Google awards Kiwi company US$1 million

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A New Zealand company has been awarded funding worth US$1 million by Google.

Google’s Project 10^100 called for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible. From more than 150,000 ideas, five organisations around the world have been selected to receive a share of US$10 million – and one of these is Shweeb (, a Kiwi monorail technology company.

Google is announcing today the five winning ideas of Project 10^100 and the organizations that will receive a total of US$10 million to bring these ideas to life.

Project 10^100 is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible.  People from more than 170 countries submitted more than 150,000 ideas.  Google selected 16 big ideas and asked the public to vote for their favourites.  Google reviewed concrete proposals to tackle the top five ideas, as voted on by the public, and is pleased to conclude Project 10^100 by celebrating the five inspiring organizations that are being funded with the US$10 million:

Idea: Make educational content available online for free
Project funded: The
Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization that provides high-quality, free education to anyone, anywhere via an online library of more than 1,600 teaching videos.  We are providing US$2 million to support the creation of more courses and to enable the Khan Academy to translate their core library into the world’s most widely spoken languages.

Idea: Enhance science and engineering education
Project funded:
FIRST is a non-profit organization that promotes science and math education around the world through team competition.  Its mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by giving them real world experience working with professional engineers and scientists.  We are providing US$3 million to develop and jump start new student-driven robotics team fundraising programs that will empower more student teams to participate in FIRST.

Idea: Make government more transparent
Project funded:
Public.Resource.Org is a non-profit organization focused on enabling online access to public government documents in the United States.  We are providing US$2 million to Public.Resource.Org to support the Law.Gov initiative, which aims to make all primary legal materials in the United States available to all.

Idea: Drive innovation in public transport
Project funded:
Shweeb is a concept for short to medium distance, urban personal transport, using human-powered vehicles on a monorail.  We are providing US$1 million to fund research and development to test Shweeb’s technology for an urban setting.

Idea: Provide quality education to African students
Project funded:  The
African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) is a center for math and science education and research in Cape Town, South Africa.  AIMS’ primary focus is a one-year bridge program for recent university graduates that helps build skills and knowledge prior to Masters and PhD study.  We are providing US$2 million to fund the opening of additional AIMS centers to promote graduate level math and science study in Africa.

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