Google Australia gives non-profits a handy cash boost

Google Australia has awarded $3.5 million to 10 non-profits as part of the Google Impact challenge.


The 10 organisations pitched their ideas to a panel of judges in a bid to secure one of four $500,000 grants. Three of the winners were selected by the judges and another by public vote.


The three who got the nod from the judging panel included:


  • AIME; for an online game to inspire young indigenous students to learn maths and science.


  • Engineers Without Borders Australia; for biodigester toilets to provide sanitation and energy in Cambodian communities.


  • Infoxchange; for an app to connect homeless people with social services.


The winner of the public vote was the Fred Hollows Foundation, for its low-cost mobile camera which detects and helps prevent blindness caused by diabetes.


All four organisations receive $500,000 in funding and support from Google.


Google Australia was so impressed by the quality of all 10 finalists, that it decided to award the other six finalists $250,000 each in funding and support, which it hopes will help them kick start their projects.


The six projects include:


  • Asthma Foundation NSW; for sensors and a mobile app to access and report real-time air quality data.


  • Alternative Technology Association; for solar lighting for remote households in East Timor.


  • Penguin Foundation; for magnetic particle technology to remove oil from contaminated wildlife.


  • University of NSW Aspire; for online educational and career development platform for disadvantaged students.


  • University of Technology, Sydney; for sensors to detect and report excessive groundwater depletion in arid regions.


  • Zoo and Aquarium Association, Australasia; for an app to crowdsource data from travellers about the illegal wildlife trade.


Google Australia managing director Maile Carnegie says the company looks forward to working alongside the non-profits to support their projects.

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