Eligibility Criteria

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1. To be eligible for the competition, applicants should meet the Eligibility Criteria below and pass the Eligibility Questionnaire once you register for the online application.

2. Once proposals have been submitted, they will be judged by the Evaluation Criteria below.

Please review both sets of criteria before starting the application process.

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Eligibility Criteria—How to determine if your project is qualified to apply

The competition seeks to support the most promising innovative solutions that address critical global social issues using wireless related technology. To be eligible for consideration, Applicants should meet the following criteria (“Eligibility Criteria”):

  • Applicants should be either (a) U.S. nonprofit corporation or trust that is tax-exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3) and that is a public charity (not a private foundation) or (b) a U.S. University, including a university department, university-based research center, university-based entrepreneurship or technology innovation center that is legally part of the university. Project team participants may not be an employee of the Vodafone Americas Foundation, Vodafone Group Plc or any entity in which Vodafone Group Plc holds, directly or indirectly, a shareholding or interest of 20% or more or has the right to exercise, directly or indirectly, 20% or more of the voting rights (collectively, the “Vodafone Entities”).
  • The applicant should propose an innovation in wireless-related technology to address a critical global issue in one or more of the following issue areas: education, health, access to communication, the environment or economic development.
  • The project should demonstrate a significant advancement in wireless-related technology. (We define innovation as something that hasn’t been done before, building upon existing technology, or a unique combination of technologies.)
  • The project should be at a stage of research where an advanced prototype or field/market test can occur during the award period.
  • Early-stage research, or ready to launch products, will not be considered.
  • Projects should involve an established multi-disciplinary team that demonstrates the expertise needed for a comprehensive solution to the targeted problem. For example, a team may consist of members from two or more of the following disciplines: engineering, design, business, international development, or other relevant disciplines. A team may also consist of university-based researchers and non-profit organizations working such areas as international development, health or environment.
  • Projects should demonstrate potential for replication and large scale impact.
  • Proposals should include a business plan or demonstration of financial sustainability.
Low Probability of Being Selected High Probability of Being Selected
Similar technologies already exist in the marketplace and the project does not make a significant technological advancement. Project advances wireless technology, may build upon existing technology/ideas, and is unique in the marketplace.
Early-stage research, concepts, ideas or ready-to-launch products will not be considered. Project is at a stage of research where an advanced prototype or field/market test can occur during the award period.
Partnerships with stakeholders and other organizations in the field have not been developed. Team has developed partnerships with key stakeholders and other organizations in the field.
Technology is not at an advanced prototype/ field testing stage. Technology is at the advanced prototype/ field testing stage.
A business/ financial sustainability plan has not been developed, or is not fully developed yet. Project has a well thought out business/ financial sustainability plan.
Innovation is limited in scope where and how it can be implemented. Innovation has the potential for broad scale impact.

Evaluation Criteria—How your project will be judged

Successful Applicants will demonstrate an important innovation in the use of wireless-related technology that provides an effective, sustainable solution to a pressing need for under-resourced populations around the world. Ideal projects provide access and new uses for wireless related technology to help society. Applicants must demonstrate how the Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project™ Award would be used to bring the Project to the next phase of significance.

Projects will be evaluated on the following criteria. Emphasis will be placed on the technological significance of the wireless related innovation and the potential for social impact:

  • 1. Significance of the Wireless Innovation
    • The proposed project offers a significant advancement in wireless-related technology.
    • The research design demonstrates a thorough understanding of the technical issues being addressed.
    • The proposed Project demonstrates how the innovation can be implemented beyond the laboratory.
  • 2. Social Impact
    • The proposed project presents a solution to a clearly defined social problem within the areas of education, health, access to communication, environment, or economic development.
    • Projects may also address issues of connectivity, energy, language or literacy hurdles, or ease of use.
    • The proposed solution has the potential wide-scale social impact and scalability.
  • 3. Interdisciplinary Involvement
    • The Project uses an interdisciplinary team to develop a comprehensive solution that addresses the technological issues and the social impact/international development issues.
    • The Project demonstrates knowledge of and capacity for partnership with U.S. non-profit organizations, international NGOs, or businesses working in the field or other external partners needed to implement the Project’s goals.
  • 4. Market Knowledge and Use of Innovation
    • There is a demonstrated need in the market for the product as evidenced by market data, needs assessment, or involvement of local NGOs or social entrepreneurs.
    • The proposed Project design demonstrates an understanding of the culture and conditions of the end-users and consideration of the impact of the proposed innovation.
  • 5. Project Plan and Feasibility
    • The proposal presents a well thought out business plan demonstrating its financial sustainability over time.
    • The proposal demonstrates that it has considered the feasibility of mass production, marketing and distribution.