Google offers £2 million to fund UK charity technology projects

Web giant Google is offering UK non-profit organisations the chance to win £500,000 to fund technology projects that have the "potential to change society on a large-scale".

Charities and other non-profit social ventures are invited to enter their project ideas to the UK leg of Google's Global Impact Awards by April 17.

The entries will be judged by a panel that includes Sir Richard Branson and Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Google said that project ideas will be assessed on three criteria: how the project will implement technology to solve a specific social issue on a grand scale; how feasible the project is; and how the organisation will implement the plan.

The web giant launched its Global Impact Awards scheme back in December 2012, with the aim of supporting "organisations using technology and innovative approaches to tackle some of the toughest human challenges".

It awarded $5 million each to projects around the world, including charity:water, which will use the money to install remote water sensors across Africa to make sure pumps are working, and the World Wildlife Fund, which is developing wildlife tagging technology.

Google is the latest in a string of organisations seeking to promote social change by funding technology projects. Last month, the UK government's Social Incubator Fund backed two initiatives that support "digital social ventures", while the investment arm of The Big Issue launched a competition to fund and mentor digital enterprises that can help to improve the lives of young people.

In our latest cover feature, Information Age examined how supporting a "digital social venture" might provide a more rewarding alternative to conventional corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

Related Topics