applicable U.S. and international laws, regulations, and policies.
For more information, visit https://research.fb.com/programs/research-awards/proposals/economic-impact-of-digital-technologies-request-for-proposals/

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