News > Google

More than EUR 21 million in funding from Round 3 of the Digital News Initiative Fund

Category: Google | Jul 6, 2017

Two years ago, we established the Digital News Initiative (DNI), a partnership between Google and news publishers in Europe to support high-quality journalism through technology and innovation. As well as investing in product development, research and training, we also launched the DNI Innovation Fund, committing €150 million to innovation projects across the European news industry. Today, we’re announcing the recipients of our third round of funding, with 107 projects in 27 countries being offered funding worth €21,968,154 in total.

In this third round, we received more than 988 project submissions from 27 countries. Of the 107 projects funded today, 49 are prototypes (early stage projects requiring up to €50k of funding), 31 are medium-sized projects (requiring up to €300k of funding) and 27 are large projects (requiring up to €1m of funding).  

What’s new in this round? First and foremost,there is growing interest in fact checking experiments, with 29 percent more applications in that field in comparison to the previous rounds. We’ve also seen a rise in projects including artificial intelligence (+23 percent more applications than last round), investigative reporting (+20 percent more) and immersive approaches through virtual and augmented reality (+20 percent more). Last but not least, this round was also about collaboration between organisations and across borders, with 47 percent of all the applications selected for funding having a collaborative dimension. Here’s a sample of some of the projects funded in this round:

[Prototype] The Open State Foundation – Netherlands

The Open State Foundation promotes transparency through the use of open data and innovative and creative applications. It will receive €50k to prototype a real-time database of what politicians say and do, drawn from a wide range of sources. The goal is to increase transparency and give journalists better access to political information, in particular on niche topics, local politics, backbenchers and alternative local parties.

[Medium] – Spain

With its Transparent Journalism Tool (TJ Tool) and funding of €208,500 from the DNI Innovation Fund, will offer an open source application that gives readers behind-the-scenes access citizens to the newspaper’s editorial process, so they can trace the newsgathering and editing work in a radically transparent way. It will also provide the publisher with data about the cost of producing each story, with a view to monetizing more content via formats like micropayments.  

[Large] Deutsche Welle – Germany

Deutsche Welle reports in 30 languages and reaches more than 135 million listeners around the world. Doing so cost-effectively is a major challenge. But with €437,500 from the DNI Innovation Fund, the German public broadcaster is building “news.bridge – Bridge the Language Barrier for News” a platform that integrates and enhances a mix of off-the-shelf tools for automated transcription, translation, voiceover and summarising of video and audio content in virtually any language.

[Large] WikiTribune – UK

WikiTribune, a news platform launched by Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, has been awarded €385,000 to scale its operations. It seeks to counter the proliferation of low quality news sources with fact-based, transparently sourced articles that are written by professional journalists and verified and improved by a community of volunteers. Like Wikipedia, it’s free, and ad free, but funded by supporters.

Since February 2016, we’ve evaluated more than 3,000 applications, carried out 748 interviews with project leaders, and offered 359 recipients in 29 countries a total of €73m. To mark this milestone, we’re hosting our first DNI Innovation Fund event today in Amsterdam, where 24 project teams that received funding in Round 1 or 2 will share details of their work and results to date.

We’re also publishing the Fund’s first annual report, which outlines the early impact of the projects funded so far. From startups to large newsrooms, at national and local news outlets, DNI-funded projects are embracing the opportunities of big data, blockchain technology and machine learning, evolving and reinventing everything from subscriptions and fact checking to video production and reader engagement.  These projects are helping shape the future of high-quality journalism—and some of them are already directly benefiting the European public today too.

Digital News Initiative Fund: Experiment, Innovate, Invent

Finally, we’re excited to announce that the application window for Round 4 of the DNI Innovation Fund will open in early September and will run for 30 days. Based on feedback from Round 3, we’ll be making a few changes to the application process, and we’ll be posting details to the website in the coming weeks.


How Virtru for G Suite lets you share sensitive business information and stay compliant

Category: Google | Jul 5, 2017

If you work in a regulated industry like healthcare, legal or finance, you might be familiar with regulations relating to HIPAA, CJIS and CFPB, and understand how important it is to protect sensitive data. In order to help you meet your obligations, you might need specific tools.

Gmail already offers world-class security protections like encryption through Transport Layer Security (TLS), but Virtru for G Suite is a simple way to help dually secure proprietary information included in your email communications. Virtru integrates client-side encryption directly into Gmail and G Suite, so you don’t have to worry about your emails or attachments falling into the wrong hands.

Using G Suite and Virtru, you can:

  • More securely send proprietary information via Gmail.
  • Create custom data loss prevention rules to detect and encrypt users’ sensitive information before it leaves your inbox.
  • Manage who can access what content and for how long (including third-parties), set expiration dates for emails and attachments and control forwarding on all messages.
  • Help your business meet regulatory requirements for email encryption, data security, privacy and data residency.

Why Premier Healthcare Services chose Virtru for G Suite

Premier Healthcare Services is a provider of skilled and unskilled in-home health services. The company uses Virtru for G Suite to securely send sensitive client information, and chose the encryption service because it was easy to install and intuitive to use for anyone familiar with Gmail.

Using Virtru for G Suite, Premier Health administrators can revoke access, manage forwarding and watermarking of attachments, and control access to documents and their expiration. Premier Health IT administrators can also set data loss prevention (DLP) rules to encrypt data  to help employees remain HIPAA compliant, even when they share information with parties outside of their domain.

To stay on top of their data security, they can also monitor a variety of activities within the Virtru Admin Dashboard, like when and where emails are forwarded and when DLP rules are triggered.

To learn how your business can use Virtru for G Suite to protect sensitive information in Gmail, register to attend this free webinar on July 11, 2017 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET.


Google Earth Live: invites you to hang out with Alaskan Brown Bears

Category: Google | Jul 5, 2017


Watch bears at Brooks Falls LIVE in Google Earth.

Spring comes quickly to Alaska. The snowpack melts, rivers swell with crisp water, delicate blue forget-me-nots bloom near the water’s edge, and brown bears emerge from a six or seven  month hibernation in the Katmai National Park. On their annual migration from the ocean to their spawning grounds, sockeye salmon rush up the Brooks River until they meet the falls. Waiting for them there are the bears, who eagerly paw the air, striking for some fresh protein as they jump out of the water.

Beginning today, we’re bringing live content to Google Earth’s storytelling platform, Voyager. In a story by you can journey into Katmai National Park — watch the hungry bears dine out at Brooks Falls or salmon darting towards the underwater livecam.


Hear a personal perspective from the founder of, Charles Annenberg, in which he shares his motivations for putting the livecam network together, including the Katmai bear livecams.

Ready, Set, Explore!


Measuring the impact of our digital skills training

Category: Google | Jul 5, 2017

Because everyone deserves the benefits of the best digital technology to help them grow their business, but not everyone has the skills they need, Google launched an ambitious training programme across Europe. We’ve now reached over 3m Europeans, the EU recognised our contribution with the EU Digital Skills Award, and many of those who spent time on the training are seeing real impact. 

Here’s a typical example:

Giuseppe Di Pasquale’s is the owner of Le Zagare di Vendicari, an agriturismo business in Sicily. Giuseppe wanted to grow his business online but lacked the skills to make that happen. He took up training through Eccellenze in Digitale, our Italian digital skills platform, and has now applied what he learned to his business. He’s seen visits to his site increase by 40% and doubled his bookings.

Giuseppe’s story is just one of over 3 million European graduates of our programme. Our training aimed to help those who could put it to work immediately to make a difference – students, small business owners, people who were not in education, employment or other training – because we know that businesses with the right digital skills are growing faster, creating more jobs and exports and making an important contribution to their countries.

Digital skills: an opportunity for Europe

The EU identified a digital skills gap – 500,000 jobs needing skills that people don’t have.  That’s why we launched the Digital Workshop programme

Over the last 2.5 years, we have worked with partners across Europe to achieve scale and impact, from the Ministry of Labour and other partners to train young unemployed people through Crescere in Digitale in Italy, partnering with Bertelsmann and Udacity to deliver 13,000 Android nanodegree scholarships, to developing new curriculum with The Good Things Foundation in the UK, and many dedicated Training partners who deliver the course content week after week.  Training ran online and in hundreds of ‘in person’ sessions, and was tailored to the most pressing needs in each country, youth unemployment in Spain, digital exports in Germany, small businesses and youth in Italy.

We commissioned Ipsos to survey our training alumni to see how the training has helped them to grow their careers and businesses and found fantastic results.

Ipsos found that 79% of SMBs trained were more confident using digital tools to run their business. And half the students trained feel more confident in their professional future.

69% of small businesses trained changed at least one aspect of how they run their business online. The top five included optimising websites for mobile, for search and for social media, as well as using website analytics and developing better site content. In fact, 49% of SMEs felt the training helped them get ahead of the competition.

Helping people find jobs

Sylwia Kempa raised her confidence and got a promotion as a result of the training she received through Internetowe Rewolucje, our Polish digital skills program. She was promoted to Content Marketing Manager at the agency where she worked – responsible for overseeing online campaigns and the agency’s expansion in local and international markets. “Taking part in Internetowe Rewolucje assured me that choosing to develop my digital skills was the best decision I could make,” says Sylwia. “I now have the qualification to turn my passion into a career.”

So people and businesses are improving their confidence, boosting their skills and making changes that grow careers and businesses faster and create new jobs. Over a half of SMEs noticed a positive change in business results within 14 weeks after the training. They’re winning new customers, increasing sales and profits.  And vitally, particularly in countries where youth unemployment is a big issue, 18% of students trained found a job, started their own business or started to work freelance.

You can read more stories of European graduates of our training programs and how they are applying the skills they acquired to their careers. And if you want to raise your own skills, it’s not too late to get started – visit our Growth Engine for Digital Skills site today!


How Singapore’s QLIPP is taking tennis to the next level, globally

Category: Google | Jul 5, 2017

Editor’s note: This one’s just in time for Wimbledon fans. As part of our series of interviews with entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific who use the internet to grow, we spoke with Dr. Donny Soh, co-founder and CEO of QLIPP, whose six-person startup developed a tennis sensor and mobile app to help players track and improve their performance in real time.

Dr Donny Soh

Tell us, what inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I’ve always wanted to build my own products—products that people would find useful. That’s what drove my decision to leave my job as an engineer in another company. 

I come from a very traditional family with a humble financial background, so my relatives were surprised when I told them about my plans to start my own business. I’ll admit being an entrepreneur does have its financial ups and downs, and one can’t expect success to come easily. I believe the key is to always press on regardless of whatever difficulties one faces.

What does a tennis performance sensor actually do and how does it help your users?  
QLIPP fits on any racquet and measures every part of your stroke, analyzing the spin, speed and sweet spot accuracy of each shot. It syncs to your phone, so you can easily access the data to track your game and improve over time.

We currently have over 7,000 users, most of whom are in the Americas and Europe. While many tell us it’s the best tennis sensor they’ve ever used, we’ve also had negative feedback. We welcome all feedback and whenever we see negative comments, we use them as suggestions to improve. Over this past year, the feedback has helped us create a much better product.

What difference has the Internet made for your business?
We’re a small startup with limited resources, but we have big dreams to reach out to tennis players all over the world. Using Google Search ads and YouTube video ads, we’re able to bring our products to life and reach the right customers overseas—this has really magnified our potential customer base beyond those living in Singapore. 

For example, we worked with Google to target the top 10 tennis-playing states in the United States, resulting in a ten-fold increase in web traffic and a 30% increase in sales in just three months! Since we adopted digital tools, 90% of our company’s sales now come from overseas.

What are some of the biggest challenges for a startup in the Internet age?
“How can you get your message out?” That’s one of the big challenges. There’s so much information out there. This is where Google’s tools help us a lot. We conduct user surveys using Google Forms.

We also use another tool known as Firebase, which helps people build better mobile apps and run them as a business. That’s how we’re able to identify the features users love and understand how they interact with the QLIPP app. We also use Google AdWords to drive both traffic, downloads, and sales too.

What’s next for your business?
We’re aggressively moving into other sports. I would say in two years, we would have to have a strong brand presence on at least three sports. Ultimately, we aim to be the go-to company for all sports wearables.

Who’s your Asian Internet hero?
Jack Ma. He has a great quote: “Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” What really inspires me is his persistence. But it doesn’t take much to find heroes all around us. 

One of my early inspirations was my neighbor. She lost the use of her legs and had to move around in a mobility vehicle. Yet everyday, she brought her three kids to school and went to the market. In the evenings she would sell newspapers. Whenever I think of her, I’m inspired. No matter what situation I am in, there will always be a way forward.


Creating maps that reflect indigenous geography

Category: Google | Jul 1, 2017

Brazil has one of the world’s most diverse populations, with more than 500,000 indigenous people living on 472 territories certified by the government—representing 13 percent of Brazil’s total land. Most of these territories are in the rapidly-changing Amazon region, the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world. Deforestation has had a devastating effect on indigenous people and the local economy, destroying biodiversity, and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Indigenous communities play an important role in preserving the natural biodiversity and cultural richness of the Brazilian Amazon by sustainably managing their lands in a smanner sensitive to the delicate ecosystem.

That brings us to Google Maps. Integrating indigenous territories into our maps, like we announced earlier this month for Canada, is an essential step in accurately reflecting the world.  Now, through a partnership with FUNAI (Fundação Nacional do Índio), Brazil’s governmental agency overseeing indigenous affairs, Google Maps and Earth represent Brazilian indigenous territory labels and borders in a way that reflects the landscapes that local communities know so well.

Image 1

In Google Earth Timelapse you can observe the rapid rate of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Indigenous territories (yellow) largely remain “islands” of healthy, green rainforest, as the surrounding unprotected areas are becoming almost completely clear-cut and barren.
By defining Brazil's indigenous territories we can show the world the role these communities play in maintaining global socio-biodiversity.

Artur Nobre

Presidential Advisor, FUNAI

On Google Maps and Earth, you can now see the names of certified indigenous territories in Brazil, search for indigenous territories using the name of the ethnic group living there and see how forests are maintained in these areas compared to other parts of the Amazon.

Image 2

Search for indigenous territories in Brazil using the territory name or name of the ethnic group living there.

The Suruí people, living on the Sete do Setembre territory, are a notable example of how mapping indigenous territories can help prevent deforestation and preserve culture. Tribal leader Chief Almir first came across Google Earth in 2007, and immediately grasped its potential for conserving the heritage and traditions of his people. He proposed a partnership with Google to create an online map of Surui cultural heritage, as well as a new system to monitor illegal logging and carbon stock using Android smartphones. This was the first ever indigenous community-led deforestation and forest degradation mapping project. Through this project, the Surui calculated the value of their forest on the voluntary carbon marketplace— and became the first indigenous community to receive funds for preserving their forests.  

With indigenous lands labeled on Google Maps, the world can learn more about the forest and history of each indigenous community, and recognize the ro

Almir Surui


Image 4

This update builds on other work by Google Earth Outreach to support cultural preservation and land management. Thanks to the Surui people and others around the globe, we look forward to continue to improve the digital reflection of indigenous lands on Google Maps and Google Earth.


Your red, white and blue Google Assistant

Category: Google | Jun 30, 2017

Fourth of July is just a few days away. From fireworks to BBQs, here’s how your Assistant can help you get the most out of the holiday weekend:


  • Let’s start with the facts. Ask your Assistant on Google Home “Why do we celebrate the fourth of July?”
  • Get in the summertime spirit. Ask your Assistant on phones “What should I do this summer?”
  • When you’re ready to fire up the grill, ask your Assistant on Google Home to “Add charcoal to my shopping list” or “Find me a burger recipe.”
  • When you’re planning your firework fun, ask your Assistant on phones “What’s the weather on Tuesday?”
  • And if the sound of fireworks is a bit too loud for you (or your pets), you can ask your Assistant on Google Home to “Play white noise.”

Whether you celebrate with fireworks at a park, a local parade or watching TV with your favorite people, your Assistant can help you make the most out of your fourth of July!


The High Five: wave your wand and your flag

Category: Google | Jun 30, 2017


Accio, trends! Translation for non-Harry Potter fans: we’ve summoned five of the top search trends this week, with data compiled by the Google News Lab team. 

20 years of magic

June 26th marked the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series—shall we celebrate with some butterbeers? At Hogwarts, Harry and friends got their answers from the Sorting Hat, but fans are turning to Google to learn more about the four Hogwarts houses. This week search interest in Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Slytherin and Ravenclaw was at its highest in the past five months, with interest in Hufflepuff slightly above the others. Did someone say Wingardium Leviosa? Because search interest in Kings Cross Station (where Platform 9 and ¾ was filmed) reached new heights this week.

McEnroe gets served

Serena Williams was in the news this week after John McEnroe claimed that Williams is the best female tennis player, but she’d be ranked 700th on a list of men. His comment prompted people to search, “How fast does Serena Williams serve?” and “What would Serena Williams be ranked in men’s tennis?” Despite McEnroe’s contentious comments, search interest in Williams was still 258 percent higher than him this week.

Oh, say can you search?

It’s America’s 241st birthday, and the country is throwing a big party. And it’s not a party without cupcakes, cookies, jello shots, cheesecake and deviled eggs (top-searched Fourth of July recipes). During this time of year, Myrtle Beach, Niagara Falls, Ocean Beach, Washington D.C. and Catalina Island are the most searched destinations, and according to YouTube, the most popular Fourth of July songs are Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA, Bruce Springsteen’s Born and Toby Keith’s Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.  

Pooches with paunches

Exercise isn’t just for the two-legged among us. A study from the Banfield Pet Hospital revealed that one in three cats and dogs in the U.S. are overweight due to poor diet and lack of exercise, and pet-lovers unleashed their searches, like “Banfield state of of pet health obesity by state” and “Banfield vet and obese pets.” Though all of our furry friends need to watch their figures, search interest in “dog weight” was 149 percent higher than “cat weight.”  

Literally surreal

This week a judge ordered Salvador Dali’s body to be exhumed for a paternity test, to investigate the claim of a 61-year-old woman who says that Dali is her father. After the judge’s order, search interest in Dali reached its reached its highest peak in five years, with queries like “How old was Salvador Dali when he died?” “Did Salvador Dali have children?” and “How much is Salvador Dali’s estate worth?”


Pride 2017: Show love, show progress, #ShowUp

Category: Google | Jun 30, 2017

Growing up in Chandigarh, India, a small, conservative city about five hours north of New Delhi, I knew early on that something about me was different. After undergrad, I moved to Champaign, IL to get a master’s degree in engineering, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of India for a small, quiet university town in the Midwest. My newfound independence abroad gave me the space to confront and accept my difference—and come out as gay.

During my first summer in the U.S., I visited Boystown in Chicago, one of the most famous gay neighborhoods in the country. It was a bright summer day and the streets were packed with smiling, laughing people from across the LGBTQ community. It was only a matter of seconds before my friends and I got caught up in the excitement and camaraderie of the place. For the first time, I felt I could be myself.

When I joined Google, I was excited to find a community of LGBTQ Googlers and allies who celebrate Pride across the world, and not just by marching in parades (although we do lots of that, too). As a company, we want to make sure our products help LGBTQ people feel they can be themselves, whether they’re in Chandigarh or Chicago.


From displaying Pride parade routes in Maps, to the fifth consecutive year of YouTube’s #ProudToBe campaign, 2017 was all about connecting people with local Pride events and sharing experiences across the globe.

In addition to #ProudToBe, which encourages people to share their stories and connect with others around the world, YouTube made a number of commitments to continue supporting the LGBTQ community and shared a video celebrating Pride and all the great LGBTQ YouTube Creators.

#ProudToBe: Celebrate Brave Voices this Pride

Google My Business made it easier for merchants worldwide to let people know their business is “LGBTQ-friendly” or a “Transgender Safe Space.” Once merchants opt into these attributes, they’re shown on business listings in Google Maps and Search to signal to potential visitors that their establishment respects and treats all people equally.

LGBT_highlight mobile_1850.png

In New York, Senator Chuck Schumer announced a $1 million grant to record critical moments in LGBTQ history, including the night of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The Stonewall Uprising is important to the ongoing road to civil rights for LGBTQ communities around the world—and its message is as resonant and necessary today as it was in 1969.


US Senator Chuck Schumer announcing a grant to the LGBT Community Center of New York City in support of the Stonewall National Monument

And we launched #ShowUp, a project designed to help people take action in support of the LGBTQ community at a local level. By entering their zip code on the #ShowUp homepage, people can find the nearest parades, marches and LGBTQ-supporting nonprofits in their communities. The campaign also aims to chart progress in LGBTQ rights across eight U.S. cities by recording individual stories about why showing up matters.

#ShowUp Stories: Lily | Birmingham, AL

Boystown made me feel safe to be myself. All people deserve to feel this way. At Google, we hope that, by  connecting people with local events and sharing experiences across the globe, Google can help even a few more LGBTQ people feel safe to be themselves.


#teampixel’s rainbow palette

Category: Google | Jun 29, 2017

Fittingly for the end of Pride Month, this week’s #pixelperfect shots are all shades of the rainbow—from azul on the coast of Spain to rosa in Stockholm, and from yellow in Australia to Orange in Munich. Take a look at these bold, bright images from #teampixel photographers around the world:


Left: _hmaz – Blooming bright in Pakistan. Right: theculinarybee – Ingredients for a tasty sorbet


Left: rasmuslandgreen – Bowling pins in Copenhagen. Right: mess_anger – Citrus colored building in Stockholm


j471ndr – Ball pit in London, U.K.


Left: gajenperry – A color wheel ceiling in Canada. Right: krisxdee – “colors of hue-manity”


Left: stereotripe – Pink, blue and green, India. Right: the_scenicroute – Pennants in Plovdiv, Bulgaria


lamdotdot – Anything but mellow in Adelaide, Australia. Right: rebirthdna – La Muralla Roja—but blue—on the Spanish coast


Left: stonnon – Orange tile in Munich, Germany. Right: mattgers – White on blue in Oía, Greece

And share your photos with #teampixel—you might be featured on Keyword and Instagram.