Newest GSMA Innovation Fund includes focus on frontier tech

Newest GSMA Innovation Fund includes focus on frontier tech

Mobile industry grouping the GSMA has announced the launch of its newest GSMA Innovation Fund, in partnership with the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), to address humanitarian challenges.

The Fund provides grant funding of up to £250,000 (about $313,429) and additional non-financial and technical assistance to test and support new solutions that use digital technologies – especially mobile – to address humanitarian challenges in low and middle-income countries.

In this context humanitarian challenges include, but are not limited to, food insecurity, displacement, and natural hazards such as floods, earthquakes and typhoons.

The GSMA adds that the Fund is interested in solutions that improve preparedness and response to humanitarian challenges using so-called frontier tech, such as artificial intelligence and the IoT; that respond to the needs of crisis-affected populations, including internally displaced persons and refugees, through access to humanitarian assistance, services and life-saving information; or existing innovations that can be adapted or replicated in a new context to respond to a humanitarian challenge.

While the Innovation Fund has typically supported non-profit and non-government organisations, this year’s Fund is focused specifically on for-profit small and growing enterprises – including start-ups.

The GSMA says this focus will help itto support a new range of humanitarian innovations, leverage its unique expertise in enabling public and private partnerships, and generate insights and evidence from these innovations to benefit crisis-affected communities, the humanitarian sector, and digital and mobile industry stakeholders.  

The Fund is only open to applicants whose projects are implemented in countries that are eligible to receive official development assistance in Africa, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Latin America.

For more information on application and eligibility go to the GSMA website.

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