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Google Innovation Challenge Finalists Named


4 October 2016 at 11:13 am
Lina Caneva
Australia’s Google Impact Challenge finalists have been named, showcasing 10 Not for Profit organisations who plan to use technology to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.


Lina Caneva | 4 October 2016 at 11:13 am


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Google Innovation Challenge Finalists Named
4 October 2016 at 11:13 am

Australia’s Google Impact Challenge finalists have been named, showcasing 10 Not for Profit organisations who plan to use technology to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

The global online technology giant launched its second Not for Profit Impact Challenge grants in Australia, worth $4.5 million, in June along with a further $2 million dollar prize pool through a partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The finalists range from a new low-cost autonomous robot that can help preserve the Great Barrier Reef coral ecosystem to a smartphone app that can help parents identify childhood autism.

Google impact Challenge finalists
Google Australia director of engineering Alan Noble said the 2016 grants were bigger and better, offering $3 million dollars more than in the first year of the initiative in Australia.

“It’s all about supporting Not for Profits through the use of technology and to allow innovative NFPs to solve the challenges in the NFP space,” Noble told Pro Bono Australia News when the challenge was launched.

“We think technology can provide a platform to expand the impact of what innovative NFPs in Australia are trying to do.”

He said the top four winning Impact Challenge submissions would each receive $750,000 and there was also $250,000 for the next six finalists.

“We are giving away $4.5 million in total – up from $3.5 million the previous year,” he said.

“We are also for the first time partnering with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) with a new prize [delivering] a further $2 million to be split four ways.

“The DFAT Technology Against Poverty Prize is provided by innovationXchange as part of the 2016 Google Impact Challenge and is particularly focused on how technology can reduce poverty and make lives better in the Asia Pacific region.”

He said all entries into this year’s Google Impact Challenge would also be considered for a DFAT grant.

“We are looking for innovation that basically will enable existing NFPs doing great work [who] with the use of technology and technical assistance, will be able to scale up their impact,” he said.

“It’s not just the financial contribution.We will also be offering technical assistance, including mentoring technical guidance and partnering with the organisation to match the value of the prize.”

On 26 October, a judging panel including David Gonski, Lucy Turnbull, Layne Beachley, Melissa Doyle, Dr Larry Marshall, Jacquelline Fuller and Alan Noble will select three awardees. The fourth will be chosen based on a public voting system, which closes on October 26. Voting is taking place here.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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