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28 Apr 2016

EC launches Birth Day Challenge to combat death at childbirth

On 28 April 2016, the European Commission (EC), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and MSD for Mothers launched the Birth Day Challenge, a Horizon 2020 prize with the aim of identifying and bringing to market innovative solutions preventing death and complications during pregnancy and childbirth. The Challenge is for up to three cash prizes, to be awarded to the innovator(s) with the most effective solutions, to assist in the realisation of their idea or development. Proposed solutions could be of a clinical, technological or managerial nature, and should take full account of relevant social factors.

€ 1 million of funding is provided by the EC from Horizon 2020, another € 1 million by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and a further €500,000 by the MSD for Mothers programme of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation.

According to UNICEF, 5.9 million children per year die before their 5th birthday, of which 2.65 million are newborn babies. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that 300,000 women died in 2015 from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, and in addition, for every woman dying of pregnancy-related complications every year, between 20 and 30 others experience permanent side-effects that undermine their ability to function normally. When launching the Challenge, Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, stressed the importance of finding "innovative ways to support the modernisation of healthcare systems, to prevent the unnecessary deaths of mothers and their infants".

Applications can be submitted until 6 September 2017.

For more information:

EC Horizon 2020 - News

Birth Day Prize website


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