Applications to the DNI Innovation Fund will be reviewed by a Project Team and a Council.

In both the Project Team and the Council, there will be a mix of Googlers and external experts from the European news industry and beyond to reflect diverse points of view. The project team will review all applications, interview applicants and make a recommendation on funding for prototypes and medium projects. The council will vote on large projects.

The Council is responsible for oversight of the DNI Innovation Fund.

Rules of governance

Council Members

João Palmeiro

President of the Portuguese publishers association, Chair of the DNI Innovation Fund

João Palmeiro is the President of the Portuguese publishers association and of the Visapress Board, a collective management copyright entity.

He was vice president of the European Federations of magazines and board member of the newspapers federation. Currently he is at the board of EMMA and WAN and at the CAG of EPC (in representation of Impresa). Top level negociator, Palmeiro was at the first Executive Board of the International media fund of UNESCO. He is coauthor of more than a hundred academic papers and studies about the media including one on the role of the state and the media for the Council of Europe. He was also member of the board of portuguese media companies (radio and press) and member of ministerial cabinets in the portuguese government.

Katharina Borchert

Mozilla, Chief Innovation Officer

Katharina Borchert served as editor in chief of an early print magazine about the Internet focussing on the intersection of society and tech. She started blogging in 2002 and was one of the first well known German bloggers. In 2006 she joined WAZ NewMedia and launched the regional news site DerWesten as editor in chief. In 2008 she was promoted to the management board of the WAZ Media Group. In 2010 Katharina went to work as CEO of Germany's leading news site SPIEGEL ONLINE. In January 2016 she joined Mozilla as Chief Innovation Officer. Katharina is slightly addicted to chocolate and social media.

Veit Dengler

CEO, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Veit Dengler started his career at Procter & Gamble and has held several management positions at McKinsey, T-Mobile and Dell. At Dell he most recently served as General Manager and Executive Director for Eastern Europe and Russia. Veit holds a master’s degree in commerce from the Vienna Business School and a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. He is also a co-founder of NEOS, the liberal party in Austria which in 2013 directly won representation in parliament.

Rosalia Lloret

Head of Institutional and Public Relations at OPA - Europe

Rosalia Lloret is Head of Institutional and Public Relations at the Online Publishers Association Europe, and independent advisor on digital to firms in Spain and Latam. Lloret was involved in the creation of pioneering spanish websites (,, Member of the Executive Board of the Spanish public broadcaster, she created its Digital Media division. More recently, Lloret was in charge of the Digital Strategy and member of the Executive Board of the two leading news publishers in Spain: El Mundo and later El País . She also oversaw the launch of

Murdoch MacLennan

CEO, Telegraph Media Group UK

Murdoch MacLennan is CEO of the Telegraph Media Group in the UK and was previously on the board of a number of National and Regional Newspapers. He was President of IFRA, Vice President of the WAN and Chairman of the Newspaper Publishers Association. An Honorary Professor at the Business School at Glasgow University and then the Chancellor’s Assessor on the Court of the University. In 2010 he was appointed the Chairman of the Press Association.

Bruno Patino

Dean of Sciences-Po Journalism School

Bruno Patino began his career as journalist for Le Monde in Chile, and has held since then top management positions in the media industry, for Le Monde (1999-2008), Radio France (2008-2010) and France Télévisions (20010-2015), where he was Director General, responsible for programs commissioning and digital operations.

Madhav Chinnappa

Head of Strategic Relations, News & Publishers, Google

Madhav Chinnappa works on partnerships and collaboration between Google and the news industry. Most recently, he launched the Digital News Initiative, which is Google's overarching framework for engagement with the European news ecosystem. He joined Google in 2010 to focus on Google News & Magazines in the EMEA regions. He has worked in the news industry since 1994 - first in the launch team of Associated Press Television (APTV), a year in M&A at United News & Media and spent over 9 years at BBC News, latterly as Head of Development & Rights.

Ronan Harris

Vice President EMEA,

Ronan Harris is VP Sales & Operations, Google EMEA and Head of Google's operations in Ireland. Ronan joined Google’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin in 2005. Since then he has focused on growing the company’s online advertising sales across EMEA. Today Google employs over 2500 people in Ireland.

A graduate in electronic engineering at University College Dublin, Ronan began his career with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation in Japan. He spent nine years in Japan working in consulting and technology and returned to Ireland in 2001 to work in private equity before joining Google.

Torsten Schuppe

Director, Marketing EMEA, Google

Torsten Schuppe is responsible for Google’s brand and consumer marketing in EMEA, which sounds like an easy job until you consider that Google has 100+ products in a region of 120+ countries as diverse as Germany, Russia, Egypt and Kenya.

Before Google, Torsten was European CMO of eBay, and started his career in TV and book publishing with Bertelsmann. He holds two business and economics diplomas from the Koblenz School of Management (WHU) in Germany and the EM Lyon in France.

Alexander Asseily

Founder and Executive Chairman, State

State is an opinion network for the world: a kind of global town square, where people can connect to each other through what they think, rather than who they know.

Prior to State Alexander Asseily was the founding CEO of Jawbone, the largest venture capital-backed consumer electronics company in the world, where he maintained the role of Chairman until 2015. Jawbone is the industry leader in mobile lifestyle products including the award winning ICON wireless headsets, JAMBOX speakers, and UP wellness solutions. As Jawbone's founding CEO, Alexander directed the development Jawbone’s core products and built the defense business with DARPA. In 2004, he launched the first Jawbone headset to critical acclaim, followed in 2006 by the industry-changing Jawbone Bluetooth headset.

Alexander also serves as the Chairman and cofounder of Chiaro, a London-based wearable technology startup, whose first product Elvie is a smart pelvic floor muscle exercise tracker for women.

Alexander grew up in Beirut and London before receiving his BSc & MSc in Engineering Design at Stanford University. Alexander advises a number of startup technology companies and charitable organizations in the US and Europe.

Bart Brouwers

Professor in Journalism, Groningen University

Owner Media52

Bart Brouwers is full professor at the Groningen University, the Netherlands. He is the founder and owner of Media52. Brouwers has a long time career in journalism; he was the editor-in-chief of a regional and a national newspaper developed the nationwide local online platform for Telegraaf Media Groep.

Arianna Ciccone

Founder and Director, Perugia International Journalism Festival

Arianna Ciccone graduated in philosophy from the University of Naples in 1995. Following postgraduate studies in journalism, she worked as a journalist in Italian mainstream media before founding the communications agency Il Filo di Arianna in 2000. She is the founder (in 2006) and director of the International Journalism Festival, which is now the largest annual media event in Europe. She is also the founder (in 2010) and editor of the collective blog Valigia Blu, a non-profit independent fact-checking and debunking website focusing on journalism, media ethics and society.

Bartosz Hojka

CEO, Agora S.A.

Bartosz Hojka is the CEO of Agora S.A., one of the largest media companies in Central and Eastern Europe. Under his leadership, the company has strengthened its position in the cinema and outdoor markets and become the leader of digital transformation in Polish media sector.

”Gazeta Wyborcza”, the largest Polish quality daily published by Agora was the forerunner of metered paywall model in Poland. Agora also developed diversified undertakings in the field of digital content and advertising, mainly in mobile, video, programmatic and RTB. The Company increased its engagement in film production and quickly became the largest distributor of Polish film productions. It also successfully entered the TV market.

Project Team

Ludovic Blecher

Head of DNI Innovation Fund, Google

Before joining Google Ludovic Blecher was the director of the FINP, a digital press fund for French publishers backed by Google. Ludovic is a journalist and has spent the past 15 years working in the news industry. He started as a reporter at, rising to Editor in Chief then Executive Director. He's a 2012 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and he was a member of the French Digital Council an independent advisory commission for the French Government.

Sarah Hartley

DNI Innovation Fund applicants associate manager

A journalism innovator and experienced media trainer, Sarah Hartley is the co-founder of Dim Sum Digital Ltd with projects in the UK and South Africa. Before joining Google, Sarah worked at The Guardian Media Group for over a decade where she oversaw many digital innovations and product launches including, the community news initiative, Guardian Local, and the crowdfunding platform,

Christian Heise

DNI Innovation Fund Operations Associate Manager

Before joining Google, Christian was a Lecturer, Doctoral Candidate and Research Associate at the Centre for Digital Cultures (CDC) affiliated to Leuphana University. As well as working on the DNI Innovation Fund, Christian is still teaching at Leuphana University and Hamburg Media School and is Chairman of the German Chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation and Co-Founder/Member of Board of Prior to this he worked as a Manager for ZEIT ONLINE/DIE ZEIT and the German Press Agency (DPA).

Rebecca Young

DNI Innovation Fund Operations Analyst

Rebecca is an Operations Analyst with experience from across the financial services sector. Before joining Google, Rebecca was an analyst at an international business development agency and the New Zealand stock exchange. Rebecca has assisted many innovative and internationally-focused companies seeking capital for expansion. She holds a Bachelors of Laws (LLB) and Bachelors of Commerce (BCom) from the University of Otago.

Sameer Padania

DNI Fund - External Assessor

Sameer has worked for leading organisations in media support, human rights and philanthropy on a wide range of journalism and digital media initiatives. Most recently, he worked as a grant-making Program Officer at the Open Society Foundation, with a global focus on experimentation in journalism.

He runs Macroscope, a strategic consultancy focused on new developments in journalism, human rights and digital media.

Clare Cook

DNI Fund - External Assessor

Clare is an award-winning journalist and co-founder of the Media Innovation Studio, University of Central Lancashire, UK. Current projects include proximity media broadcasting in remote Armenian villages. She is author of international studies looking at startup, hyperlocal and fragile state media. Consultancy and training in the media sector with UK charity Nesta, Sciencescom, Internews Europe and FOJO Media Institute.

Patrick Aust

DNI Fund - External Assessor

Patrick is the co-founder of Sohomint GmbH, an Online-Marketing as well as Content-Monetization company. After selling Sohomint GmbH to publisher Axel Springer Patrick became one of three Managing Directors. He left Sohomint in March 2015 and co-founded kapatim GmbH - focused on highly customized content consultancies and Big-Data-Management. He is now Managing Director of LindenHarlow, focusing on project management as well as management consultancies.