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Gates Foundation and MiSK launch new initiative to reward positive ideas

Bill Gates speaking at the Misk 2017 Forum in Riyadh on Tuesday.
RIYADH: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Philanthropic Foundation (MiSK) announced a new initiative on Tuesday that will reward ideas that “positively transform” the world.
MiSK Grand Challenges is backed by grants totaling $10 million from the two foundations, and invites innovators from around the world to tackle some of the biggest problems facing humanity today.
Over the next three years, a series of MiSK Grand Challenges will be announced addressing education and global citizenship.
In a press statement, MiSK Secretary-General Bader Al-Asaker said: “Tackling global issues demands global partnerships. This collaboration with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is an important and essential initiative for the Misk Foundation. MiSK Grand Challenges will directly empower young people by providing them with the research grants necessary to give them the chance to innovate new solutions. A positive future can be shaped by the next generation and MiSK Grand Challenges will act as a vital catalyst in this process.”
Microsoft founder Bill Gates said: “Through the work of our foundation, I have seen the incredible power of innovation to transform the lives of the world’s poorest and most marginalized people. MiSK Grand Challenges will incentivize more of the brightest minds around the world to find the best ideas to solve some of the toughest development challenges.”
The first two Grand Challenges were also announced at the forum. The first education challenge calls for proposals to transform teaching and school leadership, while the global citizenship challenge focuses on engaging young people to address one or more of the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
A competitive selection process will be open to applicants from around the world and will result in 100 entrants receiving US$100,000 in seed funding to prove their concepts. The most impactful projects will have the opportunity to apply for further funding to implement the ideas across priority locations.

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