Google.org Targets Climate Change, Poverty and Emerging Threats

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googleorg.jpgGoogle.org has announced five core initiatives that will be the focus of its philanthropic efforts over the next five to ten years. The philanthropic arm of Google announced $25 million in new grants and investments to initial partners as the part of the core initiative roll out.

Google.org’s five initiatives and partners include:

Predict and Prevent: supporting “efforts to empower communities to predict and prevent events before they become local, regional, or global crises, by identifying “hot spots” and enabling a rapid response.” Grants as follows:

  • $5 million to InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters) to improve early detection, preparedness, and response capabilities for global health threats and humanitarian crises.
  • $2.5 million to the Global Health and Security Initiative (GHSI), established by the Nuclear Threat Initiative to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats.
  • $600,000 to Clark University, with equal funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, for Clark Labs to develop a system to improve monitoring, analysis and prediction of the impacts of climate variability and change on ecosystems, food and health in Africa and the Amazon.

Inform and Empower to Improve Public Services: working with partners to improve the flow of vital information to improve basic services for the poor in India and East Africa. Grants:

  • $2 million to Pratham, a non-governmental organization in India, to create an independent institute that will conduct the Nationwide Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) as well as large scale assessments in the education sector.
  • $765,000 to the Centre for Budget and Policy Studies, a Bangalore-based analysis group, to create a Budget Information Service for local governments to facilitate better district- and municipal-level level planning in India.
  • $660,000 to the Center for Policy Research, an action oriented think tank based in India, to increase the debate and discourse on issues of urban local governance and urban service delivery.
  • With the rapid expansion of cities in India, our goal is to provide policy makers the necessary information to make more informed decisions. For more information, see http://www.cprindia.org/.

Fuel the Growth of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: supporting efforts to lower transaction costs to invest in SMEs in the developing world, create opportunities to access larger financial markets and make investments in this sector.

  • $4.7 million grant to TechnoServe to provide general support to expand Technoserve’s efforts to support enterprises, spur job creation, and strengthen poverty alleviation programs globally, and to develop and implement a business plan competition to support entrepreneurs in Ghana and Tanzania.

Develop Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal, a cross-Google collaboration with a goal of producing one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal, within years not decades.

  • $10 million to eSolar, a Pasadena, CA-based company specializing in solar thermal power which replaces the fuel in a traditional power plant with heat produced from solar energy.

Accelerate the Commercialization of Plug-In Vehicles (RechargeIT), a Google.org initiative that aims to reduce CO2 emissions, cut oil use and stabilize the electrical grid by accelerating the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and vehicle-to-grid technology. $10 million in amounts ranging from $500,000 to $2 million in selected for-profit companies “whose innovative approach, team and technologies will enable widespread commercialization of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, electric vehicles and/or vehicle-to-grid solutions.”

See our previous coverage of Google.org announcements here and here.

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