The Grand Challenge 2020 has concluded. Proposals have been assessed and the most outstanding teams have been identified for funding. Each team has duked it out before a panel of judges and live audience to determine the Judge’s Choice Awards and People’s Choice Awards.

Teams will now spend the next 6 months prototyping and testing their solutions, with the option to participate in Navigator and Validator to ensure their projects have real-world impact. Teams in Validator will be provided coaching and mentoring.

To be advised when Grand Challenge 2021 launches, sign up here.

Key dates 2020


Stage 1: Idea Spark Competition (Week 2-4)


Stage 2: Skill Development (Week 5 – 8)


Stage 3: Grand Challenge (Week 6 – Week 11)


Stage 4: Prototyping and Testing (Week 11 onwards)

Stage 1: Idea Spark Competition

A pre-challenge competition with the aim of inspiring creative ideas, the Idea Spark Competition invites University students, staff and alumni to submit ideas for how mosquitoes might be controlled. Ideas must be expressed in fewer than 500 words or within a 1-minute video. Judged by an expert panel, the top 10 most innovative and creative ideas that are grounded in knowledge of current constraints in controlling mosquitoes will each win a $500 School Locker voucher. There is no limit to the number of entries or prizes per person.

Applications are now closed for 2020.

Stage 2: Skill Development

The Skill Development stage is your chance to build your knowledge and skills to make sure your team’s application in the Grand Challenge has the greatest chance of success. Over three weeks you will have access to mosquito experts, last year’s Grand Challenge winners and organisations working in the field to implement interventions in controlling mosquitoes. These virtual events and workshops are free to attend, providing a great professional development opportunity.

Stage 3: Grand Challenge

Thirteen teams submitted their projects to the Grand Challenge which were assessed to determine 9 funded projects.

Those 9 funded projects were then invited to the Grand Challenge: Pitch Competition for a chance to receive prize money. Now those teams will proceed to Stage 4: Prototyping and Testing.

You can watch the Pitch Competition recording here.

Funded projects

Congratulations to the teams who received $5000 to pursue their idea over the next 6 months:

Pitch Competition Winners

Congratulations to the following teams who each received $2500 in prize money:

Judges Choice: Social Enterprise

Judges Choice: Best research Project

Jointly awarded to:

People’s Choice Award:

Stage 4: Prototyping and testing

Teams that have been provided funding have the opportunity to participate in Navigator (Dec) and Validator (Feb-Apr) to ensure their projects have real-world impact. Teams in Validator will be provided coaching and mentoring. All teams will be required to submit a final report outlining the outcomes of prototyping and testing their idea over a 6-month period.

Video: The 2019 Grand Challenge Winners
Grand Challenge 2021 Stay informed

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.