Google unveils winners of UK innovation challenge


The winners of Google's UK Global Impact Challenge were unveiled this week with hundreds of entries whittled down by a judging panel including Sir Richard Branson and Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Google launched the competition back in March with the aim of encouraging non-profit organisations in the UK to think about how they could or would use technology to make the world a better place.

We believe technology can change the world, and entrepreneurial nonprofits are a big part of that equation.

Three entries were singled out as being the most innovative in solving challenges and helping to change the world, while one further effort was recognised by a public vote. Each will receive 500,000 to help fund their good work.

SolarAid was picked thanks to its bold vision to enhance the lives of off-grid African communities by ensuing access to low-cost and safe solar lighting and removing the reliance on kerosene.

"We cannot believe the overwhelming support we have received from so many individuals and organisations over the past 10 days. I would like to thank everyone who voted for SolarAid and helped spread the word," said SolarAid CEO Steve Andrews.

"It is fantastic to know that so many people can see the huge impact that one small solar light can have, and are willing to get behind our work to eradicate the kerosene lamp from Africa."

The second winner, Integrity Action, aims to provide an online and mobile platform through which citizens in war-torn countries can report on development projects.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.