Call for applications for Google Impact Challenge 2019 for Social Good. is issuing an open call to organizations around the world to submit their ideas for how they could use AI to help address societal challenges. Selected organizations will receive support from Google’s AI experts, grant funding from a $25M pool, credit and consulting from Google Cloud, and more.

At Google, we believe that artificial intelligence can provide new ways of approaching problems and meaningfully improve people’s lives. That’s why we’re excited to support organizations that are using the power of AI to address social and environmental challenges. 

We’re looking for projects across a range of social impact domains and levels of technical expertise, from organizations that are experienced in AI to those with an idea for how they could be putting their data to better use. Since 2005, has invested in innovative organizations that are using technology to build a better world. 

Host Organisation:
  • Google
  • Selected organizations will receive customized support to help bring their ideas to life: coaching from Google’s AI experts, grant funding from a $25M pool, credit and consulting from Google Cloud, and more.
Entry & Eligibility Criteria:

Who is eligible?

  • The Challenge is open to any nonprofit organization, public charity, or for-profit business from around the world, provided that they apply for a project that has a charitable purpose. Unfortunately, individuals without organizational affiliation are ineligible. Individuals and organizations that ordinarily reside or are located in Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, or Syria are not eligible to apply.

Can we apply if we’re a for-profit business with a social impact?

  • For-profit businesses that are registered or formed under the laws of their country may apply if their suggested projects have an explicit charitable purpose. We’re looking for innovators who understand the needs of marginalized and vulnerable populations in their own communities and around the world and are working to create new and unexpected solutions to address social or environmental inequities. Final discretion as to which organizations and which projects are funded is up to Google.

Can my organization submit a joint application with another organization?

  • Only one organization may be the applicant of record, but we welcome and encourage collaboration – especially between technical and social sector experts. The application allows you to specify partners who will be critical to your work. If your application is selected to receive a grant, the applicant organization will be the sole recipient of the grant, but may subgrant or subcontract with other organizations to complete the proposed project as long as all organizations comply with the terms of the grant agreement.

Should I submit my application in English?

  • Yes, applications must be submitted in English to be considered. However, we’re willing to work with organizations with varying levels of English ability throughout the review and selection process.
Project Info:

What do you mean when you say “project”?

  • A project is your organization’s proposed concept and implementation plan for how you will use AI to drive social good. If selected for a grant, we’ll be supporting the implementation of this project – so we need to know exactly how the grant will help you realize your plan.

Can my organization submit more than one idea?

  • We encourage you to strongly consider which project best resonates with our submission criteria and your organization’s strengths. However, if you feel you have two unrelated projects that would each make good candidates, please submit a separate application for each. We will review each one independently. No organization may submit more than two applications, except as designated below.

What if I work for a large organization, like a university, that has many departments – can we submit multiple applications?

  • Colleges and universities are permitted to submit more than one application, provided only one application per faculty or staff member authorized to represent the university or college is submitted.

What if I am an organization that is fiscally sponsoring another?

  • Fiscal sponsors can submit more than one application: one for the fiscal sponsor organization itself, and one on behalf of each sponsored group.

Do I need to have the dataset my organization plans to use for our proposed project already?

  • No – we will consider proposals that include a plan for how to collect or access required data, even if they have not done so yet.

Can the project be in the idea stage? Does this have to be a new idea for my organization?

  • Yes – we’re happy to consider early-stage ideas with a clear and feasible plan for implementation that will benefit society. Ideas need not be brand new – in fact, they may already be a work in progress. In all cases, we would like to hear exactly how a grant will change the trajectory of your progress toward implementation, scale, and impact.

Does my organization need to have experience using AI, a training dataset, or a technical expert on staff?

  • No – we are open to any organization with a strong idea for how to apply AI and a plan to collect or access a training dataset. We’d encourage organizations to consider partnering with technical experts in their networks for guidance and implementation support (e.g., data scientists, academic experts, or engineers).

If another organization is currently implementing a similar concept, can we still submit the idea?

  • Yes, but please note that projects will be judged in part on their innovative approach and potential to scale. Please tell us how and why your implementation is innovative for the community, why your organization is uniquely suited to implement the concept in a way that will be more successful, or how you plan to partner with other organizations to achieve success.

Over what time period should the grant funds be spent?

  • We expect the grant to be spent over the course of one to three years.

Can the grant be used to fund overhead and staffing costs?

  • Yes, but the large majority of the award should be devoted to the implementation of the project.
Application Criteria:

Impact. How will the proposed project address a societal challenge, and to what extent? Is the application grounded in research and data about the problem and the solution? Is there a clear plan to deploy the AI model for real-world impact, and what are the expected outcomes?

Feasibility. Does the team have a well-­developed, realistic plan to execute on the proposal? Does the team have a plan to access a meaningful dataset and technical expertise to apply AI to the problem? Have they identified the right partners and domain experts needed for implementation?

Use of AI. Does the proposal apply AI technology to tackle the issue it seeks to address?

Scalability. If successful, how can this project scale beyond the initial proposal? Can it scale directly, serve as a model for other efforts, or advance the field?

Responsibility. Does the proposed use of artificial intelligence align with Google’s AI Principles?  See Google’s Responsible AI Practices for practical guidance.

Also check some other international competitions: 

Application Process:

Can I get a copy of the application questions before I fill out the application?

  • Yes, you can find a copy of the application questions here.

Can we include appendices or additional information to the application?

  • The application includes an opportunity to provide links to additional resources. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept any attachments beyond those linked as additional materials in the application form.

Can I save a draft of my application on the site if I want to edit it later?

  • No. Applications can’t be saved for later completion, so we recommend drafting your responses in a separate document first and only completing the application form when the entire application is ready for submission.

How do I make sure my application is successfully submitted?

  • Make sure all required fields are populated and within the given word limits, then click the “Submit” button. If the application has been successfully submitted, you should see a screen with a message confirming that we received your application, and you should also receive a confirmation email to the email address you provided.

I’ve submitted my application. What do I do now?

  • That’s great news. No further action is required. We’ll reach out if we require any additional information, and will announce the finalists per the timeline on the website.

Do I need a Google account to apply?

  • No, you don’t need a Google account.

Will every single application be reviewed?

  • Yes, we will review all eligible applications received.
How to Apply?

If you have an idea and your organization is eligible, you’re ready to apply. Download application and apply through the link below.

Application Deadline:
  • January 22, 2018


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