Polio Eradication: Addressing Anti-Vaccination Propaganda on Social Media in Pakistan
Pakistan and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) are facing a new challenge, driven by technological advancement and an increasing number of people using social media to seek and share news. Rumors and misinformation about polio vaccination and the program spread like wildfire on social media, including in Pakistan where the number of people with access to internet/smartphone has significantly increased over the past years, and continues to increase.
The negative impact on the programme of the anti-vaccine propaganda and rumors was most visibly seen during a recent vaccination campaign in Peshawar. During a National Immunization Days (NID) campaign, a rumor that the polio vaccine would make children unwell, led to more than 37 000 children rushed to hospital in one day, a basic health unit set on fire, and indirectly the death of several vaccinators and security staff. This coordinated scare tactic had a devastating impact on the NIDs and will continue to impact future immunization efforts in the country.
The country team and GPEI program is looking for innovative ways to help quickly detect, control and/or respond to the spread of anti-vaccination propaganda on social media in an urban population.
This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.
DTEK Challenge: Increasing the Number of Electric Vehicles on the Road
Electric vehicles (EVs) are an environmentally conscious alternative to traditional cars with internal-combustion engines. Despite growing interest, the rate of adoption is not as rapid as energy providers would like. To improve the profitability of EV charging infrastructure, DTEK is searching for creative and actionable solutions to increase the popularity of EVs.
This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.
AstraZeneca Challenge: Automated Detection and Quantitation of Bone Marrow Cells
Many oncology therapeutics have dose limiting toxicities due to adverse effects in the bone marrow. Safety evaluation in preclinical species typically relies on histopathology evaluation, which can miss subtle shifts in hematopoietic cell populations due to high cell density and tissue complexity. AstraZeneca is seeking an automated tool for the detection and quantitation of hematopoietic cells in bone marrow tissue sections.
This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation, output from the proposed algorithm, and submission of the source code and/or an executable for validation, if requested by the Seeker.
DTEK Challenge: Social and Economic Transition of Coal Mines
When a mine ceases mining operations it can lead to significant social and economic impacts for the local region. Furthermore, maintaining the mine site, stationary systems, and equipment can be a financial burden for the management company. The Seeker, DTEK, is looking for novel ideas for the utilization and reuse of a mine site in order to create social and economic benefits for the local community in addition to offsetting continued maintenance costs.
Methods for Handling and Transportation of High-Moisture Coals
The Seeker is looking for technology or methods to unload high moisture coal from railway carriage without coal masses sticking on the coal receiving bins and implementation of coal transportation along the existing equipment with good flow properties (normal flowability) in all seasons.
Methods to Monitor Wear in Oil and Gas Production Tubing Without Well Intervention
The Seeker (a private Oil & Gas producing company) is looking for a method for remote online monitoring of the degree of wear of production tubing used during oil and gas well exploitation. The production tubing is subject to aggressive environmental conditions including hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon dioxide (CO2), high pressures and high temperatures, solid particles, and high speed of hydrocarbon flow and is subject to erosion and corrosion that results in overall thinning of the tubing wall as well as scabbing inside the tube. The proposed technology/approach should not rely on running equipment inside the tubing.
Innovative Sustainable Soil Remediation Methods
This Challenge is seeking new sustainable soil remediation methods to decontaminate soil of organic pollutants with a fast and effective approach.
This Challenge requires only a written proposal.
Shelf Life Predictions & Stability Measurements for Foods
Understanding and predicting food stability is essential to the food industry. Traditional storage trials, modelling, accelerated shelf-life trials, challenge trials, and kinetic assays play a role, but are often found to be inadequate. The Seeker is looking for new ways to measure biochemical and/or chemical stability (e.g. off-flavor formation) in food products to make decisions or to assign shelf-lives to food products. Specifically, the Seeker requires methods to measure changes to food quality that may arise from only very small compositional changes relative to a high background.
Novel Approaches to Combat Antibiotic Resistance in Gram-Negative Bacteria
Antibiotics are drugs that either kill or slow the growth of bacteria. Under selective pressure, microbes can acquire drug resistance and these pathogenic strains pose a growing public health threat. Therefore, the Seeker desires novel methods to combat antibiotic resistance, particularly in Gram-negative bacteria.
This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation and experimental proof-of-concept data.
AstraZeneca Challenge: Improving the Targeting and Transduction Efficiency of Adeno-Associated Viral Vectors
Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is a non-enveloped virus that infects humans with no known pathogenicity. With the ability to infect both dividing and non-dividing cells, AAVs are being studied as promising vehicles for targeted gene therapy. Therefore, AstraZeneca desires innovative approaches to improve not only the targeting, but also the transduction efficiency of AAV vectors.