Created by Rethink Ireland with support from Google.org and the Irish Government, THINKTECH is a €1 million Tech for Good fund looking to find and back tech-based solutions to Ireland’s critical social issues. Launched by Minister Simon Coveney T.D., 69 applications were received and put through a rigorous selection process including a world-class technology advisory group and interview panels.
Ireland is currently experiencing the worst housing crisis in years. Space Engagers tackles homelessness by engaging citizens to map vacant urban spaces in their communities. The THINKTECH award will enable it to develop the technology to an app which can be used on smartphone or tablet, enabling citizens to walk around their community, capturing local information on vacancy and uploading it instantly.
Early school leaving is a hidden social issue in Irish society. Every year 3,300 students between the ages of 12-16 years old leave the formal school system. That’s 9 young people every day of the year. iScoil helps early school leavers aged 12-16 to get an education through an online and personalised learning programme. With the THINKTECH Award, iScoil will invest in developing a Growth Plan to allow it to scale across Ireland.
It’s hard to imagine that 1 in 8 people in Ireland experiences food poverty. The problem not only lies with access to food, but access to healthy, nutritional food. FoodCloud Hubs uses technology to rescue food from businesses and distribute it to charities across Ireland. The Award will enable FoodCloud Hubs to replicate the technology currently used by retailers for use with the much larger amounts of food waste generated in warehouses – creating 16 times more meals for people who need them.
If there is one certainty in today’s changing world, it is that most of us will grow old. As we all live longer, ageing and loneliness is becoming an increasingly critical social issue in Irish society. The ALONE platform combines apps, home sensors and volunteer services that offer a cost-effective solution to ageing independently at home, whilst also helping to tackle loneliness. The THINKTECH award will enable The Alone Platform to scale across Ireland, supporting older people to age independently and feel connected.