Australian nonprofits and social enterprises are finding new ways to address some of our most challenging problems - from education and economic opportunity to social inclusion.
Through the Google.org Impact Challenge we set out to find organisations that have great ideas to use technology to solve a problem and make an impact. Last month, we announced ten finalists and gave Australians the chance to vote for their favourite projects.
Today, we heard amazing pitches from each of the ten finalists and a panel of esteemed judges selected the winners. Three winners were selected by our judges, in addition to the People’s Choice Award winner - as voted by you!
Congratulations to the four winners, who will each receive a $1 million grant from Google.org:
- Xceptional - an anxiety-reducing app addressing the massive challenge of autism unemployment.
- Hireup - a platform for people with disabilities to find, hire, and manage support workers who fit their needs and share their interests.
- Humanitix - improving access to events for people with disabilities through cognitive technologies and by redistributing booking fees to reduce global inequality.
- Orange Sky Australia - technology to help nonprofits track their impact on people experiencing homelessness (People’s Choice winner).
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Hon Karen Andrews MP presented the People’s Choice Award and spoke about the importance of innovation in Australia.
All of the finalists had outstanding ideas to address some of our most pressing challenges and each of the remaining six finalists were awarded $250,000 each.
These projects are:
- Radiant, RASE - data-driven algorithms match mental health professionals to help-seekers based on their needs.
- OzHarvest - mobile technology to reduce food waste drastically and to provide food relief to regional Australians.
- Dugong Detector, Murdoch University - using drones, AI, and dugongs to monitor seagrass ecosystems affordably.
- Environs Kimberley and the KTLA - Pirra pani pi jara: Desert Eyes and Ears, a monitoring network to help Aboriginal Rangers better manage and protect biodiversity and culture.
- Breaking Good, The University of Sydney - engaging high school students in STEM education through open source drug discovery programs
- Bringing Care Closer to Country, Diabetes WA - combating diabetes in remote Aboriginal communities through telehealth technology and cultural co-design.
Thank you to our amazing panel of judges including: Professor Alan Finkel AO; Professor Tom Calma AO; Su McCluskey; Dr Sarah Pearson; Morris Iemma; Jacquelline Fuller and Anil Sabharwal.
Huge congratulations to the winners and finalists who will share in $5.5 million and support from Google. Thank you to everyone who voted - with your support these Australian nonprofits can continue to make the world a better place, faster.