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Call for Solutions: MIT Solve – The Trinity Challenge

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Prize Eligibility

The Trinity Challenge welcomes submissions from anyone, anywhere in the world. In addition to offering prize funding, The Trinity Challenge will aim to support winning solutions by enabling collaborations with its Members.

Challenge Overview

COVID-19 forced humanity to confront the devastating costs that health emergencies inflict on the world. Despite warnings from scientists, our global community was not prepared for the health, economic, and social consequences of this latest public health crisis. The world’s varied reaction further exposed the dangers of siloed management and incomplete information. 

While exceptional efforts to develop vaccines and treatments offer hope for ending the current pandemic, there remains immense potential to learn from our mistakes and better prepare for future health emergencies. Powerful new developments in data, advanced analytics, and digital tools offer the opportunity to take decisive action against health threats at lower cost and with greater efficiency. The scaled use of such digital tools – in a transparent, interoperable, and secure manner – are solutions to properly identify, respond to, and recover from health emergencies. 

We need bold thinking, meaningful collaboration, and committed action to better prepare for the next global health emergency. The Trinity Challenge seeks solutions that use data and analytics to better:

  • Identify: determine and limit diseases and the risks they pose to communities
  • Respond: decrease transmission and spread by identifying measures that are effective, equitable, and affordable 
  • Recover: improve the resilience of health and economic systems, and address the disproportionate impacts of outbreaks and pandemics, particularly on vulnerable groups

The Challenge’s inaugural round will comprise a total Prize Fund of up to £10M. Across the Challenge Areas (Identify, Respond, Recover), The Trinity Challenge seeks to identify a transformative solution to win a grand prize award of up to £2M. The remaining funds will be allocated to further winning submissions, for up to £1M per solution. At least one award per Challenge Area is expected.

Solutions can focus on COVID-19 but should also be applicable for future health emergencies. Solutions should encourage collaboration of individuals, organizations, institutions, and/or governments. Successful solutions should also demonstrate reasonable potential to achieve measurable impact within the next three years and provide a public good that is globally accessible under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

For any questions about The Trinity Challenge, please email: help@solve.mit.edu.

Deadline to Submit a Solution: 12 Noon Eastern Time (7:00 PM EAT) April 15, 2021

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Innovation

Digital Education is the Future and These Startups Are Here for It

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A user in the Computer Laboratory, Main Library, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda

Rarely has the education system been as shaken as in the last 12 months. Years of slow progress towards digitalization and new learning methods have been replaced by mandatory use of long distance communication tools, new testing methods, and a lot of creativity from teachers and parents on how to engage children in learning. With apps and different online tools becoming a part of children’s lives, it is no wonder that the EdTech startup scene has been flourishing.

According to Crunchbase, venture funding for EdTech reached 4.1 billion USD in the first seven months of 2020, which is 1.5 billion USD more than in the same time frame a year before. It is also the highest amount raised in that frame for the past five years. Most of these deals are still for U.S. based companies, with big players like Skillshare and Materclass raising funds in Series D and E, respectively. Some of the biggest deals are also in China, for example Yuanfudao raised a billion USD in Series G and Zuoyebang raised 750 million USD in Series E.

EdTech wins two years in a row

Many emerging markets are still missing the necessary infrastructure and policies working towards keeping children in school though. Due to low income, children are often forced to leave school and work at a very young age. This is why digital education is especially important in these markets. It is often an answer to issues that involve education inaccessibility and high costs, providing an innovative and quality learning environment to children.

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Innovation

How Diversification Helped Switzerland During the Pandemic

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The Swiss flag flies high. Photo credit: Seedstars

It is well known that Switzerland has one of the strongest economies in the world. With the OECD grouping them into the high-income countries and the second highest GDP in the world, even economy newbies know that this small central-European country is synonymous with stability and prosperity.

The business environment is an interesting mix of world-famous companies, top-notch universities and research facilities, SMEs and startups working in a relatively small geographical area. Ranging from medicine, precious metals and gemstones, heavy machinery, to tobacco, chocolate and luxury perfumes and cosmetics, the 310 billion USD exports can compete with countries with more resources and population.

The Swiss economy is based on a highly qualified labour force working in specialized industries, with the main economic activities being pharmaceuticals, machinery, food and financial services. The “land of watches” can boast its high-class motors, generators, turbines and a whole range of other deep tech products. Continuous investments in research and development (about 3 percent of total GDP) has not only diversified the existing industries, but made it one one of the best places to do business.

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Innovation

Ericsson Innovation Awards 2021

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The Low-Cost Medical Ventilator (Bulamu Ventilator), a product of Makerere University and Kiira Motors Corporation on display in the Main Hall, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda on 28th August 2020 during the launch of two innovations in the fight against COVID-19.

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, the digital divide is growing. Economic, geographic, gender and access factors have left vast portions the global population at a severe disadvantage. The causes are many, including lack of infrastructure, resources and the high cost of devices. Your challenge is to identify a digital divide and develop a solution to bridge it.

How to participate

To enter the awards, you must register with a complete entry by August 5, 2021, 13:00 CET (2:00PM EAT).

A ‘complete entry’ means all required questions are answered and you have registered up to four total team members, all of whom are currently enrolled students pursuing a university degree. To qualify, each team member must be pursuing a higher vocational or academic degree (undergraduate, graduate, or doctorate), and graduating on or after the end date of the Semi-finalist period (September 13, 2021).

We strongly encourage you to embrace diversity and inclusiveness by bringing team members from different disciplines, cultures, life experience and skill sets. We’ve found that diverse teams often produce the most inspired ideas.

Entries are allocated into seven regions, depending on where your university is based.

By registering with a complete submission, you will automatically be entered to compete in the regional competition and will be eligible to be considered for the Global Semi-finals.

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