Google awarded $20 Million to 3D Printing & Tech solutions for Disable People

Google awarded $20 Million to 3D Printing & Tech solutions for Disable People

Google started “Google Impact Challenge for Disabilities” last year, to award non-profit organizations which are working for one billion disable people of the World through innovation in rehabilitation technologies by developing 3D printed, crowdsourced, data-driven, and other technological solutions.

Google Impact Challenge for Disabilities

More than 1000 submission were received by Google from 88 countries from which 29 most innovative were selected for $20 million grants to help in developing and scale up their projects. Most of the winning organizations were using the power of 3D printing to create meaningful change in people’s lives.

1. e-NABLE

Enabling the Future, or e-NABLE is one of the low-cost 3D printed prosthetics. They have a large global network of volunteers who are working in designing and creating custom, open source, 3D printed prosthetic hands for children and others in need.

Google Impact Challenge for Disabilities

“From creating 3D printed superhero hands for kids to allowing a mother to care for her newborn baby, to pledging to donate 6,000 3D printed prosthetics by 2017, e-NABLE is making its mark on the world, one 3D printed hand at a time.”

e-NABLE win $600,000 from which will advance their design, distribution and delivery of open-source 3D printed upper-limb prosthetics.

2. Motivation

Motivation is UK-based non-profit organization,  developing 3D printed solutions for disabled people with mobility problems.


To develop these solutions, Motivation is developing and testing innovative designs for customizable 3D printed PSDs that could reduce users’ risk of injury while moving independently.

Motivation won $800,000 (£573,737) grant from Google. Company plans to share the designs with 3D printing service providers via an open database to make it locally accessible for the World.

3. The Arc of the United States

They are developing a search and recommendation tool to help people with cognitive disabilities. This platform will be open to the public.

The Arc of the United States

The Arc will deliver more than 100,000 targeted and personalized technology recommendations over the next two and a half years as per promised in the Project.

4. Royal National Institute for Blind People | Smart Glasses

To empowering the blind people, RNIB is developing smart glasses to regain their independence and confidence.

Royal National Institute for Blind People Smart Glasses

Researchers of University of Oxford developing smart glasses that turn low vision into easy-to-recognize shapes and silhouettes.

5. Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled | University of Washington

SAFOD won a grant of  $717,728, the Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) is working with the University of Washington and AfriNEAD to establish AT-Info-Map, a system that will map the location and availability of AT in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled University of Washington

In the next three years, they will reach 10 Sub-Saharan African countries.

7. My Human Kit

My Human Kit was launched by Nicolas Huchet who developed ‘Bionicohand’ 3D printed robotic prosthetic for just $250.  Huchet’s My Human Kit (MHK) developed an online platform that connects those in need to low-cost, open source 3D printed prosthetics.

My Human Kit

With this award, MHK will develop five new 3D printed prosthetic prototypes, each designed for a different physical disability.

8. Benetech

Benetech is scaling the books and making them accessible for visually impaired. Using an $800,000 grant from, Benetech is going to scale access to their online, accessible library, and work with publishers to automate content conversion.


Through partnerships with local service providers, Benetech is also expanding its library to include local language books accessible via country-specific websites. They aim to add over 80,000 books to their library while expanding their bookshare program to over 27,000 schools and libraries globally.

9. Beit Issie Shapiro | Sesame

Beit Issie Shapiro and Sesame are joining to pilot a solution for people with limited mobility to operate smartphones by moving their head. They won $1,000,000 award from Google.

Beit Issie Shapiro | Sesame

10. Nia Technologies

Nia Technologies is a Canadian nonprofit organization received a $400,000 grant from to develop 3D PrintAbility, a system to significantly reduce the cost and production times associated with prosthetic and orthotic devices.

Nia Technologies

This will help local technicians to help more people with disabilities.

11. Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust

Ratna Nidhi is working in India to bring comfortable, easy-to-produce prosthetic sockets to rural areas by using 3D scanning and printing. Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust gets $350,000 grant from to develop 3D scanning software to scan residual limbs and print proper-fitting sockets.

Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust

12. Perkins School for the Blind

Perkins is providing crowdsource data from sighted individuals that will allow the visually impaired to navigate the gap between GPS and the real world. They won $750,000 grant from to build up these tools. Perkins School for the Blind


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@iMZahidIqbal @eZahidIqbal

Member of National Youth Assembly of Pakistan. Writing about developing World technologies and entrepreneurship. Associate at Microsoft BizSpark & International Development Innovation Network. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

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