05 October 2009

Make your vote count until 8 October!

Google has finally whittled down the more than 150,000 ideas submitted as part of its Project 10 to the 100th to 16 themes that will compete for $ 10 million in funding – and support for landmine clearance is one of them!

Google is now asking the public to voice their view on the shortlisted ideas. Votes will be accepted until October 8, 2009. The five winning ideas will share $ 10 million in implementation funding from Google.

The idea under landmine clearance is to provide more funding and support for efficient landmine removal, which included suggestions to invest in technologies such as robotics, human and animal-facilitated mine detection. Although the ideas were not submitted by ICBL members or individuals actively working in the field of mine clearance, we are pleased to see that making a mine-free world a mission-possible is still very much in the minds of citizens from around the globe!

"It is important to note from a practical field perspective that there has been much research and development done in past decade in the area of new clearance technologies and, despite all of these efforts, the core and proven instruments in demining remain manual deminers, mechanical mine clearance machines and mine detection dogs”, said Sylvie Brigot, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. “For there to be a practical new gain in this field, any new technology must be designed with these three criteria in mind: they must be affordable, adaptable and manageable in a variety field conditions, and designed with the full input of those who will end up using this technology: deminers in the field.”

Google has indicated that they will work alongside organizations with relevant expertise to support the implementation of winning ideas. “We are thrilled that the landmine issue made it so high on to the list of issues worthy of support sent to Google by the public and will happily work with Google on the implementation of this idea should it win to ensure that the money is spent for the most effective, efficient and urgent humanitarian mine clearance,” stated Ms. Brigot.

Mine action operators interested in sharing their views with the organizers can contact them online. Vote for this idea!