Big Data for Development Innovation Challenge 2019


The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI), in partnership with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), is launching the Big Data for Development (BD4D) Innovation Challenge.


The BD4D Innovation Challenge aims to support emerging young African data scientists to develop innovative solutions that leverage new and non-traditional sources of data to address development challenges.


  • Seed funding grants of up to USD 10,000
  • Mentorship support
  • Public recognition and opportunity to network

Innovation Challenge Awards

Selected candidates will pitch at the Final Challenge and compete for seed funding awards and mentorship support.

Challenge Winners will be selected and awarded for the following categories:

  1. Best BD4D-IC solution: Up to $10,000
  2. Most Innovative BD4D-IC solution: Up to $10,000

AIMS-NEI will extend an invitation to the winning solutions to explore ways to collaborate in validating, implementing or scaling the project’s reach. All winning projects will be recognized through public communications from the AIMS-NEI, IDRC and the World Bank Group and may be mentioned as part of a high-profile international event where the BD4D network will participate.

The prizes will be awarded in disbursements, based on a deliverables plan which will be agreed with each team.

The challenges 

For this pilot program, the following three challenges have been selected. In future editions, there will be additional challenges in different development areas.

Before submitting your application, we kindly invite you to click on each link below and take time to read the information provided about each challenge.

  1. Youth employment 
  2. Financial inclusion
  3. Food security


    • 25 July 2019: Applications open
    • 21 August 2019: Applications close
    • 27 August 2019: Accepted applicants will be notified
    • 9 September 2019: Final Challenge competition

BD4D Innovation Challenge Application  

  1. Applicants must use this online form to submit their application for the BD4D Innovation Challenge.
  2. The best submissions will be invited to pitch at the Final Pitch Competition.
  3. The Pitching Competition will take place on September 9th, 2019. Winners will be announced on the same day.

For more details,please visit


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