Friday, April 27, 2012

RFLOI: Reinvent the Toilet Challenge (Round 2)

From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

RFLOI: Reinvent the Toilet Challenge (Round 2)

SOL: 1063751
Open Date: April 23, 2012
Proposals Due: May 10, 2012
Apply here with a one page LOI, by May 10th 2012The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announces the second round of its Reinvent the Toilet Challenge designed to prototype a means of dealing effectively and cost-efficiently with human waste for the 2 billion people on earth who currently lack access to safe and affordable sanitation.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.
We concentrate on areas with the potential for high-impact—sustainable solutions that can reach millions of people. We work closely with our partners to support innovative approaches and expand existing ones so they reach the people who need them most. We also support policy and advocacy efforts to accelerate progress against the world’s most acute poverty.

Global Development

Nearly 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day. For one person in eight, hunger is a constant, potentially deadly companion. The vast majority of the poor also lack access to the most basic financial services, and only a tiny minority have access to the Internet. The foundation's Global Development Program is working with motivated partners to create opportunities for people to lift themselves out of poverty and hunger. Our strategy is focused. Because most of the world's poorest people rely directly on agriculture, we support efforts to help small farmers improve crop production and market access. Because loans, insurance, and savings can help people weather setbacks and build assets, we facilitate access to financial services for the poor. In addition, because information can change lives, we support free public access to computers connected to the Internet. The newest Global Development program area — Water, Sanitation & Hygiene—focuses on sanitation that works for the poor.

The Sanitation Challenge

 A large share of the solids and liquids people eat and drink are passed on in urine and feces. Human waste contains potentially valuable and recyclable resources such as water, energy, urea, salts, and minerals. It also consists of large amounts of useful as well as harmful microorganisms, mostly bacteria, as well as pathogens ranging in size from viruses to helminthes. Many diseases are passed on from person to person through the fecal-oral pathway—pathogens in one person’s waste end up ingested by another. For some diseases, this is the primary transmission pathway; for others, it is one of several transmission pathways.  Human waste also contains residues of the many complex, engineered chemicals people use, such as food additives, antibiotics, hormones, and nutritional supplements, some of which remain in the environment and result in unsafe accumulation in waste sinks.

Water,Sanitation & Hygiene Program

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works with a wide range of partners through its Water, Sanitation & Hygiene program to reduce the burden of excreta-related disease and improve the lives of the poor. Our approach aims to expand the use of toilet and sanitation technologies that do not connect to a sewer, as this is by far the most common type used by the poor. We invest in effective approaches that help end open defecation and unsafe sanitation in rural communities, and we help develop the tools and technologies that will allow the urban poor access sustainable non-piped sanitation.

Request for Letters of Inquiry

The Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Program will be disbursing a set of new grants to support its Reinvent the Toilet Challenge.  These grants are intended for exceptionally highly-qualified research groups interested in contributing to major advances in sanitation and hygiene in the developing world.
Successful applicants will participate in the next phase of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge: designing, prototyping and testing  entirely stand-alone, self-containedpractical sanitation modules which intake bodily wastes and swiftly dispose of them  without any incoming water piping, outgoing sewer piping or electric or gas utility services.  These modules must intake all outputs of the serviced population – ultimately at single-residence scales – with minimal module footprints and assured biosafety. Thus, chemical and mechanical engineering approaches are preferred.
At present, the Foundation is soliciting letters of inquiry and capability declarations from groups, primarily in the academic sector and from for-profit organizations, who are well qualified to undertake R&D and execute pertinent program plans. Full proposals for grant awards are not being solicited at the present, but submission of proposals may be invited in the near future from those whose letters of inquiry and capability declarationsare of extraordinary quality.

How to Apply

single-page typed-or-printed letter of inquiry and capability declaration should be submitted no later thanMay 10th 2012 in order to be assured of consideration.  This should concisely declare the nature of interest, relevant backgrounds and salient qualifications of Principal Investigator(s) and key group members, cite pertinent publications and the date by which a grant-supported effort could commence (after August 31, 2012 and before January 1, 2013), and the basic architecture, scale and key milestones of the contemplated effort to be proposed for grant consideration.  Please note that submission of a letter of inquiry or capability declaration does not imply, directly or indirectly, that any such submission will result in an award of a grant or any other funding.
Non-Confidential Application Process. The Foundation does not guarantee that any information submitted will be maintained as confidential.
Apply for this LOI

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