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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Opens Fourteenth Round of Grand Challenges Explorations

Includes the initiative’s first call for ideas under the Foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor program

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

SEATTLE (September 8, 2014) – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced today that it is accepting applications for Round 14 of its Grand Challenges Explorations initiative, which seeks innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing global health and development problems. Great ideas come from everywhere, and grants have been awarded for over 990 projects in over 50 countries to date.

Applications are being accepted September 8 – November 12, 2014. Visit to submit a simple, online, two-page application for the topics listed below.

“Grand Challenges Explorations fosters technical and scientific innovation that enables early stage, innovative ideas to start being tested with $100,000 grants,” said Chris Wilson, Director of Global Health Discovery & Translational Sciences at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  “The application process consists of a simple online two-page form, and we hope to get applicants from many different countries and disciplines.”

Topics for Grand Challenges Explorations Round 14:

  • Enabling Universal Acceptance of Mobile Money Payments: We seek new solutions that promote the use of mobile phone-based payments by smaller merchants, service providers, and others serving the poor.
    • Reducing Childhood Deaths from Pneumonia: We seek new ways to reduce pneumonia fatalities through timely, effective treatment of children.
      • Reducing Malaria Transmission by Outdoor Mosquitoes: We seek to reduce malaria parasite transmission that occurs by mosquito bites outdoors, which is not addressed by the insecticide treated nets and indoor sprays that are effective in preventing transmission within houses at night.
        • Supporting New Mosquito-control Approaches: We seek new ways to capture and test mosquitos and grow them in the laboratory to support new approaches for controlling mosquito-borne diseases.
          • Measuring Brain Development and Gestational Age: We seek better ways to measure cognitive development and gestational age, which are critical for designing and assessing the effectiveness of strategies targeting children’s healthy growth and development. This topic is being undertaken in partnership with Grand Challenges Canada's Saving Brains initiative.
            • Integrating Community-based Interventions: We seek new ideas for integrating existing mass drug administration platforms for neglected tropic diseases with other community-based health interventions or services, with the goal of increasing the efficiency and impact of both types of programs.

              The Gates Foundation and an independent group of reviewers select the most promising proposals, and grants will be awarded within approximately five months from the proposal submission deadline. Initial grants are USD$100,000 each. Projects demonstrating potential will have the opportunity to receive additional funding up to USD$1 million.

              Grand Challenges

              The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recognizes that solving the most pressing challenges in global health and development requires more of the world’s brightest minds working on them. The Grand Challenges family of initiatives seeks to engage innovators from around the world to solve these challenges. Grand Challenges initiatives are united by their focus on fostering innovation, directing research to where it will have the most impact, and serving those most in need.

              About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
              Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.


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