Google opens Global Impact Challenge grant process

March 25, 2013 | 11:23

Tags: #charity #grants #richard-branson #tim-berners-lee

Companies: #google

Google has opened up its Global Impact Challenge once again, inviting British non-profits to put forward proposals with a chance of taking away a £500,000 grant to put their ideas into action.

Part of the advertising giant's charitable outreach work, the Global Impact Awards have in the past providing funding for some impressive projects. Previous winners of the award have included the Consortium for the Barcode of Life, which came up with the idea to use DNA barcoding techniques to identify and track endangered wildlife in the hopes of reducing illegal poaching and trafficking of such creatures, Equal Opportunity Schools, which analysed reams of data in order to identify higher-performing students who could benefit from a shift into advanced science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) courses, and GiveDirectly, which seeks to allow donors to send cash directly to those in developing nations who require it without an intermediary skimming a percentage off the top.

The idea is to help develop solutions to real-world problems using technology. As with previous winners, the grander the idea the better - although those looking to get a slice of the cash on offer would do well to ensure that the proposal is realistic and feasible given the budget on offer.

Non-profits registered within the UK are free to submit their proposals free of cost, with three being chosen by a judging panel comprised of Sir Richard Branson, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Jilly Forster - responsible for the highly successful Virgin group of companies, the creation of what is recognisable as the modern web, and trustee of the Jamie Oliver Foundation respectively - to receive the £500,000 award technical assistance from Google engineers to put their ideas into practice. A fourth winner will be decided by a public vote, while 10 finalists - including the eventual four winners - will all receive 10 Chromebooks each.

Those who wish to submit a proposal are asked to do so by the 17th of April 2013, with the ten finalists being chosen by the 17th of May. Those who get through to the final round will be highlighted with a video - with Google providing aid for those who haven't produced their own video yet - with each finalist travelling to London to pitch their proposal to the judging panel on the 3rd of June, after which the winners of the four £500,000 grants will be named.

There are a few caveats to Google's largesse, however - chief among these the requirement that all intellectual property related to the proposal be released into the public domain. 'If you have a world-changing idea, we want you to share it widely,' the company explains in its FAQ. 'For projects that involve code or software development, we ask that the IP be placed under a mutually agreed upon permissive open source license - e.g. Apache.'

For charities who have a technology-driven idea that could change the world, however, such a restriction hardly matters when the £500,000 could mean all the difference between the project going ahead or floundering as a could-have-been.

Full details, plus the application form for non-profits who fancy their chances at the grant, are available on the official website.
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