Major Programs under

Grand Challenges India (GCI) - the flagship program

Grand Challenges India (GCI) program is the flagship program managed by the PMU at BIRAC for the Department of Biotechnology and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnership.

GCI is the Indian arm of the Global Grand Challenges program launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Foundation launched Grand Challenges, as Grand Challenges in Global health in 2003, to focus on 14 major scientific challenges that if solved, could lead to improving the health of people in the developing world. Today, Grand Challenges has awarded 44 grants with a total funding of over $450 million across 33 countries for research projects during the course of its existence. The scope of the program has also expanded over the last decade to include challenges to global development along with global health.

Grand Challenges India was launched with the aim of fostering Indian innovation and research to develop affordable and sustainable solutions to improve health, in India and across the globe.

The ambit of Grand Challenges India is varied and includes health and development priorities. These include; maternal and child health, infectious diseases, vaccines, point-of-care diagnostics, agricultural development, food and nutrition, among others.

GCI is committed to seeking and rewarding both established researchers and young entrepreneurs, and other innovators, with the overall goal of expanding the pipeline of ideas for developing new preventive and curative therapies, piloting new technologies, and researching new ideas.

GCI supports projects under specific calls or programs by providing financial support in the form of grants, cooperative agreements and contracts, which are co-funded by the partner organizations or funded individually. PMU-BIRAC is responsible for managing these projects and providing technical and financial oversight.

The following are the three Grand Challenges India calls managed by the PMU at BIRAC. Please click on the individual links for more details on each. 

AGN- Achieving Healthy Growth through Agriculture and Nutrition
RTTC- Reinvent the Toilet Challenge
ACT- All Children Thriving
Immunization Data: Innovating for Action (IDIA)
Grand Challenges India call on Antimicrobial Resistance
Grand Challenges India call on ki (knowledge integration) Data Challenge

Wellcome Trust Affordable Healthcare in India and Innovation Awards

The Wellcome Trust funded the Affordable Healthcare in India initiative that encourages the development of innovative solutions and devices for healthcare at affordable prices, so that they are accessible to those that need them the most.

This program currently funds 21 projects in India that explore a range of topics, such as developing new devices and diagnostics, to engaging in basic research. These projects are directly funded by the Wellcome Trust and the PMU-BIRAC supports the management of these projects in India for the Trust.

For further details on the individual projects under this initiative, please visit the Affordable Healthcare in India webpage on the Wellcome Trust website.