Google.org Unveils €10 Million European Grant Fund For Helping Keep People Safe Online

By Amit Chowdhry ● May 17, 2019

Google’s charitable arm Google.org has announced it established a €10 million European grant fund for supporting nonprofits, universities, academic research institutions, for-profit social enterprises, and other expert organizations to help keep people safe online.

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“Through a long partnership with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), we’ve already started on this work. It’s crucial for us to support and partner with safety experts on the ground who are working to foster a safer online experience. These organizations might need funding to develop new ways to use technology to solve age-old problems. Other groups might need more resources to help deal with areas where technology has added a new dimension to an existing topic, like education. In both cases, we’ll open up access to funding and scope volunteer opportunities for Googlers to support expert organizations across Europe,” said Google’s VP of Trust and Safety Kristie Canegallo in a blog post.

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Canegallo — who is overseeing this project — is known for previously serving in a range of domestic policy and national security roles. For example, she has had management role experiences in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. Before that, she was a presidential management fellow and a foreign affairs specialist for the United States Department of Defense and an analyst for Goldman Sachs.

Canegallo added that learning from experts has been key to Google’s ongoing work for making products safer and helping people enjoy what the web offers “safely and with confidence.” The partnership between the Google.org Innovation Fund in the U.K. and ISD has already led to the creation of technologies and this is an extension of that.

For example, Take KO Racism by Limehouse Boxing Academy runs boxing workshops where each sessions includes an open discussion about racism and prejudice. And Virtual Inclusion by The Open University uses VR for immersing the viewer in the day of the life of a young person who faces social discrimination.

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While Google.org has seen an impact with this funding and partnership on a U.K. level, the organizations wants to achieve even more at a European level. Through its partnerships, Google.org has been able to train more than 1 million young people through its “Be Internet Awesome and Be Internet Citizens” safety programs last year.

Google.org is going to grant up to €1,000,000 to selected applicants from across Europe. And online and offline organizations will be considered.

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Plus Google.org will be running events and workshops from May onwards in countries around Europe in order to engage with organizations and supporting their application processes. The applications are open now and grant applications will be reviewed by an expert team of European safety experts and thought-leaders including Helle Thorning Schmidt (outgoing Save the Children CEO), Renske van der Veer (Director of International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague), and Thomas Krüger (President of Germany’s Federal Agency for Civic Education).