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Grand Challenges India: A Backgrounder

Grand Challenges in Global Health (GCGH) is a grant initiative that focuses on an expanding set of major global health challenges. The program aims to engage creative minds worldwide to work toward solutions that could lead to breakthrough advances for those in the developing world.

Grand Challenges India

On June 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, signed an umbrella MOU to collaborate on mission-directed research. The partnership is being implemented through the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a Public Sector Company incorporated by the Government of India.

The Grand Challenges India initiative was launched on 20th March 2013by the three partners to support innovations in vaccines, drugs, agricultural products, and interventions related to malnutrition, family and child health. Its aim is to launch joint initiatives aimed at catalyzing innovative health and development research within India. The Grand Challenges encourages innovation within our own country and gives an opportunity to link to a network of innovators, all working to solve pressing global health challenges.

Since its inception, Grand Challenges India rolled out two successful initiatives, namely, “Achieving Healthy Growth through Agriculture & Nutrition” and “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge.”

All Children Thriving Initiative

In October 2014, DBT-BMGF-BIRAC launched the third call — ‘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 also remain on the trajectory of healthy and productive lives. 

The ultimate goal of this challenge is to determine what package of interventions should be delivered to which group of individuals, at what point in their life cycle to reduce the burden of foetal growth impairment and preterm birth, stunted postnatal growth, and impaired cognitive development.

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