Healthcare innovators, apply today to win a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


If you are a healthcare innovator you stand a chance to win a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today. IKP Grand Challenges Explorations (IKP-GCE) is an IKP initiative in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to identify, nurture and empower revolutionary ideas that address global health challenges.

IKP is in the search for life-changing ideas from talented and motivated professionals; ideas that will improve the quality of life of people in the developing world. The ultimate goal of the challenge is the quest for new drugs, vaccines, delivery systems, diagnostics, devices and service models that can potentially be made available to people from all socioeconomic strata.

IKP-GCE is where science meets purpose, at a time when emerging economies such as India are poised to compete with larger economies. IKP aims to foster healthcare innovation from within our nation that will address the needs of our nation better; IKP-GCE is a search to identify innovations that will enable the goal of equitable health care. Six innovators have been funded from in the past 2 years, since the launch of the program.

In 2011, there were two winners:

1. Dr. Kanury Rao, from International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biology (ICGEB), New Delhi for coming up with an alternative chemotherapy strategy to target TB, by modifying host proteins to inhibit the activity of the bacteria.

2. Dr. Ganesan, from Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech), Chandigarh. K. Ganesan and Pradip Sen of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research – Institute of Microbial Technology in India for work to selectively kill cells latently infected with HIV by engineering reagents that would initiate killing only upon specific binding to proviral DNA.

In 2012, there were four winners:

1. Dr. Ashish Ganguly, CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh and colleagues from the CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technologyfor their work on an affordable paper-based diagnostic to quickly and precisely measure plasma gelsolin levels in expectant mothers. Their invention helps predict premature delivery and postpartum recovery, thereby reducing new mother and child mortality rates.

2. Windmill Health Technologies, New Delhi comprising Dr. Avijit Bansal and Dr. Ayesha Chaudhary for develop a foot operated manual resuscitator to enable front-line health workers to more successfully resuscitate newborns.

3. Dr. Rohit Srivastava and Dr. Aravind Kumar from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in India for their work in developing a microneedle-based drug delivery system for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB).

4. Dr. Vishwas Joshi, Founder of Seagull BioSolutions and team in India for developing a vaccine against the dengue virus by engineering a defective version of the measles virus to express dengue virus proteins (a so-called virosome), which can induce protective immunity.

If selected winners will be recognized as a GCE Phase I grantee, and will be eligible for a Phase I funding of $ 100,000 for a period of 18 months to two years. Successful projects will have the opportunity to apply for a follow-on grant of up to $1 Million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Apart from the funding, IKP Knowledge Park will closely work with the chosen candidates to provide them technical and business strategy advice. They will also gain access to networks in India and outside, that will help make their innovation a medical and commercial success, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The last date to apply is 25th December 2013. Do grab this opportunity today. Visit the website for further details


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