Grand Challenges India (GCI) aims to boost innovation by Indian researchers through technological advancements. It was jointly launched by India's Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2013.
The latest edition of GCI will target nutritional interventions in child health. The aim is to promote innovation aligned with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The DBT and the Gates Foundation have pledged an investment up to $25 million each, over five years, under the initiative.
Renu Swarup, managing director, BIRAC and senior advisor, DBT, said, "The focus for this edition is on nutritional interventions in the area of child health and development. We are looking at innovations for neonatal care and preterm babies for children who are less than 1,000 days old. It would help integrate maternal health with childcare."
Swarup further added, "Overall, the challenge seeks to promote and nurture innovations in vaccines, drugs, agricultural products, and interventions related to improving maternal and child health."