The “out of the box” Grand Challenges of the Gates Foundation


There is no room for argument that "peer review" is indispensable for application of research and evaluation of research papers.  However, "Innovation" as I put it is "Creation of new social values" and they are more likely to rise from new ideas or "unreasonable," "out of box" type people or "nails that stick out."  Therefore it can be said that "By definition, peer review is not compatible with innovation."

Peer reviews are necessary to guarantee the quality of research through evaluationar of methods or ideas, but by its nature it is inevitable that their thinking will be constrained within the framework of "the common sense of that age."

Activities of the Gates Foundation in the field of global health are already well known throughout, but another new program "Grand Challenges Explorations" launched two years ago.  The program recruits bold unorthodox "out of box" plans and ideas from all over the world.  Applicants must write a bold suggestion in two pages.  If approved, they will win 100 thousand dollars’ grants.  If the project produces a good looking outcome there is a possibility that the fund will be increased and continued.

Variety of amazingly fun and interesting ideas and research proposals are being selected. Three were selected from Japan.  Among them was(were) research application(s) that were rejected by NIH – the grant known as highly competitive – for being too bold. Naturally!

The deadline for this round is May 29th.  Why not visit the site above and think about applying?

Similar kind of competitive research funds are being set up in Great Britain etc. within these few years.  Canon foundation also joined this movement and I am gladly helping them.

But how do we select?  Here is another place where we can be imaginative.  This is innovation, too.