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Two Challenges for the Future of Health Security

2.6 million lives lost, 1.5 billion students’ education disrupted, a rise in global extreme poverty for the first time in 20 years, and an estimated 225 million jobs lost worldwide, with the poorest and most underserved communities particularly affected. The Covid-19 pandemic has tragically exposed our lack of global preparedness for disease outbreaks and highlighted the huge inequalities and injustices that existed prior to this pandemic. While mass vaccination plans offer hope that we may soon put Covid-19 behind us, there is still much work to be done to ensure the most underserved communities receive the support they need, and that we invest in health systems to reduce the risks of future health security threats.

Just over a year ago, Solve launched our Health Security & Pandemics Challenge as part of our 2020 Global Challenges. Despite the ongoing crisis, we received over double the number of applications compared to 2019, and our Challenge Leadership Groups selected 35 Solver teams and 8 Indigenous Communities Fellows. These innovators shared over $2 million of funding and are participating in our virtual Solver program to connect with Members, Partners, and the broader Solve and MIT community to help them scale their solutions. For Health Security & Pandemics, seven Solver teams were selected and their transformative solutions included biometrics for vaccine development, a community-owned livestock disease detection app, jute cellulose-based biodegradable PPE, a smart mosquito disease control system, and more.

In 2021, MIT Solve is continuing this work through two open Challenges: Solve’s Global Health Security & Pandemics Challenge and The Trinity Challenge. These two Challenges call for tech-based solutions from innovators and researchers around the world working to redefine the future of health security. Health innovators are invited to apply to both to access more than $14 million in funding. Additionally, more than $20 million in funding is currently available across all of our open Challenges.

What is The Trinity Challenge? 

The Trinity Challenge, powered by MIT Solve, calls for solutions powered by data and analytics to identify, respond to, and recover from global health emergencies. Up to £10 million in funding is available. One grand prize of up to £2 million and several prizes of up to £1 million will be awarded. The Trinity Challenge has specific prize eligibility requirements. It brings together a coalition of organizations from business, academia and the social sector.

What is Solve’s Global Health Security & Pandemics Challenge? 

The Health Security & Pandemics Challenge calls for technology-based solutions that help protect all people from health security threats and the impacts of disease outbreaks, especially those people who are most vulnerable because of their race, ethnicity, gender, age, income, or other risk factors. A list of prizes is available here. In addition to prize funding, the most promising solutions will become Solver teams, joining a supportive community of Solve Members and Partners including social impact leaders, funders, and experts to help advance their innovative work through Solve's nine-month program.

Who should apply?

Both Challenges welcome submissions from anyone, anywhere in the world. 

Applicants are encouraged to apply to either or both Challenges as appropriate. 

Deadline for The Trinity Challenge: April 15, 2021. 

Deadline for Health Security & Pandemics Challenge: June 16, 2021.

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