WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah today launched the Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development with a call to innovators around the world to submit ideas focused on improving the tools used by frontline healthcare workers in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. The initial focus of the Challenge, as announced by President Obama on Sept. 26, is to generate pioneering solutions to improve the personal protective equipment (PPE) and tools used by healthcare workers battling Ebola. Shah detailed the initiative today at the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting in Seattle, Wash.
“Together with our international partners, we will translate the expertise and ingenuity of scientists, innovators, engineers, and students from across the globe into real solutions,” said Shah. “With your bold thinking and engagement, we can give health workers the tools they need to win this fight.”
The Challenge seeks new, practical solutions in partnership with the White House Office of Science and Technology, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Defense.
The Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge will help to identify innovations that improve the comfort while maintaining the safety of PPE – masks, gloves, boots and other protective gear used by healthcare workers. Every day, health workers in Ebola-affected countries are performing critical, life-saving tasks that prevent the spread of the virus. PPE offers important protection, but also is the greatest source of physical discomfort and stress for the workers.
To help healthcare workers on the front lines provide better care and stop the spread of Ebola, this Grand Challenge will establish:
- An open innovation platform to crowd source and incubate innovative ideas to improve delivery of care and stem the spread of disease, including improvements in PPE;
- A challenge competition to fund and test innovations for PPE, infection treatment and control; and
- Partnerships for rapid testing and deployment of the best solutions.
To share ideas or to join the conversation, visit http://ebolagrandchallenge.net
USAID’s Grand Challenge for Development initiative crowd-sources solutions to solve clearly-defined problem sets, engaging the world in a quest to discover, incubate, test, and accelerate innovative solutions that have the potential to solve the world’s greatest development challenges.