Google to give away £2m in hunt to find world-changing tech

Google to give away £2m in hunt to find world-changing tech

Summary: Google has launched its Global Impact Challenge in the UK in a bid to find new technologies that could transform people's lives.


Google is giving away £2m to non-profit organisations to develop technologies with the potential to "change the world".

As part of the its Global Impact Challenge competition, UK charities will be invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges including Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, Sir Richard Branson and Google's European boss Matt Brittin.

Four successful charities will each be awarded £500,000, and will also receive 10 Samsung Chromebooks as well as support from Google's employees.

Berners-Lee said in a statement: "The web's contribution to economic progress has been much celebrated, but I believe that we are only scratching the surface of its potential to solve social and political problems."

Last year's Global Impact Challenge finalists included organisations looking to use technology to address everything from water scarcity to endangered wildlife.

The first round of awards went to projects including helping under-privileged students to access maths and science education, and deploying water quality monitoring sensors.

While the last Challenge was open to charities from around the world, the competition announced today is only open to those in the UK.

Applications open today and can be made here before 17 April. The competition criteria are outlined by Google here.

The 10 finalists will chosen by a team of Google employees, and announced on 17 May.

On 3 June the 10 finalists will pitch their ideas at Google's UK headquarters in Victoria, London to the judging panel, which also includes communications expert Jilly Forster and Google's director of giving Jacqueline Fuller. Three winners will be chosen by the panel of judges, while the final winner will be selected by a public vote.

Topics: Google, Emerging Tech, Start-Ups, United Kingdom

Sam Shead

About Sam Shead

Sam is generally at his happiest with a new piece of technology in his hands or nailing down an exclusive story. In the past he's written for The Engineer and the Daily Mail. These days, Sam is particularly interested in emerging technology, datacentres, cloud, storage and web start-ups.

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  • Google's mythology

    Google loves to think of its self as a "start-up" and a company which stands for innovation and entrepreneurship. They love things like this, because it allows them to be associated with the buzzwords to which they aspire.

    In reality, the corporation has barely innovated anything for the real world since search over a decade ago. This is despite sitting on vast mountains of cash from search and allowing staff to avoid official work to be "creative" for 1 out of 5 days every week.

    This "competition" looks even more ridiculous so soon after Google openly claimed that their own UK staff "don't innovate" -- albeit merely one of the deliberate fictions (lies) contrived by the corporation in order to perpetrate gross tax-avoidance. Hospitals are closing, while Google avoids paying tax on £10 BILLION in the UK, diverting the cash to executives and major shareholders who do not even need it.
    Tim Acheson
  • Done with Google

    Google circa 2004: awesome. Run by geeks doing great things and generated goodwill.

    Google circa 2012: gross. Run by suits selling ads, milking all that goodwill.

    So done with them.
    Andre Richards
  • Anti Google rant!!!!!!

    Two comments both anti Google, why? I for one am amazed that someone has the gall to say Google does not innovate, seriously you are either someone who knows absolutely nothing about anything technology related or someone that was burnt by Google in some way, sadly the size they have become they are going to obviously step on some toes. They entered the fiber market to encourage other isp's to improve their offerings to customers, yes they benefit but the biggest benefit is to the customers. They then realized how much they could make selling fiber connections and even giving it away to some, and they are now going to sweep through he country and hopefully the world, changing the face of the internet and removing any fear of having a slow connection.

    They have developed software programs that many have emulated, just look at Google earth for one, they have helped move the tablet and phone market way further than it would have been without them.

    I could go on and on all day showing how Google have improved technology for the majority but i wont. Have they stepped on people's business plans , yes, have they removed a lot of money from the market, yes, have they made it a goal to provide everything anyone would want on one device, yes. With the creation of a giant like Google there are always going to be problems, but just look at the problems with isp's in the US with their monopoly they are ripping people off, and look at the phone industry, they are ripping people off, what can we do about it, well a business should be coming in and releasing the same product at a better price but the monopoly does not allow that, Google have found a way around the monopoly and they are doing good , they are doing something that needed doing a long time ago, and this is what a fair market looks like a market where anyone with a better plan can make a killing and give the consumer more for less.

    I just wish that Google was bigger in the UK, i wish they had tried setting up their fiber here, i am sure after an initial bit of lobbying from BT they would have changed the market here a lot.
    Flubaluba Billandben
    • Dragon

      And they are doing a Dragon's Den **2