PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Saturday, September 3, 2011

WANTED: Scientists, Innovators, Entrepreneurs with Bold Ideas to Save Lives

$100,000 Grants Available for Innovative, Game-Changing Proposals in Global Health and Agricultural Development

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced today that it is accepting proposals for Round 8 of its Grand Challenges Explorations, a $100 million grant initiative to encourage innovation in global health and development research. Proposals are being accepted through November 17, 2011 at 11:30 am Pacific Daylight Time.

The initiative offers scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs from around the world the opportunity to win $100,000 grants to pursue unconventional ideas that could transform health and agricultural development in the world’s poorest countries. The topics in this round are:

* Protect Crop Plants from Biotic Stresses From Field to Market

* Explore Nutrition for Healthy Growth of Infants and Children

* Apply Synthetic Biology to Global Health Challenges

* Design New Approaches to Optimize Immunization Systems

* Explore New Solutions in Global Health Priority Areas

“We seek bold, innovative proposals that address persistent global health and development challenges, such as increasing production and access to nutritious foods, reducing other causes of malnutrition and assuring receipt of lifesaving vaccines,” said Chris Wilson, Director of Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Unorthodox thinking is urgently needed in these areas if we are going to significantly improve the lives of millions of people who are living in the poorest countries.”

The proposal process makes it easy to apply. The initiative uses a streamlined, straightforward, online grant-making process. Applications are two pages, and preliminary data about the proposed research are not required. Proposals are being accepted online at

To help uncover new ideas, Grand Challenges Explorations seeks to involve innovators around the world, including researchers who do not typically work in global health and development; those with innovative ideas in Africa, Asia and other parts of the developing world; people working in the private sector; and young investigators.

The Gates Foundation and an independent group of reviewers will select the most innovative proposals, and grants will be awarded within approximately four months from the proposal submission deadline. Initial grants will be $100,000 USD each. Projects showing success will have the opportunity to receive additional funding up to $1 million USD over two years.

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