Have you finished and submitted your application for this year’s Wireless Innovation Project (WIP)? If not, do so soon as the deadline is now Monday, March 13! We’re getting excited to review all of the submission’s this year and we want your project to be a part of it.
Since launching in 2009, WIP has awarded $4.9 million to wireless-related technologies that have the potential to solve critical issues facing the world today. Past winners have gone on to future success with more than $9.5 million in additional funding, as well as successfully reaching market to drive significant global impact following their involvement with WIP.
If you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few examples of some of the successes from our past winners:
Saving Women Around the World with A Smartphone Attachment
In developing countries, cervical cancer is a leading cause of death, with over 270,000 deaths annually. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 deaths due to cervical cancer occur in low-or middle-income countries. The reality is that most of these deaths are preventable through simple screening, but women in these countries do not have access to the care they need. This is the drive behind MobileODT, which has developed a low-cost colposcope that leverages the ubiquity and ability of smartphones to replace complex and expensive cervical screening systems.
In 2014, MobileODT won the WIP which provided them a $300,000 grant to take their innovative idea to new levels. Specifically, the WIP funds helped establish MobileODT’s partnership with Bruce Kahn, M.D. at Scripps Clinic in San Diego and clinicians at Fronteras Unidas Pro Salud in Mexico, a civic organization with tools to provide medical and educational services on reproductive health for areas of Tijuana that lack access to medical services.
Protecting Vital Vaccines in Developing Countries with Sensor Technology
Nearly one in five infants—mostly in developing countries—miss the basic vaccines they need to stay healthy. This is due in part to widespread challenges along the supply chain—vaccines need to be kept between 2°C and 8°C—but vaccine fridges in rural clinics often fail. According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, in 2014 only 2% of health facilities in low- and middle-income countries had functional cold chain equipment with optimal technology.
Nexleaf Analytics is working to change that. Nexleaf’s ColdTrace is a low-cost, wireless sensor, designed to protect vaccines for preventable diseases like measles and polio by monitoring vaccine fridges remotely.
Nexleaf was the first-place winner of WIP in 2013. The $300,000 grant Nexleaf received helped the company partner with large vaccine delivery organizations like Gavi, expand into international markets, and iterate on the technology in rural clinics and health facilities. This year, Google.org and Gavi partnered to help Nexleaf strengthen vaccine cold chain systems in low-income countries. Google.org’s $2 million contribution will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s funding to the Gavi Matching Fund.
Do you have a similar project or drive for social good? Enter now! US universities and non-profits can enter the Vodafone Americas Foundation WIP competition 2017. Entries must be submitted by March 13, 2017. For more details visit the Wireless Innovation Project page.