New funding opportunity: innovation to strengthen immunization systems
28 March 2012 - New life-saving vaccines being developed and introduced in immunization programs around the world require immunization supply systems that are up to the task of ensuring that those vaccines reach the people who need them most.
A new call for proposals from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation seeks bold new strategies to increase the effectiveness and reliability of immunization systems. The Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations grant program offers US$100 000 grants to help prove the potential of innovative approaches to optimize immunization systems.
“The first round of the Grand Challenges Explorations grants program for immunization supply systems was very successful,” said Michel Zaffran, Director of project Optimize and Senior Adviser in WHO's Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals department. “Nearly 300 applications from over 50 countries were received by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The winners will be announced by the Foundation in early May 2012.”
A search for daring solutions
Anyone with a good idea is eligible to submit a two-page proposal, including engineers, public health specialists, entrepreneurs, and students working in a nongovernmental organization, ministry of health, university, or company.
Priority areas for funding include: vaccine product characteristics, supply system design, environmental impact, information systems, human resources, and vaccination acceptance.
Proposed solutions should be daring in premise and clearly different from approaches currently under investigation or in use, with a focus on the operational aspects of immunization systems. Ideas also must have the potential to be scaled up or reproduced in multiple low-resource settings.
The submission deadline is 15 May, 2012.
About Grand Challenges Explorations
Launched in 2008, Grand Challenges Explorations grants have already been awarded to about 600 researchers from 44 countries. Successful projects may be eligible for additional funding up to US$1 million.