Google to give US$1m to tech groups who solve world issues

24 Feb 2014

Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has said he will give US$1m to individuals or organisations in the technology sector who can solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Speaking on the CBS This Morning show, Schmidt said the idea to distribute these grants is part of Google’s Google Ideas programme launched in 2010, which was created specifically for looking at how Google could raise serious world issues on a whole range of topics, including terrorism, human trafficking DDoS attacks and individual empowerment.

Schmidt was also there to promote his book based off the Google Ideas model, The New Digital Age which he co-wrote with Google Idea’s founder and director, Jared Cohen.

In his discussions he raised the issue of the growing proliferation of mobile phones in the world and spoke about how they want to see them put to the best use possible.

“The book is about the problems. There lots of people working on the solutions. We identified a whole bunch of companies in different parts of the world trying to solve oppressive censorship, empower individuals, and make these phones more useful.”

Both Schmidt and Cohen admitted they have travelled to more than 40 countries across the world to meet with these organisations and individuals, to see applicants’ technology in action.

Google will announce the winners of the US$1m grants on 10 March.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic