Challenge: Combating Zika and Future Threats
Think boldly about new and transformative ways to prevent, detect, and respond to the Zika virus and future global health threats.
In today’s interconnected world, we’re more vulnerable than ever to devastating outbreaks and epidemics. Infectious diseases like the Zika virus, Ebola or SARS can take hold in a community suddenly and spread rapidly, traveling across borders before medical leaders and government officials have time to react. In 2014, Ebola killed over 10,000 people in West Africa. In 2003, the SARS outbreak caused over 8,000 people worldwide to become sick, of those, close to 800 died. Now Zika is projected to infect as many as four million people by the end of this year, possibly causing birth defects in babies born to pregnant women that become infected with the virus. As we become more connected, so does the velocity of the challenges we face in safeguarding our global health security.
As part of the $30 million Combating Zika and Future Threats Grand Challenge for Development, USAID is calling on the global community to develop bold and actionable ideas to fight the Zika virus today and cutting-edge technologies and approaches that will better prepare the world to fight the global health threats of tomorrow. USAID is granting awards in the range of $100,000 to $1 million to organizations with groundbreaking innovations and interventions.
To support this Challenge, USAID has partnered with OpenIDEO to launch an open innovation platform that draws upon talent, inspiration and solutions from around the world to address these pressing issues. Our aim with this platform is to use the power of the crowd to inform, inspire and guide creative solutions that are deeply grounded in what communities want and need. We’ll explore how the Zika virus impacts people and local communities and use these stories as inspiration for near-term solutions. Our collective thinking will not only develop new ideas that can be tested and implemented by anyone in the world, but also inform or develop ideas that may be submitted for the $30 million USAID challenge.