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Google swamped with 'great idea' submissions

  • Story Highlights
  • Google Inc. has received more than 150,000 submissions for its Project 10^100
  • Initiative pays $10 million for ideas that will have a beneficial effect on the world
  • People were encouraged to submit their ideas online through October 20
  • After online voting, a panel of judges will announce up to five winners in 2009
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By Brandon Griggs
CNN
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(CNN) -- A $10 million call by Google Inc. for beneficial, world-changing ideas has generated more than 150,000 online submissions.

More than 150,000 people have submitted ideas they hope will benefit the world -- and be funded by Google.

More than 150,000 people have submitted ideas they hope will benefit the world -- and be funded by Google.

The deadline for people to submit ideas for the initiative, called Project 10^100, was Monday. Google employees will now sift through the ideas, submitted in 25 languages, and choose 100 semifinalists by January 27. Funding for up to five winning ideas will be awarded in May.

"We're thrilled by the large array of enthusiastic responses to Project 10^100. That number has exceeded our expectations," said Bethany Poole, a product marketing manager at Google.

"We're also very impressed by the variety and ingenuity of the submissions across all categories, ranging from health to energy, education and the environment," she said.

Google launched the ambitious project September 24 to help celebrate its 10th birthday. In announcing Project 10^100 (pronounced "10 to the 100th"), the Internet giant said to hoped to solicit and bankroll fresh ideas it believes will have broad and beneficial effects on people's lives.

The project's Web site (http://www.project10tothe100.com/) suggested that successful ideas address such critical issues as providing food and shelter, building communities, improving health, granting more access to education, sustaining the global ecosystem and promoting clean energy.

As an example, Google cited the invention of the Hippo Water Roller, a barrel-shaped container that holds 24 gallons and can be rolled with little effort like a wheelbarrow, making it easier for African villagers on foot to transport critically needed fresh water to their homes.

Over the past month, the Google project's Web site received more than 2.5 million unique visitors, and its video was watched more than a million times. Entrants had to briefly describe their idea and answer six questions, including, "If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how?"

Now comes the hard part. More than 3,000 Google employees from more than 50 offices worldwide, with the help of an advisory board, will whittle down the massive list to 100 finalists.

"We will be going through the database and judging the ideas based on their reach, depth, attainability, efficiency and longevity," Poole said.

On January 27, Google will make the top 100 ideas available online for public voting for one week. A panel of as-yet-unnamed judges will then review the top 20 ideas and announce up to five winners in mid-February.

Funding, from a pool of $10 million, will be awarded in May. If the judges decide to reward five winning ideas, each will receive $2 million. If only two ideas are chosen, each will receive $5 million, and so on.

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