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Innovations in Materials Science for a Transformative Menstrual Health and Hygiene Product (Round 25)

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Agencies, Nonprofits, and
Businesses to Address Needs of Women and Girls in Eligible Regions

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - Global Grand Challenges

Deadline Date:

04/22/20 11:30 AM Pacific Time

Description:

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Grants to USA, Canada, and International government agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and academic institutions to address the needs of female residents of low- and middle-income countries. Funding is intended to support the development of affordable, safe, discreet, and innovative feminine hygiene products.

The Foundation seeks fundamentally transformative and innovative ideas to support the design and development of new menstrual health and hygiene products that meet key criteria of being responsive to user needs - particularly in low and middle income countries (LMIC) context; with priority focus on safety, unobtrusiveness, effectiveness  cultural acceptability, and sustainability. While there are a number of challenges related to access to current products, reducing stigma, and shifting social norms, this opportunity is specifically focused on driving transformative innovation in the product development domain. The Foundation is particularly seeking new technologies, including those potentially used in adjacent fields such as materials science, that could be adapted to innovative MHH products. Thus, these creative solutions must be contextually grounded and designed in response to the needs and preferences of women and girls living in LMIC and designed particularly with the future in mind.

Proposals should include how they will address the following criteria:

  • Innovation: The Foundation is seeking radical transformation of existing MHH products, including leveraging materials science and other product innovations.
  • Discretion: The ability to use a product without it being detected is of high importance to women and girls, specifically during wear, cleaning, and disposal. Other considerations include safety. Finally, functionality over the life course depends upon adaptability to times of irregular and sometimes heavy bleeding, including perimenarche, postpartum, and perimenopause.
  • Sustainability: Current MHH products either require access to clean water to clean or result in waste. A transformative product would neither require neither clean water nor result in waste.

Note: Given the foundation's target geographies and populations, a MHH product needs to be affordable for a woman throughout her reproductive years. This criterion will need to be weighed carefully against the prior criteria. While striving for a low cost of goods sold (COGS), the Foundation also recognizes that affordability can be addressed through multiple levers including market dynamics and scaled production.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 188400

Estimated Size of Grant:

Awards of $100,000 USD are made in Phase I. Phase I awardees may have one opportunity to apply for a follow-on Phase II award of up to $1,000,000 USD.

Term of Contract:

Phase I projects have a term of approximately 18 months beginning on the project start date. Phase I awardees have an opportunity to apply once for Phase II funding with a grant term of up to two (2) years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

GCE is open to both foreign and domestic organizations, including non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, international organizations, government agencies, and academic institutions.

The following will not be considered for funding:
- Basic research in materials science or product design that does not address the criteria as outlined above
- Proposals only focusing on innovative new materials science without a clear path toward developing an MHH prototype manufacturing process
- Proposals where there is no clear path forward to scale
- Proposals focused on current MHH product delivery and education, as opposed to a technological solution for innovations in new products
- Proposals that focus on incremental change of existing products
- Proposals focused on other aspects of MHH, including infrastructure/systems for addressing access to existing products, water and sanitation improvements or shifting social norms around stigmatization.

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals for Round 25 must be submitted prior to the submission deadline of 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.

Key dates and deadlines for Round 25
- February 27, 2020: Application period opens
- Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 11:30 a.m. US Pacific Time: Application deadline
- June 2020: Proposal review completed
- October 2020: Selections completed, and notifications sent
- By November 1, 2020: Awarded projectsstart date

All applicants must create an account and submit proposals only through the online portal.

Upon registration, applicants must provide information about the tax status of their organization as different terms and conditions may apply. Applicants planning to conduct project activities in India may be required to register with the Ministry of Home Affairs under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of 2010 (FCRA). For more information, see https://gcgh.grandchallenges.org/sites/default/files/additional-materials/GCE_Menstrual_Health_Rules_and_Guidelines_Round25.pdf#page=3.

For more information about this opportunity, see https://gatesfoundation.smapply.io/prog/menstrual_health_GCE_R25/.

Application Instructions: https://gcgh.grandchallenges.org/application-instructions

How Grand Challenges Explorations Grants Are Selected: https://gcgh.grandchallenges.org/how-grand-challenges-explorations-grants-are-selected

FAQs: https://gcgh.grandchallenges.org/grant-opportunities/faq/gce

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online Portal: https://gatesfoundation.smapply.io/

Please direct all questions about this initiative,selection criteria, or application instructions by e-mail to the following address: GCEhelp@gatesfoundation.org.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

Israel

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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