MIT Solve

Seeking solutions for Early Childhood Development

Posted by MIT SolveResponsive · Game Changer Technologies and Ideas · Project Size Range : 250,000 - 1,000,000 € · Deadline at 01/07/2019 · United States

Desired outcome

Each year Solve seeks solutions from tech innovators around the world for its Global Challenges, and anyone can submit a solution by July 1, 2019. Finalists are invited to pitch their solutions at Solve Challenge Finals during UN General Assembly Week in New York City in September.

Selected Solver teams will join a supportive community of peers, funders, and experts to help advance their work; receive mentorship and strategic advice from Solve and MIT networks; attend Solve at MIT, our annual flagship event in May; and receive access to more than $1.5 million in prize funding for the 2019 Challenges.

In the last two years, thanks to our partners, Solve has brokered commitments of over $12 million in funding for Solver teams and entrepreneurs, in addition to in-kind support such as mentorship, technical expertise, media and conference exposure, and business and entrepreneurship training.

https://solve.mit.edu/how-challenges-work

MIT Solve

How can all children under five develop the critical learning and cognitive skills they need to reach their full potential?

Inadequate early childhood development exacerbates inequality and reduces economic growth. If children do not reach their optimum development—socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively—by the time they enter school, it could mean earning around one-quarter less in income as an adult. If every child in their earliest years receives the quality, affordable support and care to develop the learning and cognitive skills they need to reach their full potential, we can help level the playing field and set them—and our societies—up for a more equitable and prosperous future.

The first few years of life represent the crucial window of peak brain development where more than 1 million new neural connections are formed every second. Yet, millions of children under the age of five—including 250 million in low- and middle-income countries—are at risk of falling behind in their developmental growth due to extreme poverty, lack of early stimulation and learning, poor nutrition, and exposure to violence and neglect. This is particularly true of those most vulnerable to the stress experienced in humanitarian emergencies and conflict settings, which can lead to physical, mental, and behavioral issues in adulthood. Even in developed countries such as the United States, a child who enters kindergarten unprepared is 25 percent more likely to dropout of high school and 60 percent more likely not to go to college.

Children succeed when provided with quality nutrition, protective home environments, opportunities for social and physical exploration, and cognitive stimulation through positive play and responsive caregiver-to-child interactions. In fact, research shows 13 percent in societal returns when communities invest in comprehensive and high-quality early education for children under five. The time is now, and the responsibility is ours to guarantee all children in their earliest years receive the nurturing care, development, and learning they need for bright futures.

Solve is seeking technology-based solutions that improve learning and cognitive outcomes for children under the age of five that:

- Reduce barriers to healthy physical, mental, and emotional development for all children, particularly among vulnerable populations and those affected by conflict;

- Enable parents and caregivers to support their children’s overall development and provide positive and safe surroundings;

- Promote exploration, early literacy skills, and language experimentation in preparation for primary school; and

- Decrease inequalities, including stereotypes and discrimination based on gender, religion, race, or class, among children beginning at birth.

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Solver Funding, Prize, and Partnership Eligibility for the Early Childhood Development Challenge

Solver Funding

All solutions selected for Solve’s four current Global Challenges will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve. Solver teams will be selected by a panel of cross-sector judges at Solve Challenge Finals during UN General Assembly week in New York City on September 22, 2019.

In addition to Solve funding, the following prizes are available to Solver teams selected for the Early Childhood Development Challenge. To be considered for a prize, complete the prize-specific question within the application. You do not need to meet these requirements to apply to the Early Childhood Development Challenge:

AI Innovations Prize

Solutions that are propelled by advanced computing techniques or that leverage artificial intelligence to address the Challenge are eligible for the AI Innovations Prize. This prize is made possible by The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and Schmidt Futures. The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and our global community through neuroscience research and information technology. Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt that bets early on people who will make our world better — helping people to achieve more for others by applying advanced science and technology thoughtfully and by working together across fields. Up to $500,000 will be granted across several recipients selected for the prize. Eligible Solver teams may be selected from any of Solve's four current Global Challenges.

The Rockefeller Foundation will host representatives of up to four of the teams who are awarded an AI-focused prize (the AI Innovations Prize or the Innospark Ventures Prize) at its high-level summit on AI taking place at its Bellagio Center on Lake Como, Italy, in October 2019.

Innovation for Women Prize

Solutions that use innovative technology to improve the 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 to advance the needs of women and girls, and to promote a world where women’s voices can be celebrated. Up to $75,000 will be granted across up to three Solver teams selected to receive the prize. Eligible Solver teams may be selected from any of Solve's four current Global Challenges.

Innospark Ventures Prize

The Innospark Ventures Prize is open to AI-based solutions from across the cybersecurity, education, healthcare, life sciences, and business services sectors focused in the United States. The prize is funded by Innospark Ventures, which invests in founders and ideas that leverage advanced artificial intelligence to create a differential and disruptive impact for our economy and society. Up to $100,000 will be granted to up to four eligible Solver teams from across any of Solve's current Global Challenges.

The Rockefeller Foundation will host representatives of up to four of the teams who are awarded an AI-focused prize (the AI Innovations Prize or the Innospark Ventures Prize) at its high-level summit on AI taking place at its Bellagio Center on Lake Como, Italy, in October 2019.

Related keywords

  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Protecting Man and Environment
  • Social and Economics concerns
  • Socio-economic development models, economic aspects
  • Education and Training
  • Citizens participation
  • Creative services
  • Smart City

About MIT Solve

Innovation Intermediary from United States

MIT Solve advances lasting solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world’s most pressing problems. Solve is a marketplace for social impact: we find tech entrepreneurs from around the world and broker partnerships across our community to scale their innovative work—driving lasting, transformational change.

In the last two years, thanks to its partners, Solve has brokered commitments of over $12 million in funding for Solver teams and entrepreneurs.

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