Got a bright idea? Get paid for it!

From the Knight Center:

Knight Foundation has launched year two of the Knight News Challenge and plans to award as much as $5 million for innovative ideas using digital experiments to transform community news. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 15, 2007.

Do you have a big idea for building community using bits and bytes? Cell phone documentaries? New operating software for news collectors? Journalism games? Nothing is too far out to qualify. With the slogan “You Invent It. We Fund It!” the contest is open to community-minded innovators worldwide, from software designers to journalists to citizens and students of any age.

Similarly the Searle Freedom Trust is seeking applicants for grants of up to $250,000 each for the next great new media idea. From SFT:

All ideas are welcome and will receive consideration. Proposals that may hold particular interest include fellowships for bloggers who focus on government spending, tort reform, or problems in higher education; projects that encourage emerging filmmakers and video producers and help them develop their talent; and podcasting.

SFT does not make grants to individuals. Grant applicants must have a nonprofit affiliation.