Learn more about AI for the Global Goals — a new initiative from Google.org to support projects that use AI to accelerate progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals #takeaction #worldstodolist
In 2015, the UN set the Sustainable Development Goals, ambitious targets for a better and more sustainable future by 2030. To advance these Global Goals, we need to work together. That's why we're committing to bring the best of Google's research, advanced technology, and $25M in funding to accelerate progress.
Leaders around the world agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals — which have become known as the World's To Do List. The Global Goals are a roadmap towards a greener, fairer, better world by 2030.
Accelerating progress, with the help of AI
As we near the halfway point of the goals, it's clear that the global community has made great strides. But the COVID-19 pandemic set back progress in many ways, and we still have a long way to go.
In our work with nonprofits, universities, governments and others, we've seen that AI can reduce the time and resources needed to make progress against some of the world's toughest challenges. Learn more about how teams across Alphabet and Google.org funded organizations are already using AI to tackle the Global Goals.
Google.org is commiting $25M to fund solutions that accelerate progress towards the Global Goals
Around the world, we know that nonprofits and social enterprises are making progress towards these targets, and AI has the power to accelerate their efforts. Google.org is opening a call for applications that meet the following criteria.
How does the application of AI accelerate progress towards the Global Goals, break through barriers, or reduce inefficiencies? Is the application grounded in research and data? Is there a clear plan to deploy an AI model, and what are the expected outcomes?
Scalability and Sustainability
If successful, how can this project scale beyond the initial proposal? How will the project continue beyond Google.org's funding? Is there a clear plan to share learnings and best practices with the global community?
Does the team have a well-developed, realistic plan for execution and technical expertise needed to apply AI to the problem? Have they identified the right partners and domain experts?
Data and Responsibility
While applications of AI show great promise, these technologies raise important challenges. Is AI the appropriate tool to tackle the issue? Does this proposal apply technology in an innovative and effective way? Does the use of AI align with Google's AI Principles and Responsible AI Practices?
Submit an application
Applications for funding are now open and will be accepted on an ongoing basis. Google.org will work with partners and AI experts to evaluate projects and select organizations to receive support. Based on the type of project, Google.org will provide support through a combination of funding, product donations and technical expertise.
We’re making tools and resources available so that anyone, including social impact organizations, can use technology to solve problems. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re already an expert, you may find this guide helpful.
What is the Google.org AI for the Global Goals Call for Applications?
The Google.org AI for the Global Goals Call for Applications is a call to find organizations around the world that are using artificial intelligence (AI) to help accelerate progress against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
When is the Google.org AI for the Global Goals Call for Applications?
We will accept applications beginning on 15 September 2022 and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all selections are made. Please apply by 12:00 p.m. GMT on 12 November 2022 for priority consideration.
What will funding recipients receive? How big will the funding be?
There is no fixed amount recipients may request or receive if selected. Historically, Google.org AI for Social Good funding has ranged from $500k to $2M, with the median at $1.3M. Applying organizations must have the capacity to absorb a large amount of funding. Based on the type of project, Google.org will provide support through a combination of funding, product donations and technical expertise. We encourage applicants to submit budgets that accurately reflect the scope of their proposal. Likewise, any additional resources provided will also be tailored to project needs.
Entry & eligibility
Who is eligible?
The Call for Applications is open to any not-for-profit charity, other not-for-profit organization, public or private academic or research institution, or for-profit social enterprise company with a project that has an explicit charitable purpose. Your organization must have a registered office in your country of residence. Organizations located in Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, the so-called Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LNR), or Syria and projects in those countries are not eligible to apply. Unfortunately, individuals without organizational affiliation are ineligible.
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 project has an explicit charitable purpose and they are willing to open source any IP created (or distributed) with the funding.
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 funding, the applicant organization will be the sole recipient of the funding, but it may sub-fund or subcontract with other organizations to complete the proposed project as long as all organizations comply with the terms of the funding agreement.
In what language should I submit my application?
Applications must be submitted in English. We are able to work with organizations with varying levels of English ability throughout the review and selection process.
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 have two unrelated projects that you feel would each make good candidates, please submit a separate application for each. We will review each project independently. No organization may submit more than two applications, except as described below.
What if I work for a large organization, like a university, that has many departments - can we submit multiple applications?
Large organizations like colleges and universities are permitted to submit multiple applications. In the case of colleges and universities, we ask that each Principal Investigator submit only one proposal. Please note, the Google.org AI for the Global Goals Call for Applications is not an opportunity to fund research proposals. We are looking for projects with clear visions and action plans to create inspiring end impact.
Can my organization apply to both the 2022 Google.org Impact Challenge on Climate Innovation and the Google.org AI for the Global Goals Call for Applications?
Our 2022 Climate Impact Challenge is soliciting proposals for big bet projects ($5M) that use data to illuminate climate challenges and advance solutions to climate change. If your project meets these criteria, we encourage you to apply for that Challenge here. For all other projects applying AI toward sustainability challenges, please apply through this link. While we are open to organizations applying to both open calls, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with both sets of criteria to determine where your project is best aligned and choose the one that seems most appropriate.
Confidential information / IP
Will details of the project idea we submit be kept confidential?
No. Google.org will not treat your application as confidential or proprietary, and the details of your project may be shared with internal or external experts to evaluate your proposal. Please do not submit any proprietary or confidential information in your application. If your organization is selected to receive funding, your project summary will be made available to the public on the Google.org AI for the UN Global Goals website and/or other Google channels.
Who owns the intellectual property created by the funding recipients?
We believe that projects supported by our funding should be able to benefit everyone. If you are selected to receive funding, the standard funding agreement will require any intellectual property created with funding from Google.org be made available to the public for free under a permissive open source license. If your organization is selected to move on in the process, and you have a compelling reason why your organization needs to own the intellectual property created with Google.org funding, you will have an opportunity to request an exception and provide support for your request.
What do you mean when you say “project”?
A project is your organization's proposed concept and implementation plan for how you will use data and AI to create new solutions to existing problems. If selected as a recipient, funds will be supporting the implementation of this project - so we need to know exactly how the funding will help you realize your plan.
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 projects with a clear and feasible plan for implementation that will benefit society. Project 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 funding will change the trajectory of your progress toward implementation, scale, and impact.
If another organization is currently implementing a similar concept, can we still submit the idea?
Yes, but please note that projects will be evaluated 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.
What kind of support will Google.org provide to help me implement my project?
Organizations selected for funding may be invited to workshops and other support programs to help progress their project, hosted by Google.org and external organizations. Google.org may also work with your organization to scope pro bono support or employee volunteer engagements to help you with certain aspects of your project. This type of support may include a UX Design audit, a marketing consultation, coaching and mentoring support, and more. By submitting your project, you are agreeing to arrange for senior staff members to participate in any support program (either virtually or in-person) offered in relation to the funding.
Over what time period should the funds be spent?
We expect the funding to be spent over the course of 12 to 36 months.
Can the funding be used to fund overhead and staffing costs?
Yes, but the large majority of the funding should be devoted to the implementation of the project. For-profit organizations may only use funds for staffing and overhead directly related to the charitable project. For universities and other academic institutions, overhead expenses should be limited to 10% of the total budget or less. This maximum rate applies to the primary funding recipient, sub-funding recipients, and sub-contracts.
Can I get a copy of the application questions before I fill out the application?
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 will see a screen with a message confirming that we received your application, and you will also receive a confirmation email sent to the email address you provided.
I've submitted my application. What do I do now?
That's great news - thank you for applying. No further action is required. We'll reach out if we require any additional information, and will announce the selected organizations when decisions have been made.
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.
What if I still have questions after reading the FAQs?