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Google to support world-changing Australian non-profits with mentoring and $2 million in grants

Tuesday, 1 July 2014 | By StartupSmart

Australian non-profits wanting to turn their technology-driven ideas into reality can now apply to the Google Impact Challenge Australia for the opportunity to share in $2 million in grants.


The four winning submissions will receive mentoring and support from Google employees and $500,000 grant funding to help bring their project to life.


Applications open today and non-profits with DGR status are invited to apply online at g.co/australiachallenge. Google will announce 10 finalists in October. Aussies will then be invited to learn more about the top ten finalists and cast a vote for their favourite.


“From conceiving the Hills Hoist to inventing the bionic ear and Wi-Fi, Australia has a rich history of innovation, fuelled by a desire to tackle tough problems with creative solutions,” says Maile Carnegie, managing director, Google Australia.


“We believe technology can help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges, and we’re eager to back Australian innovators in the non-profit sector who are using technology to make an impact.”


The Google Impact Challenge Australia judging panel is made up of cricketer Glenn McGrath, media executive Kim Williams, and photographer Anne Geddes, who all have a long association with charity work and philanthropy in Australia.


Representing Google are Maile Carnegie and Jacquelline Fuller who runs Google.org. The judging panel will select three awardees and the fourth will be decided based on online votes from the public.


Other Google Impact Challenges around the world have supported ideas ranging from smart cameras for wildlife conservation to solar lights for off-grid communities to a mobile application that helps to protect women from domestic violence.


Applications close on July 29, 2014.


Google has also awarded a PhD Fellowship program to two Australians. The program supports PhD students in computer science and related fields, and is part of our commitment to building strong relationships with the global academic community. To date we’ve awarded 193 Fellowships in 72 universities across 17 countries.


The two Australians have been recognised for their efforts.


  • Guosheng Lin, from the Australian Centre for Visual Technologies at the University of Adelaide, was awarded the Google Australia Fellowship in Machine Perception Research for his work in binary code learning with deep neural networks for image retrieval. Guosheng’s research is focused on exploring fast and accurate machine learning techniques for solving large-scale object recognition problems.


  • Kellie Webster, from the School of Information Technologies at the University of Sydney, was awarded the Google Australia Fellowship in Natural Language Processing for her work in efficient cognitively informed coreference resolution. Kelly’s research is focused on working to improve coreference (that’s when two or more pieces of text refer to the same thing) resolution simultaneously in two dimensions, by more faithfully representing cognitive and psycholinguistic insights to improve the time and space efficiency of our coreference resolution system.