Have a bright idea about how you can use technology to improve the lives of people around you? Google's Impact Challenge has just opened its application process for 2016, and the search engine giant will be giving away six-figure grants to 10 non-profit finalists who can dream up ideas for technology to solve "the world's most pressing challenges".
Google kicked off the 2016 Impact Challenge with a post on its official Australian blog overnight, and this year's prize pool tops 2014's already impressive $3.5 million by 30 per cent; from a pool of 10 finalists, the Australian public will pick the four most deserving non-profits to receive a $750,000 grant while the six runners-up will receive $250,000.
Google will also contribute volunteers and mentoring to the 10 finalists to bring their ideas into reality. In addition to the Google round, all applicants will automatically be entered into the Australian Government's DFAT Technology Against Poverty Prize, which is distributed through government's InnovationXchange aid development program. The iXc grants will fund four non-profits with $500,000 each to use technology to make a positive social impact on poverty worldwide.
The 2014 Impact Challenge was responsible for kickstarting important services in Australia like Ask Izzy, which acts as a free services directory for Australia's homeless, and the founding of AIME, a group that mentors Aboriginal school students through video game development. Entries close on July 13, and public voting will choose one winner while a panel of David Gonski, Lucy Turnbull, Layne Beachley, Melissa Doyle, Google Australia's Alan Noble, and Google's worldwide charity chief Jacquelline Fuller will determine the other three. [Google]