Google has backed Silicon Valley based Singularity University (SU) with US$3 million over the next two years to allow graduate students from anywhere in the world to study free of charge.
SU and Google are hoping this will increase global access and diversity in technology academia and industry.
Candidates will be selected for a 10-week ‘Graduate Studies Program’, where they will learn from technology industry leaders and work with advanced technologies to solve the world’s greatest challenges around poverty, clean energy and water, education, security and healthcare, SU said.
SU has about 80 students who take part in the graduate program per year. New applicants wishing to study for free will get half the seats and the other half will be given to SU’s sponsored Global Impact Competitions winners, a SU spokesperson said.
“The new agreement with Google is an incredibly important pillar in our efforts to increase global access and diversity for qualified candidates, regardless of their ability to pay,” Rob Nail, CEO and associate founder of Singularity University, said in a statement.
“As a graduate of an SU program, I can speak first-hand to the life-changing experience SU offers in inspiring thinking about how technology can improve the lives of billions. Google’s support will further help to break down barriers of access to the Silicon Valley network of technologists, business leaders, and investors.”
Past projects under the graduate studies program included:
A team of women from Australia, Peru and Italy created a ‘podtector’, a low-cost landmine detector, to help people living in conflict areas better protect themselves.
A smart beehive monitoring system that optimises hive conditions in real time to reduce the risk of bee colony failure.
Extracting metals such as copper, silver and platinum from 40 million tons of disposed electronics or e-waste globally by using existing scaled-up mining industry technologies, resulting in US$70 billion worth of precious and base metals.
A microRNA detection platform for molecular data gathering, analysis and interpretation. It can diagnose patients, at a molecular level, who have a disease and the severity of it before any symptoms appear. It is “accurate, easy to use, non-invasive, decentralized, operator independent and affordable”.
Applications are open and can be accessed here.