Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Neglected Tropical Diseases Data Innovation Incubator Grand Challenge

Deadline: 25 March 2019

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is seeking applications for its Neglected Tropical Diseases Data Innovation Incubator Grand Challenge to support global efforts to control, eliminate, and eradicate NTDs. The team focuses on seven of the ten London Declaration diseases, as well as on cross-cutting efforts to improve the quality and impact of NTD programs through a variety of levers, including data systems. Strengthening NTD data systems and ensuring use of quality data for programmatic decision-making at the country, regional, and global levels are priority components of these cross-cutting efforts.

This Grand Challenge seeks innovative ideas for how to improve the quality, completeness, and timeliness of routine NTD data and ensure programmatic decision-making is based on the best available data. Such outcomes will help target interventions to all at-risk populations and achieve high intervention coverage and maximal impact on infection and morbidity.

Grand Challenges Principles

  • Strategic and well-articulated Grand Challenges serve both to focus research and development efforts and to capture the imagination of and engage the world’s best researchers and innovators. The Grand Challenges model focuses on seeking solutions to well-defined problems. The initiative brings these problems to the attention of relevant communities of solvers, both individuals and organizations, and invites creative and forward-thinking approaches to address issues that, if solved, can dramatically improve the world we live in. Projects are selected based on public and transparent calls for proposals seeking the best ideas.
  • The Grand Challenges programs do not purport to know the solutions to the world’s most pressing development issues—but they are willing to take risks and invest to create new solutions. The Grand Challenges model aims to engage new solvers with fresh ideas.
  • Funders, innovators and other stakeholders actively collaborate to accelerate progress and promote advances to ensure they serve those most in need. The public, private, academic and nonprofit sectors must work together to accelerate and scale up innovations that can improve the lives of those most in need.
  • Projects are selected not only for scientific excellence but also for the likelihood that they will achieve the desired scale and impact. Successful applicants present projects that, when proven successful through the collection of rigorous evidence, have the potential to serve those most in need. Investing in scientific innovation—as well as in the business and social innovation needed to increase impact at scale—will help ensure that these efforts have the greatest possible impact in terms of lives saved or improved.
  • Researchers and innovators work to ensure that the fruits of their projects are accessible and available to those most in need. Fostering ties to industry, both by helping bridge the private and public sectors or by directly funding a company, can create sustainable enterprises, and reduce the time from discovery to development, production and impact. Key to this is developing global access strategies to ensure that those most in need benefit from new solutions.

Budget Information

  • Please summarize the budget for each key step of implementation, including by breaking down Round 1 and Round 2. If applicants are modifying or enhancing an existing solution for the context of the selected use case, please include this as a key activity step, with associated timeline and budget.
  • As detailed above, the foundation are suggesting a maximum budget of $200,000 USD for 6 months of work for Round 1; although they are not specifying a budget for Round 2, the objectives for that round must be achievable within 18 months from the start of Round 2 funding.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Grand Challenges is open to both foreign and domestic organizations, including non-profit organizations, for- profit companies, international organizations, government agencies and academic institutions. Individuals and organizations classified as individuals for U.S. tax purposes are not eligible to receive an award from the foundation as part of the Grand Challenges initiative.
  • Upon registration, applicants must provide information about the tax status of their organization as different terms and conditions may apply. Applicants should confirm their organization’s tax status with the appropriate advisor or entity within their organization such as their grants or contracts department, finance, or office of sponsored research. The foundation may request additional information regarding their tax status.
  • Each challenge published under the Grand Challenges may include additional instructions with regard to specific limitations regarding eligibility for that challenge.

How to Apply

Applicants can apply online via given website.

For more information, please visit

  • Mathews says:

    Awesome.. I have Learnt and seen in my country that NTDs are becoming a serious concern and valid data is lacking in the health system. As an interested individual in Zambia, can I participate in the challenge?

    • Ritu at fundsforNGOs says:

      Hi Mathews,

      You can apply for this opportunity if you fulfill the eligibility requirements. To learn more on eligibility criteria and how to apply please visit the link provided at the end of the post.

      Good luck!

  • Napo says:

    Fortunate enough, I have learn and seen in my country Lesotho that there is a very high rate of lack of lack of employment especially to youth….as an interested individual in Lesotho, can I participate in receiving any funds that will help in establishing sustainable community development project especially in my area. I will avail myself for any training that may be required to solve that existing problem.
    Hope our request will be highly succeed.

    • Ritu at fundsforNGOs says:

      Hi Napo,

      You can apply for this opportunity if you fulfill the eligibility requirements. To learn more on eligibility criteria and how to apply please visit the link provided at the end of the post.

      Good Luck!

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