The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently accepting proposals for the 22nd round of the Grand Challenges Exploration on the topic of “Tools and Technologies for Broad-Scale Pest and Disease Surveillance of Crop Plants in Low-Income Countries”.
The goal of this topic is to solicit innovative tools and technologies for crop pests and disease surveillance over large geographic regions in low-income countries. GCE is looking for tools and approaches that have the potential to transform crop pest and disease surveillance globally, with a focus on low-income countries. Ideas that result in increased coverage of geographic area will be prioritized over ideas that increase diagnostic accuracy. Ideas that are applicable or adaptable to multiple crops and diseases/pests will be prioritized over ideas that are specific to only one crop or pathogen. Because GCE is focused on low-income countries, successful proposals will take into account small-scale, difficult-to-reach, intercropped farming systems with multiple pests and diseases. Farmer-facing applications must be able to integrate into country-level extension services (no single-disease based apps) and must be able to function without requiring a smartphone or reliable internet connectivity. Successful proposals will address data requirements and plans for data acquisition. Preliminary data is not required, but proposals should clearly demonstrate how the idea is an innovative leap in progress from current practices with the potential to be transformative at scale.
Awards of $100,000 USD are made in Phase I. Phase I awardees have one opportunity to apply for a follow-on Phase II award of up to $1,000,000 USD.
- GCE is open to both foreign and domestic organizations, including non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, international organizations, government agencies, and academic institutions.
- To be considered, proposals must closely align with the goals of the foundation’s Agricultural Development team. As such, GCE is looking for proposals that:
- Offer an innovative and transformative solution for surveillance and early detection of crop pests and diseases;
- Offer potential for dramatic cost reductions or increases in efficiency or precision in data collection compared to current strategies;
- Be amenable to integration into a national or regional pest and disease surveillance and response system for crop plants;
- Have potential applicability to at least two of the following crops: maize, wheat, rice, millet, sorghum, cassava, sweet potatoes, yams, bananas, beans, cowpeas, chickpeas, and groundnuts;
Convey a clear potential for achieving data collection at a broad geographic scale.
How to Apply
Applicants can apply online via given website.
Deadline: 14 November 2018
For more information, please visit Grand Challenges Explorations.
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