Google Is Giving Over $5 Million To Aussie Charities Solving Problems With Technology

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Google has confirmed it will once again be throwing much-needed funds at projects that solve a problem facing humanity.

The Google Impact Challenge will be back in 2018, with over $5 million allocated to non-profit organisations using technology to make a difference.

In 2014 - the first year of the challenge, Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience won $500,000 to create an online game aimed at inspiring young Indigenous students to learn maths and science.

"Kim Williams (one of the judges) asked me straight out, in a market where apps are released every second how will you get kids to play this?" said Jack Manning Bancroft, AIME CEO.

"I said, we'd build it into the program, to our Year 7 and 8 days, not only would we give the kids the chance to play it, we'd give them the chance to build it. And we did just that."

So 18 students travelled to Sydney to be mentored by game designers and computer engineers from the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, Mode Games and Google.

This year's projects included the George Institute for Global Health with its SMS-based support service to help people with chronic diseases lead healthier lives, the Centre for Eye Research Australia's eyesight self-assessment system for Australians in remote areas and The Great Barrier Reef Foundation - protecting coral reef ecosystems with a low-cost, autonomous robot designed to monitor, map, manage and preserve coral reef ecosystems.

Google Awards $5 Million To Aussie Charities Solving Problems With Technology

Ten Aussie not-for-profits with great ideas for using technology to solve a problem and make an impact were earlier this year named as finalists in Google's Impact Challenge.

From apps to preserve Indigenous languages to robots saving the Great Barrier Reef, these organisations pitched their ideas to a panel of judges in Sydney yesterday for the chance to each receive a $750,000 grant and support from Google.

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Google said it will commit to a "minimum" of $5 million in funding for next year's challenge, and is putting the call out to charities and nonprofits for technology-driven solutions to challenges facing our society.

"Normally we only do an Impact Challenge once," Google Australia managing director Jason Pellegrino told Gizmodo.

"But we have been impressed by the calibre of the ideas and the teams that came forward. The ideas in Australia are not only the best innovators all across Australia, but on par with any of the best innovation ideas we've seen globally."

Pellegrino said Google is excited to see the new ideas that will emerge through the 2018 Google Impact Challenge, "and to assist organisations with visions to use technology in addressing important causes".

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