Bangladeshi team bags Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation award

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The Bangladeshi teams are: icddr,b, Simprints Technology, Bioforge, D2, SOLshare

Five teams from Bangladesh have made it to MIT’s Solver Class of 2020.

MIT Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, announced 35 new Solver teams from 20 countries, including at least five Bangladeshi teams at finals on Tuesday.

A press release was published on MIT Solve website on Tuesday.

Bioforge invented a cost efficient neonatal incubator and has also received the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation award for winning the “Maternal and Newborn Health” challenge of this year’s MIT Solve. 

Other winning initiatives are: D2, SOLshare, Simprints Technology, Jute Cellulose-based Biodegradable PPE. 

Jute cellulose-based biodegradable PPE

Among the Bangladeshi teams, the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) team’s solution is “Jute cellulose-based biodegradable PPE.” The team is led by icddr,b Research Investigator Dr Mehjabin Tishan Mahfuz.

Bioforge

The Bioforge team, led by its founder Dr Dewan Ahmad Fawzul Kabir Choudhury, proposes “Bioforge Neonatal Incubator.” The team is aiming for “cost effective and easy to assemble incubators for doctors operating within limited resources.”

D2

D2, the team led by Razin Mustafiz, software engineer, D2, wants to create opportunities for unemployed Bangladeshi youth by “providing access to meaningful work online.”

SOLshare

SOLshare aims to bring affordable solar electricity to the remote, rural off-grid communities of Bangladesh. Its team, led by Salma Islam, project manager of ME SOLshare Ltd, has “created the world’s first solar P2P energy exchange platform allowing users to earn a direct income from the sun.”

Simprints Technology

Another team led by Alexandra Grigore, chief product officer, Simprints Technology, is working on biometrics for vaccine delivery. They are pursuing contactless biometrics for vaccine delivery at the frontlines. This way, they hope to minimize wastage of vaccine doses and maintain data in a more efficient manner.

The incoming 2020 Solver Class was selected by Solve’s expert judges from a pool of over 2,600 applicants from 135 countries.

Seven teams were selected under each of the categories: Health Security and Pandemics, Learning for Girls and Women, Good Jobs and Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Maternal and Newborn Health and Sustainable Food Systems.

Around 74% of Solver teams are headquartered in countries based in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, or the Middle East and North Africa.

“Welcome to our new class of 2020 Solver teams—we are thrilled to help you on your journey to solve some of the world’s most intractable challenges and scale your work and impact,” said Solve’s Executive Director Alex Amouyel.

“In this most uncertain year, we received a record number of submissions from a diverse global applicant pool. We’re proud to say 51% of our Solver teams are women-led, and this cohort represents 20 countries,” he added.

Expressing gratitude, Bioforge said in its Facebook page: “This win is not just for Bioforge. This win is not just for Bangladesh. This win is for a future where healthcare works for everyone. Out of every thousand live births twenty-three newborns die in Bangladesh. Many of these deaths can be prevented with access to incubators and neonatal care. But even with sufficient funding, existing incubator technology is not viable for many of these poverty-stricken communities.”

“We at Bioforge have developed a cost effective and easy to assemble incubator for doctors operating within limited resources. The Bioforge team is motivated and driven towards building better and inclusive healthcare,” the Bioforge Facebook post added.

Over $1 million in prize funding was announced for the new 2020 Solver Class.

Solve is an initiative of MIT with a mission to solve world challenges. Solve is a marketplace for social impact innovation. Through open innovation Challenges, Solve finds incredible tech-based social entrepreneurs all around the world. 

Solve then brings together MIT’s innovation ecosystem and a community of members to fund and support these entrepreneurs to help them drive lasting, transformational impact.

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