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Google celebrates 15 years in Ireland with launch of the €1m Dublin Impact Challenge

Today Google is celebrating 15 years in Ireland and to mark the occasion has launched its biggest ever initiative to support local communities throughout Dublin. The Google.org Dublin Impact Challenge is a new €1million fund to support non-profit innovators and social entrepreneurs whose innovative ideas for change are making an impact locally.

Google is inviting nonprofits, social enterprises and educators throughout Dublin to submit proposals for bold ideas to grow economic and social opportunities in their local communities. Google will select 15 proposals, each receiving €50,000 in grant funding to bring their ideas to life. Of the 15, four projects will be selected by Google’s esteemed panel of judges, and will receive an additional €50,000 of grant funding.

Fionnuala Meehan, Vice President and head of Google in Ireland said;  “We’re looking to fund projects that are tackling some of the biggest social challenges in our communities across Dublin.  The winning organisations will be creating a better future and working in areas such as community,  employment, healthcare, education and the environment.  It was important to us that we share our birthday celebrations with the city and its communities.  Dublin was the first overseas location for Google and it is very much our home.  We’ve grown from 5 employees to a workforce of 8,000 and as Google continues to be successful, we want our city to share in that success”.

“Over the years we’ve supported many local projects through Google.org and Google Arts & Culture but this is our biggest outreach yet to supporting local community endeavours and we’re very excited to bring the Google.org Impact Challenge to Dublin.  We want to tap into innovation across the city to support great ideas to build stronger communities.  We’ve seen great social action on our own doorstep in Ringsend and Irishtown and this is an opportunity for us to partner with community groups and social entrepreneurs in order to bring their ideas to life”.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Niall Ring, said:  “Dublin is a city built on a vibrant community spirit and I am delighted to help launch the Google Dublin Impact Challenge which aims to continue and support this proud tradition.  Google is now a well-established corporate citizen of Dublin and it is wonderful to see the company ‘giving back’ to the city as it celebrates 15 years here.  I congratulate Fionnuala Meehan and all in Google and wish them continued success in the years ahead”.

Google’s first venture into Dublin was via serviced offices on Harcourt Street in 2003 with just five employees.  Today Google’s Irish operations span the entirety of the company’s businesses including Advertising, YouTube, Cloud, Geo and Data Centre operations as well having the second largest engineering team in Europe.

2018 was the strongest hiring year ever for Google Ireland, with 1,000 new employees joining the company, bringing the total workforce to 8,000 people (full time Google employees and contracted staff).The Dublin team is one of the most diverse employed by any company in Ireland, spanning 70 nationalities and 75 languages spoken, supporting customers in more than 100 markets throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The Foundry, Google’s flagship event centre, has hosted over 170,000 guests from 40 different countries, at just shy of 1,000 events since 2013. Taking into account operational costs, capital investment and business tourism generated, The Foundry has supported an annual GDP contribution of EUR 6.7 million in Ireland since 2013.

More than €1bn in capital investment has been undertaken by the company in Ireland over the last 15 years and this ambitious investment programme is continuing – currently Google is undertaking the largest redevelopment in the city at Boland’s Quay.  When completed, the development will include commercial, residential, cultural and retail space.  According to Fionnuala Meehan, the development of Boland’s Quay is future-proofing Google’s growth ambitions for Ireland.  “We’re incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far; but we are only just getting started. We plan to continue to innovate, maintain and build on our success over the past 15 years and Boland’s Quay ensures we have the space to continue to grow our EMEA HQ operations into the future”.

Applications to the Google.org Dublin Impact Challenge can be made at http://g.co/dublinchallenge   Applications must be submitted by 6th December. A panel of esteemed judges has been assembled including the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Nial Ring; Senator Lynn Ruane; Mary Rose Burke, CEO of Dublin Chamber; Dublin GAA legend, Bernard Brogan; Journalist, Roisin Ingle; Business In The Community CEO, Tomás Sercovich and Fionnuala Meehan, Google Ireland site lead. A winner will be chosen by the public for a People’s Choice Award.