In 2003, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched Grand Challenges in Global Health (GCGH). It focused on 14 major scientific challenges that, if solved, could lead to key advances in preventing, treating, and curing diseases in the developing world.
The Grand Challenge framework encompasses global health, water, energy, environment, food, education, security, and poverty. It focuses on research efforts and engaging the world’s best researchers. Projects are selected based on public, transparent calls for proposals seeking the best ideas. Funders, investigators, and other stakeholders actively collaborate to accelerate progress and integrate advances to ensure that they serve those most in need.
Initially, Grand Challenges Africa will focus on supporting the over 400 existing Grand Challenges grantees in Africa. The programme will ultimately develop, launch and manage Africa-specific Grand Challenges targeted to the development challenges preventing African countries from reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. One of their projects this year is the 2016 Grand Challenges Africa Community Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
The meeting will be held at the InterContinental Hotel from February 24-26. It will be a convening of the African grantees.
In 2015 the Grand Challenges gave seven grants to Kenyan innovators. Below are their proposed initiatives:
- Lake Victoria Islands MalSchistoHel Integrated Project
- Combining Visceral Leishmaniasis Risk Mapping and Deworming
- NFC Payment System for Non-Smartphones
- Real-Time Data on Customer Experiences
- Merchants on the Go
- Creating the “M-Kopa” of Data Collection
Further information on these projects can be read through here.