Tech Coalition Safe Online Research Fund

The Tech Coalition Safe Online Research Fund is a groundbreaking collaboration fuelling actionable research and uniting the tech industry with academia in a bold alliance to end online child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Focusing on pioneering and urgent research to solve the challenges industry can often face in the fight against online CSEA, the partnership, initiated in 2020, is now entering its fourth year. 

The Tech Coalition has so far invested USD 2.5 million in this collaborative effort with Safe Online, supporting 13 cutting-edge research projects delving into a range of issues. These include insights into offending behaviours and trends related to grooming, deterrence and help-seeking interventions, trauma-informed response strategies, support systems for victims, parents, and content moderators, as well as children’s experiences, ranging from peer-to-peer sexual violence to those of children with intellectual disabilities. 

In addition to investments in critical research, the Tech Coalition Safe Online Research Fund has been successful in opening up vital spaces for collaboration and exchange between independent  researchers, academics and tech industry practitioners to ensure that the research and evidence being generated is enriched by valuable insights from industry with usability as a goal and the overall joint mission of keeping children safe from digital harm. The research is not only in support of tech companies but with support of tech companies. 

It was with this idea that the Tech Coalition Safe Online Research Fund, with the support of Google, hosted its first-ever grantee convening bringing independent researchers together with industry professionals working in product, policy, and trust and safety to build and deepen a shared understanding for online child safety. The convening was held on the sidelines of the Stanford Trust and Safety Research event where Research Fund grantees shared insights and impact from their independent research.

Girl on mobile phone in india


In the initial phase of the Safe Online Research Fund, five organisations were granted up to USD 250,000 to conduct research and expand knowledge on online CSEA prevention. The second funding round allocated USD 1 million to eight projects, emphasising innovative research geared towards online CSEA prevention, focusing on (1) prevention and deterrence, (2) detection and reporting, and (3) response and support. This year, the Technical Coalition Safe Online Research Fund granted four awards to further accelerate the work of organisations from the first cohort of grantees. The additional funds are for a duration of 12 months and will support projects to extend research to applications such as piloting solutions, technical collaboration and innovation efforts.

Advisory Group - update

The Tech Coalition and End Violence Safe Online have set up an advisory group made up of representatives from key online CSEA-focused organisations, alliances and independent experts as well as technology industry representatives from Tech Coalition member companies. The Advisory Group plays a central role in outlining the Open Call selection criteria, dissemination strategies and knowledge-exchange activities to amplify the impact of the research.

Key roles of the Advisory Group include:

  • Designing and determining the scope of the Request for Expressions of Interests and Request for Proposals
  • Establishing adequate, transparent scoring and assessment frameworks to evaluate funding proposals
  • Supporting with outreach and promotion of the Open Call
  • Reviewing the most viable proposals and rating them through the agreed framework
  • Deciding on finalists and grantees of the Tech Coalition Safe Online Research Fund

Past members of the Tech Coalition Safe Online Research Fund Advisory Group include:

Alicia Blum-Ross

Public Policy Lead for Kids and Families at Google

Annie Mullins, OBE

Independent Safety Advisor for Yubo

Bijan Sadr

Policy Operations Manager

Catherine Teitelbaum

Principal, Family Trust at Amazon

Chloe Setter

Head of Policy at WePROTECT Global Alliance

David Thiel

Big Data Architect and Chief Technology Officer of the Standord Internet Observatory

John Tanagho

Director of the Centre to End Online Sexual Exploitation of Children at the International Justice Mission

Josianne Galea Baron

Child Rights and Business Specialist at UNICEF

Julia Davidson, PhD, OBE

Professor of Criminology & Director Institute for Connected Communities, University of East London

Julia Fossi

Global Exterbak Engagements Lead for Trust & Safety at AWS

Karuna Nain

Director, Global Safety Policy at Facebook

Kathryn Grant

Outreach and Partnerships Manager for Trust & Safety at TikTok

Marija Manojlovic

Director of Safe Online

Melissa Stroebel

Head of Research and Insights at Thorn

Miguel Farcua Egido

Grant Management Specialist at Safe Online

Larui Kanerva

Research Program Manager at Facebook

Michael Seto

Director at Royal Ottawa Health Care Group & Full Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa

Natalie Shoup

Grant Management Specialist at Safe Online

Rodrigo Nejm

E-Safety and Awareness director, SaferNet Brasil

Serena Tommasino

Knowledge and Advocacy Specialist at End Violence

Zoe Darmé

Business Program Manager at Microsoft

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Our purpose in detail

We are here to ensure every child and young person grows in to the digital world feeling safe, and is protected from harm.

We support, champion, and invest in innovative partners from the public, private, and third sectors working towards the same objective.

We believe in equipping guardians and young people with the skills to understand and see danger themselves once accessing digital experiences without supervision.

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