€1m THINKTECH fund launched

Minister Simon Coveney T.D. launches €1 million THINKTECH initiative to use technology for social good in Ireland

View video of the launch here.

THINKTECH, a €1 million project to support and grow ideas for a better Ireland, has been launched at Google Foundry by Minister for Environment, Community & Local Government, Simon Coveney, T.D.  Created by Social Innovation Fund Ireland with support from Google.org and the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government, the unique THINKTECH challenge will identify innovative ideas that use technology to create positive social impact in Ireland.

Deirdre Mortell, CEO at Social Innovation Fund Ireland, is also Connect’s Social Entrepeneur in Residence.

Social Innovation Fund Ireland, and Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google which invests in teams with bold ideas that create lasting global impact, believe that technology has the power to transform our lives for the better. Successful participants will have access to an award fund of up to €750,000, which consists of €600,000 in grants and up to €150,000 worth of support and mentoring, plus a package of Google supports. They will also enter a five month programme with Social Innovation Fund Ireland with support from Google.org.

Social enterprises, charities, and other not-for-profits are eligible for participation. Applicants should be able to demonstrate how they will use both technology to make Ireland better and help solve critical social issues in an innovative way. Proposals should have already demonstrated progress towards measurable social impact; have the ability to scale across Ireland and could use a wide range of technology solutions including hardware, software, an online platform or an app.

CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland, and Connect’s Social Entrepeneur in Residence, Deirdre Mortell said: “We are delighted to team up with Google.org for THINKTECH. This project shines a light on the potential for social enterprises to use technology to solve critical social issues and create a better Ireland. Since Social Innovation Fund Ireland’s launch in January this year, the organisation has grown from strength-to-strength, and through this collaboration with Google.org & the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government, we have been able to provide a €1 million Fund and a unique platform to promote social innovations.  This project also highlights the benefits of private and public sector organisations working together to make a better Ireland.”

Minister for Environment, Community & Local Government, Simon Coveney, T.D. speaking at the launch said: “As a newly appointed Minister to this Department, I am delighted to be in a position to support social innovation platforms like THINKTECH. This initiative is a first for Ireland and offers a great opportunity to social enterprises, charities and other non-profit organisations to demonstrate their solutions, which should aim to create a measurable social impact that can be scaled all over Ireland.”

Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Google.org said “Google.org knows that technology has the power to transform people’s lives for the better, and we have seen world wide the fantastic impact social enterprises, charities and non-profits can have developing and implementing innovative solutions to some of society’s biggest issues.  We are proud to support THINKTECH, which is the first of its kind in Ireland and look forward to seeing great projects and supporting the winners through the five month programme which Social Innovation Fund Ireland will run in 2017.”

THINKTECH is now calling for applications until July 31st. Visit www.socialinnovation.ie

CONNECT is the world leading Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications. CONNECT is funded under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres Programme and is co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund. We engage with over 35 companies including large multinationals, SMEs and start-ups. CONNECT brings together world-class expertise from ten Irish academic institutes to create a one-stop-shop for telecommunications research, development and innovation.


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