AESA, an initiative of the African Academy of Sciences and the NEPAD Agency, announced that with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, they are committing USS$ 7 million for Grand Challenges Africa Grants to fund innovative and bold ideas that will impact on Africa’s health and developmental outcomes over the next five years.

They will have calls for proposals each year, which will give out up to US$100,000 in Innovation Seed Grants for two years to innovators in Africa with any level of experience, working in any discipline in colleges, universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-governmental and non-profit organisations.

Projects which show promising results will be eligible to later apply for Phase 2 funding of up to $1 million from AESA or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The first call for proposals has been open on November 17 and is focused on innovators seeking solutions and strategies:

  1. To reduce maternal, neonatal and child deaths in Africa
  2. For creative communication approaches to inspire African governments to fund R&D.