Google's philanthropic arm, Google.org, today announced the five core initiatives that it plans to focus on over the next five to ten years. The programs will receive more than $25 million in new grants and investments to initial partners from Google.org. Google's founders have made a commitment to devote approximately 1 percent of the company's equity plus 1 percent of annual profits to philanthropy, as well as employee time.
The five initiatives Google.org will focus on:
- Predict and Prevent – using technology to predict and prevent the spread of diseases before they become local, regional, or global crises, by identifying "hot spots" and enabling a rapid response. Focus areas include global health threats, humanitarian crises, biological threats, and climate variability.
- Inform and Empower to Improve Public Services – improving the flow of vital information to improve basic services for the poor in India and East Africa.
- Fuel the Growth of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises – creating programs to support small and mid-sized businesses in developing areas, beginning with Ghana and Tanzania.
- Develop Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal (RE<C) – working toward a goal of producing one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal, within years not decades. This program was launched in November, and will focus initially on advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other potential breakthrough technologies.
- Accelerate the Commercialization of Plug-In Vehicles (RechargeIT) – an initiative launched this fall 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.
"These five initiatives are our attempt to address some of the hard problems we as a world need to face in the coming decade," said Dr. Larry Brilliant, executive director of Google.org. "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."