Gates Foundation Announces $8.1 Million in 'Grand Challenges Explorations' Grants

Gates Foundation Announces $8.1 Million in 'Grand Challenges Explorations' Grants

The has announced grants totaling more than $8.1 million to fifty-eight projects through its initiative.

Grants of $100,000 will enable researchers from eighteen countries to begin testing their bold ideas to improve health and development in the world's poorest countries. Among other things, grants awarded in this funding round will be used to develop in sub-Saharan Africa, including a solar-powered grain drier that doubles the storage life of harvested crops; a multi-crop thresher that enables farmers to thresh their crops more quickly and affordably; and manually powered equipment that can be used to recycle plastic shopping bags into drip irrigation tubing. In addition, the foundation awarded phase-two funding to four previously supported projects.

In partnership with the , the foundation also awarded a second round of grants for research on the theme "" Grant recipients include Christoph Nann of in Germany, who, in collaboration with local retail partners, will test a simple method for raising awareness of development projects in poor countries using location-based applications such as ; Arjun Venkatraman of the in India, who will use an Interactive Voice Response system to collect ten thousand personal narratives having to do with the impact of aid programs in rural India and then share them through digital media channels; and Charlotte Obidairo, in partnership with a team from in Tunisia, who will develop a crowdsourcing program aimed at teaching young people about global development challenges through first-person narratives and offer solutions to real-life challenges identified by their peers.

"The impressive concepts from around the world that are part of the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative are pushing the envelope when it comes to innovation to tackle ongoing challenges for the poor," said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery and Translational Sciences at the Gates Foundation. "We expect this increasing diversity of novel approaches to foster interventions that will save and improve lives."

For a complete list of 2013 GCE , visit the Gates Foundation Web site.

"." Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Press Release 05/21/2013.