Wednesday, 23 November 2016
Winners of THINKTECH €1 million project to be announced in December
THINKTECH, a €1 million project to grow ideas for a better Ireland will on December 7th announce the social innovation winners of an award fund of up to €750,000 in grants as well as support and mentoring. The winners will take part in a development programme devised by Social Innovation Fund Ireland and supported by Google.org & the Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government. Guest of Honour Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government will announce recipients at an Awards ceremony at Google’s EMEA HQ in Dublin.
THINKTECH is a collaboration between Social Innovation Fund Ireland and Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, together with the Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government. The innovative initiative was launched by Minister Simon Coveney, T.D., in June, and the Government has granted funding of €500,000 to match a €500,000 donation by Google.org. In September, the following 12 THINKTECH finalists were announced: The ALONE Platform, ChangeX, Cybersmarties, Foodcloud, iScoil, The Freebird Club, ThirdAge/Agewell, Thriftify, SourceIT, Space Engagers, Student Volunteer and Virtual College Community.
Minister Coveney said, “The quality of the finalists and the range of issues they address is a fantastic endorsement of the THINKTECH project, and highlights what corporate leadership, Government support and social innovation can achieve when we all work together.”
Fionnuala Meehan, VP and Head of Google Ireland said: “THINKTECH is a great example of what we believe at Google.org, that teams with bold ideas can create lasting impact on issues we all care about. We are delighted to partner with Social Innovation Fund Ireland and the Irish Government to create THINKTECH, to offer the winners a package of Google supports as well as critical funds to enable their projects to fly.”
CEO Social Innovation Fund Ireland, Deirdre Mortell said: “This is the first time ever that Ireland has created a fund to support ideas that use technology to solve the critical issues of our time. All of the 12 finalists have already demonstrated progress towards measurable social impact; they have the ability to scale across Ireland; and have identified a wide range of technology solutions including software, online platforms and apps to deliver their ideas. In our view, all these finalists offer amazing ideas that use technology to help to improve lives and create a better Ireland. On 7th December, we look forward to announcing 4 ground-breaking winning projects.”
As part of the final stages short-listed finalists took part in a workshop and presented their proposals to an interview panel made-up of business and social sector leaders. The panel consisted of Elaine Coughlan, Managing Partner, Atlantic Bridge Partners; Rosheen McGuckian, CEO, NTR plc & SIFI Board member; Terence O’Rourke, Chairman, SIFI & Enterprise Ireland; Dr Paul Gilligan, CEO St Patrick’s University Hospital; Dalton Philips, SIFI Board member & Boston Consulting Group; Mark Adair of Mason Hayes & Curran; Anne Connolly, CEO Irish Smart Aging Exchange; Gilliane Quinn de Schonen, Founder Zumo; Bobbie Bergin, Director of Corporate Affairs, AIB; Andrew Dunckelman, Google.org; Brendan Whelan, CEO Social Finance Foundation; Faye Drouillard, and Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland.