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Gates Vaccine Innovation Award



As a global health community… we need to know who the innovators are, so that the most powerful ideas spread far and wide.

Starting in 2012, the Gates Foundation will bestow an award on the individual or team that has made the most uniquely innovative contribution to the Decade of Vaccines.


Innovators in Vaccine Delivery Wanted

Hundreds of thousands of lives each year could be saved by improved access to vaccines. Vaccines are cost-effective, safe, and proven to protect children from disease.

The winner of the 2013 Gates Vaccine Innovation Award was announced in Bill Gates’ 2013 annual letter. The Award recognizes the work of Ms. Margarida Matsinhe, a field officer for VillageReach, a nonprofit working to improve health care and immunization coverage in Mozambique.

Continued innovation is essential to overcoming persistent challenges in reaching more children with vaccines.

The Gates Vaccine Innovation Award will celebrate revolutionary ways children in the poorest parts of the world are immunized. The winning innovation will be recognized with a US $250,000 prize.

The Gates Vaccine Innovation Award is open to individuals from any discipline. Candidates from academic institutions, governments, health care facilities, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies may be nominated.


We recognize that innovation in the delivery of vaccines can take many shapes. We are looking for ideas big or small that have resulted in tangible improvements in immunization coverage in developing country communities.  

Nominees will be assessed on three broad criteria:

  • Developing country impact – The nominee should have contributed to the prevention, control, or elimination of vaccine-preventable disease through significant improvements in immunization quality and coverage among mothers and children in developing countries. 
  • Innovation and creativity – The nominee should have applied imaginative and pioneering approaches to overcome difficult challenges to immunizing children and achieving impact. Innovation is not the same as invention. Even simple ideas applied in creative ways to overcome real-world challenges can be considered innovative.
  • Scale – The nominee’s innovation should be at scale or suitable to be implemented at scale within the nominee’s country and around the world.


In order to qualify for consideration:

  • Nominations must be related to vaccine delivery and meet the criteria above
  • Nomination forms must be completed in English 
  • The three essay questions should be answered within the font and word-limit requirements

The winner of the first Gates Vaccine Innovation Award was announced in Bill Gates’ 2012 annual letter. The 2012 Award recognizes the work of Dr. Asm Amjad Hossain, a former district immunization and surveillance medical officer in Bangladesh.

Please note that nominations focused on innovation in research & development are not eligible for consideration. This award is focused only on achieving impact through innovative systems, processes, tools, and technologies leading to better immunization.

Tips for Nominators

Following are some tips for those wishing to submit nominations:

  • Nominations must represent an innovative approach to vaccine delivery work that has demonstrated impact. Note: There are other avenues of funding for equally important research. See current Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant opportunities here.
  • Nominations will be reviewed by a panel with broad expertise and a track record in identifying innovations. These reviewers may not be deep experts in your field. Ideas should be described in clear language without the use of technical jargon unique to a particular field.
  • Documentation of the innovation does not need to be sent with the initial nomination form. However, credible evidence supporting the validity of a project or sufficient proof of innovation may be requested at a later date. We will need to contact the nominee prior to the prize being issued.
  • Nominators should review the policies, guidelines, terms, and conditions associated with this award.

Please contact: vaccine-innovation-award@gatesfoundation.org for additional information.

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