April 25, 2012

What could you prove with $100,000?

Director of Project Optimize

Michel Zaffran is the coordinator for the Expanded Programme on Immunization at the World Health Organization (WHO). He is also the director of Project Optimize at PATH. In this guest post, Zaffran writes about how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is seeking new ideas for immunization systems and vaccine product characteristics.

As one of the most cost-effective health interventions, new lifesaving vaccines bring great promise to communities around the world. However, these new vaccines often present challenges to the immunization supply systems of low- and middle-income countries. Some new vaccines can occupy more space, may be more complex to prepare for administration, and may have temperature requirements that are not suited to the challenging environment of low- and middle-income countries.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges Explorations grants program has launched a new call seeking ideas to improve immunization supply systems, including vaccine product characteristics that could have implications for research and development. For example:

Anyone with a good idea is eligible to submit a two-page proposal, including public health specialists, researchers, entrepreneurs, engineers, or students working in nongovernmental organizations, ministries of health, universities, or companies. The program offers $100,000 grants, and successful projects may be eligible for additional funding up to $1 million.

The submission deadline is May 15, 2012.

This call for proposals builds on work facilitated by Project Optimize—a collaboration between PATH and the WHO—to develop a common vision for the future of immunization supply systems and logistics.

More information

Grand Challenges Explorations call for proposals

Grand Challenges Explorations program

Project Optimize on the PATH and WHO websites.

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