Vodafone Foundation

The Australian Business Award for Community Contribution recognises organisations for initiatives that positively impact on the community and generate outcomes that have a long term benefit.

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Vodafone Group Plc. is one of the world’s leading mobile telecommunications companies, with approximately 5.4 million customers in Australia. Vodafone established the Vodafone foundation in 2002 as a registered Australian charitable trust. The foundation is a Private Ancillary Fund, which donates funds to eligible charitable organisations to support public charitable purposes.

In 2013/14, the foundation adopted a new purpose alongside a three-year strategy to bring focus to the foundation’s charitable activities by utilising mobile technology to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians. This was inspired by platforms that allow people around the world to use desktop computing power to support research. The Vodafone Foundation partnered with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research to develop a program that allows smart phone users to donate their mobile’s computing power to assist with cancer research.

The three-year partnership involved an $800,000 grant and produced what has been called DreamLab, a virtual smartphone supercomputer that provides additional computing power to support important cancer genomic research. DreamLabs works by downloading tiny research problems onto smart phones from the cloud, solving them and then sending back the results to the Garvan research team. Whilst the individual contribution of a single phone is unable to solve larger problems, collectively the entire network has proven to be an invaluable resource. In addition to providing Garvan with free access to a crucial computing resource – saving the institute money and freeing up other compute resources for more research – DreamLabs also speeds up the pace of the cancer research itself.

Following the launch of DreamLabs in November 2015, the application has been downloaded more than 55,000 times, significantly increasing the pace of the research being conducted by Garvan. In recognition of their innovative approach to addressing the efficiency of cancer genomic research, The Vodafone Foundation have been awarded with a Community Contribution Award.

The Australian Business Awards are the regional chapter of an integrated, hierarchical leadership program conducted on a national and international level. Eligible organisations from each region are invited to participate in the international chapter of the program at The World Business Awards. Conducted annually and currently in the second year of its international launch, The World Business Awards seeks to engage with the world’s business, innovation and technology leaders through a global recognition and knowledge building initiative that is underpinned by the program’s established framework. The program engages with organisations worldwide to benchmark the full spectrum of their products, services and initiatives and to review their business performance. The cycle culminates in the recognition and celebration of organisations that implement world-class business initiatives and industry leading products and services on a prominent and far-reaching scale. All entries must be entered in the regional chapter where the organisation is based.

Organisational participation includes private companies, publicly listed companies, multinational subsidiaries, not-for-profit organisations, non-government organisations, educational institutions, franchise systems, partnerships, government departments, government agencies, local government and statutory bodies operating in Australia.

Initiatives can include but are not limited to projects, programs, processes, systems, technologies, developments, ventures and undertakings.

Entries are assessed utilising a robust and dynamic framework to ensure that the assessment process is pertinent and objective. The World Business Awards Framework (WBA Framework) is utilised as a structured model of assessment that enables the participating organisations to be benchmarked against world class performance standards. The Framework consists of specialised assessment modules pertaining to the evaluation criteria for each of the award categories. The criteria and sub-criteria provide a robust set of requirements that are used as the methodology for benchmarking and learning among the participating organisations.

Organisations that participate are provided with the unique opportunity to benchmark themselves against the top performers globally. The recipients are acknowledged for their achievements and recognised as the elite of their industry earning a place amongst a distinguished group by having their products, projects, initiatives, contributions and achievements recognised on a prominent and far-reaching scale. The program provides the ultimate platform for building knowledge, increasing brand awareness, equity, loyalty and retention through increased exposure, recognition and prestige. This establishes a valuable resource that can be used extensively to create opportunities for publicity, positive organisational profiling and heightened brand awareness within the respective industries both nationally and internationally.

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