I am a recent graduate of William and Mary with a double major in environmental science and policy and public policy. I will be an energy blogger. How can the U.S. reduce its dependence on foreign oil? Is green technology going to happen sooner than we think? What kind of message is needed to sell individuals on the need to stop drill baby drill? These are some of the questions I'd like to ex...
Google: Not Just a Database of Information, but a 21st Century Innovator
We all know Google is a warehouse of information. If one needs to find out information on a particular topic, a keyword search on google can take one to over one thousand potential areas of information. In essence, Google is a place to go to find the information one is looking for. Now, Google has waded into new territory for the 21st Century, namely that of an innovator who is investing in sustainable transport. Such innovation from one of the largest companies not only here in the U.S., but around the world clearly shows business is looking to the future and sees "green sustainable transport" as part of the new way forward.
In particular, Google is an innovator and a leader in the sustainable transport area, as back in 2007, it "issued a request for investment proposals (RFP) to the tune of $10 million in order to advance sustainable transportation solutions. We are inviting entrepreneurs and companies to show us their best ideas on how they can contribute to this important cause. We need catalytic investments to support technologies, products and services that are critical to accelerating plug-in vehicle commercialization." As a result, Google is a leader in the sense that they are trying to find out what works and what does not when it comes to investing in sustainable transport technology.
As such, while many ideas may flourish on sustainable transport, they may not be enacted or adopted if they are not considered doable. Consequently, Google has the right approach in terms of inviting companies and entrepreneurs to showcase what sustainable green transport technologies have the best shot at working. Investments, therefore, may be good or bad or may work or not work, and thus the more ideas about sustainable transport that can flourish, the better. The sign of an innovator, therefore, is one who is able to see ideas that work.
While $10 million upon first glance appears to be a small investment from a large company, Google points out "this RFP will help catalyze a broader response. We need automakers to bring these cars to market, but plug-in vehicles also need an entire ecosystem of companies to flourish." Clearly, Google along with the many companies that submit proposals for the development of plug-in technologies, therefore, are integral to the establishment of a much larger sustainable transport base in the U.S. Thus, what Google shows, therefore, is that a company must start the process for investing and inspire others to innovate. Google has done that with its "request for investments" or RFP program. Thus, Google is a 21st Century green innovator by not only making a commitment to sustainable transport but inspiring other companies to hop on the bandwagon too.
Photo Credit: Bruke-Osteuropa