Reveals its plans for philanthropy; announces new grants and investments worth $5,320,000 in India
New Delhi, India (January 18, 2008) – In its continuing effort to use the power of information and technology to help people better their lives, Google.org today rolled out five core initiatives that will be the focus of its philanthropic efforts over the next five to ten years. Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), will collaborate with experienced partners working in each of these fields, investing its resources and tapping the strengths of Google’s employees and global operations to advance its core initiatives.
Today’s announcement includes more than $25 million in new grants and investments to initial partners globally across many geographies. The resources come from a commitment by Google’s founders to devote approximately 1 percent of the company’s equity plus 1 percent of annual profits to philanthropy, as well as employee time.
Google.org’s focus areas include-
In India, as a part of its “Inform and Empower to Improve Public Services” initiative, Google.org will provide grants and work closely with organizations in India to improve essential public services for the poor.
"In their first Letter from the Founders (2004), Larry Page and Sergey Brin said that we wanted to ‘make Google an institution that makes the world a better place.’ The work of Google.org will help us do that by applying Google’s strengths in organizing information and scaling technology to these complex issues ," said Sheryl Sandberg, VP Global Online Sales & Operations, and Google.org Board member.
Added Dr. Larry Brilliant, executive director of Google.org, "These five initiatives are our attempt to address some of the hard problems we as a world need to face in the coming decade. We have chosen them both because we think solving them will make a better, fairer, safer world for our children and grandchildren---and the children and grandchildren of people all over the world---but also because we feel that these core initiatives fit well with Google’s core strengths, especially its innovative technologies and its talented engineers and other Googlers, who are really our most valuable assets."
Google.org’s “Inform and Empower to Improve Public Services” initiative aims to enhance the flow of vital information to improve basic services for the poor in India and East Africa. In many countries in the developing world, essential public services are failing, especially for the poorest members of society. Google.org will support efforts to provide information to empower communities, providers, and policy makers to improve the delivery of essential public services such as education, health, water and sanitation. Initial grants in India include*:
Apart from “Inform & Empower to Improve Public Services,” the other four global initiatives by Google.org include:
Google.org supports 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. Rapid ecological and social changes are increasing the risk of emerging threats, from infectious diseases to drought and other environmental disasters. Google.org is initially focused on Southeast Asia and tropical Africa.
Google.org supports efforts to lower transaction costs to invest in SMEs, create opportunities to access larger financial markets and make investments in this sector. SMEs are critical for inclusive economic growth and job creation in the developing world, but lack the capital and tools necessary to succeed. Many micro-enterprises and most large businesses have access to capital through microfinance institutions, banks and capital markets, but SMEs remain extraordinarily underserved, creating a "missing middle." Google.org wants to help increase the flow of capital to "the missing middle" by tackling some of the root causes that prevent these firms from becoming profitable investment opportunities.
These three new efforts join two climate change related initiatives announced earlier this year:
This cross-Google collaboration has set a goal of producing one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal, within years not decades. The initiative, known as RE< C, was launched in November 2007 and will focus initially on advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other potential breakthrough technologies. As part of the RE< C initiative, Google.org is supporting strategic investments.
RechargeIT is 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. Google.org launched a $10 million request for investment proposals this Fall, and will invest 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.
Beyond the grants and investments announced today under Google.org’s core initiatives, Google will continue its philanthropic work through programs to leverage Google products for non-profits, including: Google Grants™, which donates free ads to non-profits; Google Apps™, which provides free, web-based services to non-profits; and contributions from departments including Google Earth™, which offers mapping to monitor events such as the crisis in Darfur.
Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, uses the power of information and technology to help people improve their lives. We develop and invest in tools and partnerships that can help bring shared knowledge to bear on the world’s most pressing challenges in the areas of climate change, economic development and global health. For more information, visit www.google.org.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.
Google, Google.org, Google Apps, Google Earth and Google Grants are trademarks of Google Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements relating to our expected grants, investments and capital commitments , our ability to implement our core philanthropic initiatives, our ability to develop early warning systems to predict or prevent infectious diseases or environmental disasters, our ability to improve the flow of vital information to improve basic services for the poor, our ability to increase the flow of capital to the "missing middle", our ability to develop utility-scale renewable energy cheaper than coal, and our ability to accelerate the development of clean energy technologies. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ include, among others, risks related to our ability to hire the appropriate people and our ability to identify and pursue the technologies necessary to achieve these goals, as well as those risks and uncertainties included under the captions "Risk Factors" and "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2007, which is on file with the SEC and is available on our investor relations website at http://investor.google.com and on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. All information provided in this release is as of January 17, 2008, and Google undertakes no duty to update this information.
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"We greatly appreciate Google.org’s grant in response to our desire to institutionalize ASER. We have conducted this massive annual exercise thrice already and with Google.org’s help we are planning to strengthen it in many ways while retaining its voluntary spirit and movement-like character. This partnership will help in creating a new network of people and institutions who will learn better skills of surveying, assessing, and analysing data. We look forward to Google.org volunteers’ technical help and a long term partnership with Google.org."
“We are grateful to Google.org for their grant of $765,000 through which, we aim to establish district level Budget Information Systems which will not only systematize local accounts, but also provide timely information for local level decision making in the District Planning Committees which are mandated by the Constitution to integrate urban and rural plans at the district level. Once the Information System is developed and tested, it should be possible to extend it to all districts in India. It is an immense challenge and a great opportunity for CBPS.”
"The Centre for Policy Research is delighted to be one of the first partners of the .org foundation in India. The focus areas of our partnership – urbanization and legislative research – are vital for India’s future as a large and rapidly growing democracy. How we manage our urban spaces, and the extent to which we can promote good governance of our public institutions, will significantly influence the nature of growth and development in years to come. The generous grant from the Foundation will help CPR continue its pioneering work in these areas and further raise the bar for policy research and analysis in India. We look forward to an energetic and productive relationship that will undoubtedly yield significant results for policy practitioners and academics worldwide."
"There is a need for institutional mechanisms to support our Members of Parliament. We are grateful to Google.org for the support they have provided to PRS to take our work to the next level."
"We are very pleased to be collaborating with Google to create a one-stop source for local development knowledge in India. The two main components of the Mapping India program – developing a comprehensive district-level database on economic, social, and environmental conditions in India and a series of thematic maps to illuminate development outcomes and priorities – are an integral part of CDF’s Information for Development Initiative and an important foundation for the entire IFMR ecosystem’s efforts to address missing markets. We look forward to bringing together and sharing the knowledge that the IFMR Centres, IFMR Trust, and our many community partners have accumulated."