Google is showing its philanthropic side by giving grants to Australian innovation projects. These include an app that allows people in remote areas to test their eyesight, an app to help people give up alcohol, an autonomous robot that cleans up the Great Barrier Reef, mobile technology that records fish stocks around the world, and a system to send personalised text messages to chronically ill people.
These all sound like worthwhile projects, but it's hard not to be cynical. Google is alleged to have exploited tax law loopholes to avoid paying millions of dollars in corporate taxes to the Australian government. In the wake of these allegations, I'm sure that it has not at all occurred to Google that this initiative will help to improve its slightly tarnished corporate image.