Solve - MIT - Healthy Security and Pandemics Challenge Movemeback African initiative cover image


The Covid-19 pandemic has tragically exposed our lack of global preparedness for disease outbreaks. As of March 1, 2021, over 110 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported, and nearly 2 million people have died. The crisis also highlights huge health inequities and has laid bare the urgent need to reduce the risk of future health security threats and address the weaknesses in our health systems.

Further, Covid-19 is the latest in a series of infectious disease emergencies, including Cholera, Ebola, SARS, Chikungunya, HIV/AIDS, H1N1, and influenza. Climate change and increasing globalization ensure that it won’t be the last.


While many relevant solutions will rely on researchers or policymakers, there is also a clear role for tech innovators to support health security for all. The MIT Solve community is looking for technology-based solutions that protect all people—especially those most underserved and at risk because of their race, ethnicity, age, gender, or income, from the impacts of disease outbreaks. To that end, Solve seeks solutions that:

  • Equip last-mile primary healthcare providers with the necessary tools and knowledge to detect disease outbreaks quickly and respond to them effectively
  • Strengthen disease surveillance, early warning predictive systems, and other data systems to detect, slow, or halt future disease outbreaks
  • Prevent the spread of misinformation and inspire individuals to protect themselves and their communities, including through information campaigns and behavioral nudges
  • Combat loneliness, stress, depression, and other health mental health impacts of disease outbreaks



Solver Funding 
All solutions selected for Solve’s five current Global Challenges will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve. Solver teams will be selected by a panel of cross-sector judges.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Prize
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Prize is open to solutions that directly address the health and well-being of people in the US. The prize is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which aims to raise the health of everyone in the United States by using a health equity lens to place well-being at the center of every aspect of life. Up to $150,000 will be granted to up to four eligible teams from the Antiracist Tech Challenge, the Indigenous Communities Fellowship, and the Health Security & Pandemics Challenge.

The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion
The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion is open to solutions that advance the economic, financial, and political inclusion of refugees. The prize is funded by Andan Foundation, a Swiss non-profit foundation dedicated to supporting solutions that promote refugee resilience, self-reliance and integration. Up to $100,000 will be granted to up to four eligible Solver teams from across any of Solve’s Global Challenges and the Community Indigenous Fellowship.

Innovation for Women Prize
Solutions that use innovative technology to improve quality of life for women and girls are eligible for the Innovation for Women Prize. This prize is funded by the Vodafone Americas Foundation, which supports technology-focused projects that advance the needs of women and girls, and that promote a world where women’s voices can be celebrated. Up to $75,000 will be granted across up to three Solver teams from any of Solve’s current Global Challenges.

The AI For Humanity Prize
The AI for Humanity Prize is open to solutions leveraging data science, artificial intelligence, and/or machine learning to benefit humanity, as well as to those planning to utilize these technologies to amplify their impact. The prize is made possible by The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, a philanthropy committed to advancing AI and data solutions to create a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future for all. Up to $200,000 in funding will be awarded across several Solver teams from any of Solve’s Global Challenges and the Indigenous Communities Fellowship.

The Global Fund Prize
The Global Fund Prize is open to solutions that facilitate community-led monitoring of supply chain services. These solutions should support community health workers and service users at the last mile in reporting the availability and stock-outs of essential medicines and related commodities, ensuring life-saving health products are available and accessible at health facilities (with a key focus on HIV, TB & malaria within the COVID-19 context). Up to $125,000 will be granted to up to 3 eligible Solver teams from the Health Security & Pandemics Challenge, and select solutions may be piloted in a sub-set of countries in partnership with host country governments and stakeholders, with investment from the Procurement Supply Management (PSM) Department at the Global Fund.


About Solve - MIT

Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that advances solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world's most pressing problems. Solve issues four Challenges each year to find the most promising Solver teams that will drive lasting, transformational change. Solve then deploys its global community of private, public, and nonprofit leaders to form the partnerships these Solver teams need to scale their impact.