MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister’s office, and the Office of the Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Economy, are pleased to launch ”Grand Challenges Israel” a program dedicated to supporting technological and innovative solutions to grand challenges in global health and food security in developing countries.
This unique initiative, reflects Israel’s commitment to share its knowledge and experience to inspire and support fellow nations in their struggle with development challenges, and constitutes a meeting point between Israeli development diplomacy and technological entrepreneurship. It is yet another representation of the December 2012 United Nations approved Israeli-led resolution on Entrepreneurship for Development. The UN Second Committee followed by the General Assembly adopted the Israeli-proposed resolution stating that entrepreneurship is a critical development tool and a primary pathway to sustainable economic growth for all.
This was the first time that the United Nations adopted a resolution on the subject of entrepreneurship as a new means to meet the challenges of poverty and to generate growth and create jobs. Israel initiated, anchored and presented the resolution on behalf of a group of almost 100 nations.
Grand Challenges Israel joins the global initiative of "Grand Challenges", which was launched by the Bill and Melinda gates foundation in 2003. The Israeli program joins the global effort, of solving grand challenges posed to developing countries, taken by countries such as Canada, U.S.A, Brazil and India. It was born following the productive cooperation between Israel and Canada in the field of international development, and was inspired by the Grand Challenges Canada model.
Within this framework, Grand Challenges Israel will offer yearly grants to Israeli researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs for the proof of concept and development of their product/innovation in areas of global public health and food security, while providing a suitable framework for channeling and introducing Israeli innovative technology and services to this new, challenging and growing market.
Among the fields of interest the program will fund in the area of global health are: facilitating health services, disease carried by parasites, mental health, community health, neonatal and mother's health, point of care diagnostics, medical device, sanitation and sewage treatment. In the area of food security: advanced agriculture, post-harvest treatment, irrigation under arid conditions and more.
Israeli researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs are encouraged to establish partnerships with potential collaborators from developing countries in order to enhance chances of success and implementation. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its diplomatic missions around the world, will help facilitating theses important connections