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Winners of the 2016 THINKTECH awards Ireland

THINKTECH was recently launched by the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government, Simon Coveney, TD. which has granted matched funding of €500,000 to a €500,000 donation by The initiative is a collaboration between Social Innovation Fund Ireland and, the philanthropic arm of Google which invests in teams with bold ideas that create lasting global impact.   

Four innovative projects which use technology to tackle chronic social issues like homelessness and food waste have been selected for Ireland’s first ever “thinktech” accelerator programme.

And the winners are...

Foodcloud Hubs, which redirects surplus food from producers to foodbanks and charities using a simple app.

The Alone Platform, which uses various technologies to help older people live independently at home.

iScoil, which provides access to education for early school-leavers through online and personalised learning programmes.

The three winning projects will each receive €210,000-€220,000 in financial and non-financial grants and join a five-month accelerator programme, starting in January, devised by Social Innovation Fund Ireland. This is supported by, the web giant’s philanthropic arm, and the Department of Housing.

An early-stage award of €100,000-plus membership of the accelerator programme was also granted to Space Engagers, a Dublin-based project which tackles homelessness via digital mapping.


The 11 finalists were: 



Enhancing the quality of life of older people and those who care for them by helping them to self manage their living conditions and strengthen their support network.




Helping to develop communities through sharing developed ideas on an online platform.




Teaching positive behaviour online and combatting cyberbullying through a social network for primary school children.




Combatting food waste and hunger by using technology to connect retailers with charities.




Educating early school leavers and socially disadvantaged young people through a personalised online education programme.


The Freebird Club


A travel based social network offering a peer to peer home stay for older adults. Creating a new source of income and companionship in later life.  




Employing older people (‘Agewells’) as companions for elderly people in need of assistance at home or recently discharged from hospital, relying on the use of apps.




Helping charities to sell unsold donated stock online to a global market and re-divert from landfill or recycling.  




Empowering and supporting environmental social enterprises to improve their efficiency, effectiveness and visibility through an online technology platform


Student Volunteer


Online volunteer platform connecting student volunteers with community projects that need help.


An Cosán Virtual College Community / AONTAS


Offer a blended learning model for adult school leavers to increase their employment opportunities.


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