Grants Awarded
 
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 Grand Challenges Explorations Grants

Grand Challenges Explorations fosters creative projects that show great promise to improve the health of people in the developing world. Grants target an expanding set of global health topics, and there are two award rounds per year. Projects with demonstrated success in their initial phase of research have the opportunity to receive Phase II funding of up to $1 million.

On June 3, 2014, 52 researchers were awarded new Grand Challenges Explorations grants. Read more about these below. In addition, 3 Explorations projects were awarded Phase II funding. To read more about these new Phase II grants, select "Phase II" in the Grant Phase drop-down menu, while showing all topics and all rounds.

To review all Explorations projects, select “Show All Topics” in the Topic drop-down menu, "Show All Rounds" in the Date and Grant Round drop-down menu, and “Show All Phases” in the Grant Phase drop-down menu.

Topic
Technologies
Date and Grant Round
Grant Phase
Showing Grants 1 to 10 of 18
ColdTrace - A Low-Cost System for Remote Temperature Monitoring of the Vaccine Cold Chain
Primary Investigator:
Nithya Ramanathan, Nexleaf Analytics, Los Angeles, CA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 8 – May 2012
Phase:
Phase II – Spring 2014
Nithya Ramanathan from Nexleaf Analytics in the U.S. will develop a low-cost mobile phone-based device to remotely monitor the temperature of refrigerated units that store and transport temperature–sensitive vaccines and drugs. In Phase I, they produced and tested a simple prototype temperature-sensing device and associated software that enables the wireless uploading of accurate temperature data for real-time monitoring, along with the ability to send SMS alerts upon reaching critical temperatures. They also undertook pilot studies in 17 clinics in Kenya and Haiti to test accuracy, usability, and efficacy for protecting cold-sensitive therapeutics specifically in low-resource environments. In Phase II, they will work towards further reducing costs, ensure that it can be widely used to monitor the entire cold-chain, and facilitate data sharing. They will also conduct larger pilot tests in Kenya, Haiti, Mozambique and India, and develop a commercialization plan including pricing and implementation models.
Preventing Freezing of Vaccines Through a New Class of Passive Cold Chain Equipment
Primary Investigator:
Nancy Muller, PATH, Seattle, WA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 8 – May 2012
Phase:
Phase II – Spring 2014
Nancy Muller from PATH in the U.S. will develop approaches to prevent freezing and thereby destruction of vaccines during cold chain transport. Maintaining vaccines below 8°C while preventing freezing is particularly challenging during their transport in developing countries. In Phase I, they designed low-cost liners containing engineered phase change materials that fit existing vaccine carriers and provide a thermal buffer between the vaccines and standard icepacks. The liners were tested using a new experimental freeze-test protocol, and met WHO performance, quality and safety functional requirements. Connections with vaccine carrier manufacturers were also established to promote the development of compatible vaccine carriers, and one prototype was field-tested in Vietnam for efficacy and ease of use. In Phase II, they will assist cold chain equipment manufacturers and the WHO in product design, testing, and generating demand, to help bring freeze prevention methods for vaccine transport into the market.
"Bulletin Board" For Broadcasting Vaccine Supply/Demand
Primary Investigator:
Arun Ramanujapuram, Logistimo, Inc., Bangalore, India - IN
Topic:
Round:
Round 8 – May 2012
Phase:
Phase I
Arun Ramanujapuram of Logistimo, Inc. in India proposes to develop a mobile-phone based "bulletin-board" for capturing and broadcasting availability and demand information for vaccines and medicines. By bringing real-time visibility to these essential goods, stock can be appropriately redistributed to areas of need, and waste can be reduced.
A Mobile Cloud System to Achieve Universal Vaccination
Primary Investigator:
Alain Labrique, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 8 – May 2012
Phase:
Phase I
Alain Labrique of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the U.S. will develop and field test in rural Bangladesh a cloud-based mobile phone system that will allow for universal access to vaccination records, send vaccine reminders and messaging, and provide incentives to parents and health care workers via a phone application. This new strategy could increase the reach, coverage, and public acceptance of immunization.
Development & First Field Testing Battery Free Solar Freezer
Primary Investigator:
Steven McCarney, Solar Electric Light Fund, Washington, DC, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 8 – May 2012
Phase:
Phase I
Steve McCarney of the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) in the U.S. proposes to accelerate the development and field testing of two solar powered, battery-free icepack freezers to provide a missing link in the cold chain where outreach efforts require frozen packs to cool vaccines during transport and immunization sessions. 
Establishing an Anti-Vaccine Surveillance and Alert System
Primary Investigator:
Seth Kalichman, University of Connecticut, Storrs Mansfield, CT, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 8 – May 2012
Phase:
Phase I
Seth Kalichman of the University of Connecticut in the U.S. will establish an internet-based global monitoring and rapid alert system for finding, analyzing, and counteracting misinformation communication campaigns regarding vaccines to support global immunization efforts.
Geospatial Optimization Tool
Primary Investigator:
Payal Kamdar, VSolvit, Fillmore, CA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 8 – May 2012
Phase:
Phase I
Payal Kamdar of VSolvit in the U.S. proposes to develop a customizable Geographical Information System web application platform that integrates existing data in a particular region (e.g., population, locations of vaccines stores, health care facilities, transportation options, even weather) to maximize delivery of vaccines to target populations.
More Vaccination, Less Debris: Developing Compostable Vaccine Packaging
Primary Investigator:
Claire Dillavou, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 8 – May 2012
Phase:
Phase I
Claire Dillavou of the University of California, Los Angeles in the U.S. will develop compostable vaccine packaging to diminish the environmental impact of residual debris from mass vaccination campaigns in developing countries lacking adequate disposal infrastructure.
Net Zero Energy Warehousing Systems for Drugs and Vaccines
Primary Investigator:
Jonathan Colton, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 8 – May 2012
Phase:
Phase I
Jonathan Colton of Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S., with John Lloyd, Andrew Garnett and Steve McCarney, will solicit proposals from industry to create a full set of requirements and engineering specifications for the development of a new “net zero energy” warehouse and distribution system for vaccines and drugs in developing countries.
On-Demand Vaccine Delivery Via Low-Cost UAVs
Primary Investigator:
George Barbastathis, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 8 – May 2012
Phase:
Phase I
George Barbastathis of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology in the U.S. will lead a team to develop Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that can be deployed by health care workers via cell phones to swiftly transport vaccines to rural locations and alleviate last-mile delivery problems and improve cost, quality, and coverage of vaccine supplies.
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