To be spearheaded by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), the GCI this time is focusing on child nutrition
Launched in 2013, Grand Challenges India is a collaborative effort of the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India; the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Grand Challenges India has rolled out two successful initiatives: 'Achieving Healthy Growth through Agriculture and Nutrition' and ‘Reinvent the Toilet Challenge' and is now launching a third, ‘All Children Thriving'. Undertaken in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the program aims to ensure that all children not only survive but are also on a trajectory to live healthy and productive lives.
Dr MK Bhan, former secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), government of India announced this next phase of Grand Challenges India. ‘All Children Thriving' funds for seed grants are $500,000 for up to two years and full grants are $2.5 million for up to four years and focus on innovative tools and approaches that will drastically alter the public health landscape.
"On the 10th anniversary of the Grand Challenges meet, we must ensure that the under‐privileged have access to health services, good nutrition, and proper sanitation facilities. GCI's new call opportunity attempts to make positive changes in the lives of children in India. This is a major step forward in the DBT‐BIRAC‐Bill and Melinda Gates Joint Mission", said Dr Vijay Raghavan, secretary, DBT, government of India and chairman, BIRAC.
Over the past 10 years, the annual Grand Challenges Meetings have served as a platform for building the momentum required to tackle global health and development challenges and translating progress into impact. The annual meetings have convened world renowned researchers, government officials, and donors. On the 10th anniversary celebration, the Grand Challenges Meeting was jointly hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, USAID, and The Wellcome Trust.