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.