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 has been a journalist since 1999. She started her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. After several years on the magazine, she moved to 'the other side of the fence' to work as a copywriter for a marketing agency, writing case studies and working on ad and website copy for companies such as eBay, Dell, Microsoft and more. In 2006, just weeks before IT Pro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of IT Pro, she was appointed group editor of Cloud Pro and IT Pro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for Channel Pro, 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.