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Google awards £2m to British charities to 'change the world through technology'

Announces UK Impact Challenge 2014 shortlist in London
Fri Jul 18 2014, 14:22

GOOGLE HAS AWARDED 10 charities £200,000 each as part of this year's Google Impact Challenge, a project started last year by the company that funds charities to develop ideas that could "change the world through innovative technology".

The ten shortlisted non-profit organisations were revealed at a launch event in London on Friday before they are whittled down to four finalists to be announced on 31 July at Google's UK headquarters, when public voting opens. At that point, each of the four finalists will receive a further £500,000 to develop their ideas.

Google impact challenge 2014

Supported by Nesta, the Google Impact Challenge asked UK-based charities how they would change the world through innovative technology. In response to this, the finalists have developed a wide range of ideas for this year's prize, including a project from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew to fight malaria through the use of acoustic sensors and a Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) initiative that looks to enhance the sight of the blind and partially sighted through smart glasses.

The unveiling of the finalists today was hosted by Impact Challenge judge and executive director in Nesta's Innovation Lab, Helen Goulden, along with British investor and business entrepreneur Peter Jones, who explained that three of the £500,000 winning grand finalists will be decided by a panel of judges with the public vote deciding the other project that will receive the additional cash.

Peter Jones Impact Challenge

"Human beings generally are driven forward by curiosity so we look at the potential of these tools and these technologies around us [and] we ask these questions as we are curious about 'what more could they do?' [and] 'how can they be pushed, solve problems and lead us to develop better ideas or change cities or societies?'," explained Goulden.

"We've always had this curiosity, it's what makes us brilliant but terrifying creatures and underpinning that curiosity I think is a fundamental, innate desire to do good, to help others and to be driven by a passion and desire to make life better [...] as a planet as a whole.

"And curious people exploding technology to do good lies at the heart of this Impact Challenge."

More information on the 10 shortlisted entries is available on the Google Impact Challenge website. All 10 shortlisted entries will also receive "mentoring and training" from both Google and innovation charity Nesta to help them finish their projects. Voting is open until 30 July. µ

 

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