Gates Foundation: Tools and Technologies for Broad-Scale Disease Surveillance of Crop Plants in Low-Income Countries

The goal of this topic is to solicit innovative tools and technologies for crop pests and disease surveillance over large geographic regions in low-income countries. The Gates Foundation is looking for tools and approaches that have the potential to transform crop pest and disease surveillance globally, with a focus on low-income countries. Ideas that result in increased coverage of geographic area will be prioritized over ideas that increase diagnostic accuracy. Ideas that are applicable or adaptable to multiple crops and diseases/pests will be prioritized over ideas that are specific to only one crop or pathogen. Because the Gates Foundation is focused on low-income countries, successful proposals will take into account small-scale, difficult-to-reach, intercropped farming systems with multiple pests and diseases. Preliminary data is not required, but proposals should clearly demonstrate how the idea is an innovative leap in progress from current practices with the potential to be transformative at scale.

To be considered, proposals must closely align with the goals of the foundation’s Agricultural Development team. As such, we are looking for proposals that:

  • Offer an innovative and transformative solution for surveillance and early detection of crop pests and diseases;
  • Offer potential for dramatic cost reductions or increases in efficiency or precision compared to current strategies;
  • Be amenable to integration into a national or regional pest and disease surveillance and response system for crop plants;
  • Have potential applicability to at least two of the following crops: maize, wheat, rice, millet, sorghum, cassava, sweet potatoes, yams, bananas, beans, cowpeas, chickpeas, and groundnuts;
  • Convey a clear potential for achieving broad geographic scale.

Deadline: May 2, 2018

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