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announced the five winners of its Project 10^100, a contest launched on the occasion of the company's 10th birthday in 2008.
Project 10^100 was introduced as a call for ideas to help as many people as possible and a program to implement those ideas. Google's request for proposals led people around the world to submit their suggestions, 150,000 from 70 countries in the 25 languages supported by the submission form.
The company said last year that it had planned to compile a list of finalists by January 27, 2009, but the volume of replies forced it to delay its announcement until March 17, 2009.
The company also missed its March 17, 2009, target date. Coincidentally during this period, Google.org executive director Larry Brilliant's left Google. Though the award delay may seem related to personnel changes at Google.org, the company's philanthropic arm, Google.org is not actually involved in Project 10^100.
Fast forward to September 24, 2010 and Google, after selecting 16 submissions and asking the public to vote on them, has finally named its contest winners.
The top ideas were: making educational content available online for free; enhancing science and engineering education; making government more transparent; promoting public transit innovation; and providing quality education to African students.
The organizations implementing those ideas include: The Khan Academy, a non-profit educational organization that's getting $2 million to support the creation of teaching videos; FIRST, a non-profit organization that promotes science and education that will receive $3 million for its student-driven robot building competitions; Public.Resource.Org, a non-profit that's getting $2 million to put legal cases online for the benefit of the public; Shweeb, a project that aims to create a personal monorail system using pedal-powered capsules ($1 million); and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, which will receive $2 million to graduate-level math and science study in Africa.