Massachusetts Institute of Technology SOLVE in the USA invites applications from entrepreneurs worldwide for the Healthy Cities Challenge in 2019.

By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population, or 6.7 billion people, will reside in cities, some of which are yet to be built. Urban migration is a chance for many to improve their lives, with easier access to goods and services, and higher-paying jobs. But living in cities and slums exposes residents to serious health risks. Nine out of ten of the top causes of death globally, including chronic respiratory disease, diarrheal diseases, and traffic incidents, are affected by the way cities are planned and built. By keeping health at the centre of urban development, we have the opportunity to improve the health, happiness, and longevity of billions of citizens globally.


Today’s urban and slum residents face a multitude of challenges to their physical and mental well-being. Densely populated slums, home to one-third of the world’s urban population, have the underdeveloped infrastructure and sanitation systems and are breeding grounds for infectious disease and vector-borne illnesses. Living in urban areas can cause or worsen non-communicable diseases: air pollution is linked to heart and lung diseases, and lack of access to nutritious food and green space contribute to obesity and diabetes. Violence, transportation incidents, and overcrowding are major risks to physical safety and mental health.

Cities that promote exercise and healthy eating, incorporate green space, limit traffic and crowds, ensure clean air and water, and make health services easily accessible to those most in need, such as the poor and elderly, are critical to the health of all. These characteristics are also critical to reduce costs for local governments and increase productivity for businesses. New enterprises, technology, and innovation that address urban health risks are integral to designing, building, and retrofitting cities that make people of all ages and abilities healthier and happier.

Worth of Award

  • All solutions selected for Solve’s four current Global Challenges will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve.
  • In addition to Solve funding, Solver teams who also fulfil the criteria below are eligible for the following prizes and partnerships. You do not need to meet these requirements to apply to the Healthy Cities 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. Up to $500,000 will be granted across several recipients selected for the prize.
  • Innovating Together for Healthy Cities Prize: The Innovating Together for Healthy Cities Prize is open to projects that focus on preventing or managing infectious disease or vector-borne illness in cities or slums. One prize recipient will receive $75,000 after being selected as a Solver during Solve Challenge Finals in September.
  • Everytown for Gun Safety Prize: Holistic, community-based solutions that use technology to make cities safer are eligible for up to $100,000 in grant funding provided by Everytown for Gun SafetySupport Fund.
  • 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. Up to $75,000 will be granted across up to three Solver teams selected to receive the prize.
  • 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. 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.


The Solve community aims to support solutions focused on improving the mental and physical health of people in cities and slums by:

  • Preventing infectious disease outbreaks and vector-borne illnesses caused by overcrowding, poor sanitation, and dirty water;
  • Reducing the incidence of non-communicable diseases caused by air pollution, lack of physical activity, or unhealthy food;
  • Promoting physical safety by decreasing incidents of violence or transportation accidents; and
  • Enabling equitable access to affordable and effective health services, especially through community health workers and clinics, for those most underserved.


  • Alignment: The solution addresses the challenge that has been set forth using technology.
  • Potential for Impact: The planned implementation of the solution has the potential to impact lives.
  • Scalability: The solution can be grown and scaled to affect the lives of more people.
  • Feasibility: It is feasible to implement the solution, and the team has a plan for the solution to sustain itself financially.
  • Innovative Approach: This is a new technology, a new application of a technology, a new business model, or a new process for solving the challenge
  • Partnership Potential: The applicant clearly explains how the solution would benefit from the broad range of resources that the Solve community is positioned to provide.

How to Apply

You can submit your solution through the application link on their website

Deadline: deadline to apply is July 1, 2019.


Click here for more details and to apply

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