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The Trinity Challenge announces 16 finalists from around the world

The Trinity Challenge judging panel has selected 16 finalists from around the world whose data-driven ideas to improve responses to pandemics will go forward to the final on 25 June 2021.

More than 340 teams drawn from 61 countries submitted innovative solutions that leverage data and analytics for better pandemic preparedness and response.

The Master of Trinity, Dame Sally Davies established the Trinity Challenge in 2020 with 40 organisations from business, charitable and university sectors to help protect the world from future health emergencies.

On 25 June in a live-streamed ceremony the 22-strong international judging panel will award £6 million to develop the best solutions to identify, respond to and recover from disease outbreaks and epidemics using data and analytics.

Dame Sally Davies said:

We have been looking for solutions from anyone, anywhere around the globe that would use data and analytics in a new and different way to identify, respond to and recover from disease outbreaks, with the potential to become an epidemic or a pandemic to help those in the global south and north. The response we have received has been overwhelming. It delivers on our members’ early vision, that a smarter, more cross-sectoral approach to data and analytics is key to building an effective, affordable and scalable response to the threat of infectious diseases.

Among the finalists are solutions to track mosquito-borne diseases using artificial intelligence (AI); a farmers’ app to track and report sick livestock in order to identify new diseases before they infect humans; new sensors to detect pathogens in sewage, air and mosquitoes; an AI tool to analyse the existing 3.6 billion blood tests conducted each year globally to detect disease outbreaks early on; a blockchain-based solution to improve vaccine supply chains; and using digital data streamed through a global platform to enable policy makers to make informed decisions about public health measures.

While the prize money is crucial to the development of the winning solutions, the Trinity Challenge’s other contribution to global health has been to connect small teams with the world’s largest businesses, academic institutions and charitable organisations in a vital global challenge.

Co-Chair of the judging panel, Professor Mark Dybul, Co-Director of the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact at Georgetown University Medical Center, said the Trinity Challenge ‘is something we absolutely need; it can play a significant role in driving the innovation we need for the future”.

We have so many gaps right now in preparedness and response to emerging threats, as COVID-19 clearly shows us and, what we’ve been missing is innovation and use of digital technology which offers so much opportunity…going after the high risk but high yield types of interventions, that we are going to need, both to get out of this current pandemic but also to deal with long standing existing threats to people’s health and emergencies and new emerging pandemics.

Co-Chair of the judging panel, Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Founder and Co-Chair of Higherlife Foundation, welcomed the innovative responses to the Trinity Challenge’s global call to action:

It’s so great to see solutions that are coming from a community of experts that generally deal with government and look at the intersection of policy and technology in providing solutions to pandemics.

The Trinity Challenge is supported by more than 40 members drawn from business, charity and university sectors.

Business members include GSK, Aviva, Legal & General, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and McKinsey & Company; charity members include the Patrick J McGovern Foundation, Internews, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative; and academic institutions such as Northeastern University, Imperial College, University of Cambridge, London School of Economics, Tsinghua University, the University of Melbourne, National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong Medical Faculty.

Read more about the Trinity Challenge finalists.

Register to attend the Trinity Challenge Awards ceremony.

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