Google and Microsoft each unveiled new charitable initiatives Tuesday,
in separate efforts which channel millions of dollars to innovators
tackling social ills.
Google launched its Global Impact Awards program
with a first round of funding allocating a total of $23 million to
seven organizations "changing the world."
dramatically improved our lives, from the speed at which we get things
done to how we connect with others," Google director of giving
Jacquelline Fuller said in a blog post announcing the awards.
"Yet innovations in medicine, business and communications have far outpaced tech-enabled advances in the nonprofit sector."
Microsoft held a Social Innovation Summit at which it announced the
winners of $3 million in "Imagine Cup" grants to students with promising
projects for the global good.
"The Imagine Cup Grants will help
students evolve a great idea for addressing a societal issue into a
real-world business," said Dan'l Lewin, corporate vice president of
Strategic and Emerging Business Development at Microsoft.
"These students have developed incredible approaches that show great potential for positive local impact."
$100,000 grand prize Imagine Cup grant went to a team from Germany that
devised a way to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions by
letting each driver know the best route to their destination.
grant winners included Australian students with a way to better detect
pneumonia and a team from the Ukraine that developed a handheld gadget
that translates sign language into verbal communication.
Imagine Cup awards include software and "cloud" computing services for winners.
Global Impact awards included $5 million for Charity Water to install
water flow sensors at thousands of points across Africa and $3 million
to use "DNA barcoding" of endangered species to fight illegal wildlife
The World Wildlife Fund was awarded $5 million for
technology to battle poaching. Millions of dollars were also awarded to
groups involved with improving math and science education in the United