Gates Foundation Selects Nearly 50 Global Health and Development Projects That Will Contribute to Shaping Equitable Access to AI

Global call for locally led innovation will help build an evidence base for use of artificial intelligence (AI) large language models in low- and middle-income countries to improve the livelihood and well-being of communities globally  

SEATTLE, Aug. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Following an overwhelming response to its most recent Grand Challenges request for proposals, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced a group of nearly 50 grant recipients who are developing global health and development solutions for their communities using AI-enabled large language models (LLMs). Guided by the goal of reducing global inequity, the call for proposals specifically targeted researchers and innovators in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). 

Responsible and safe use of AI-driven LLM technology has the potential to help solve some of the world’s toughest health and development challenges. However, for these models to be useful in LMICs, researchers in LMICs need to participate in the design, application, and testing of this technology as it rapidly evolves. A robust evidence base will fill gaps in access and our knowledge about the application of such tools to address problems across LMICs in an equitable way.   

Today’s announcement is part of the foundation’s Grand Challenges program, a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve pressing global health and development problems. Each recipient will receive up to US$100,000 to advance its research project, for a total of US$5 million in grants.  

Selected recipients are from Bangladesh, Brazil, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam. The findings of these projects will be shared at the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting in Dakar, Senegal, this October. A full list of projects can be found here. Click here for the full press release.

About Grand Challenges 

The Grand Challenges family of programs stems from a century-old idea that crowdsourcing solutions to a defined set of unsolved problems can spark innovation and accelerate progress. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its Grand Challenges funding partners first used Challenges—open requests for grant proposals—in 2003 to focus attention and effort on pressing global health and development problems for those most in need. Together, Grand Challenges partners have awarded more than 3,600 grants to a diverse pool of problem solvers in more than 100 countries, while at the same time fostering a global innovation ecosystem in places where it will have the most impact. The foundation and its Grand Challenges partners will continue to launch RFPs to support innovators from around the world in tackling the hardest, most urgent Grand Challenges. To learn more, visit

About 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. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the direction of Co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the board of trustees. 

Contact: [email protected]