Global Exchange Project Program

Funded by an NIH grant through the C-IDEA consortium at Stanford, this program provides funding for trainee-faculty team projects (up to $50,000) to teams of faculty, postdocs, fellows, or students (or a combination) to allow them to explore global needs with potential medical technology solutions. This may provide funding for travel as well as prototyping and other project expenses; the support does not include any stipends or compensation. In addition to receiving financial support, the projects will also benefit from Stanford Biodesign's extensive network of medtech stake-holders in India and Singapore.

A key goal of the C-IDEA program is to help the projects reach a successful conclusion. Projects that progress to an advanced stage of concept development and have an explicit need for additional support may submit a request for follow on funding. However, such funding is limited and contingent upon the demonstration of substantial progress.


To be eligible to be considered for these awards you must

  • be a faculty, staff, student or fellow at Stanford
  • be a part of a team (two or more individuals)
  • be working on a global problem involving a medical technology solution


We will use the following criteria to judge submissions:

  • Importance of Need
    • Clinical/Societal Burden
    • Market Size
  • Viability of Concept (based on work so far, bench-top testing, IP generated, etc.)
  • Degree of Innovation
  • Market Viability
    • Affordability
    • Ease of Adoption
  • Potential for Global Impact
  • Team Strength (including mentors - US and abroad)
  • Plan of Action (clarity, achievable milestones)
  • Potential for Success in Near Term (i.e. simpler projects, fewer clinical requirements, etc.)
  • Leverage of Other Resources (including supporting institutions and companies abroad, additional financial support, cash or in-kind)  

A Note About IP

As this is funded under an NIH grant, awardees may have some concerns about the government expecting access to any IP created under these awards. Here's the way it works:

  • The government gets a non-royalty license; this means they do not get royalties from any sales of products produced
  • They do want the ability to pursue the technology (or award a license to someone else to pursue the technology) in the event that the inventors do not actively pursue the technology/have abandoned it, and there is a need for the technology.
  • The government does require that technology be manufactured locally, though paperwork may be filed to make an exception if there is a good reason (e.g., you are developing a low-cost device for use in third world settings and it needs to be locally manufactured where it is sold).

* Global Needs

A global need is one that is derived from an underserved population in a developing country, often suggesting the need for low-cost device solutions.

Process for Requesting Support

Teams must submit a two-page proposal about their project

  • Explanation of the clinical importance of project
  • Expected specific milestones and requisite plans
  • Status of intellectual property, if any
  • Budget for award
  • List of current/pending funding for the project
  • Plan for follow on work and funding after award expires
  • Submit CVs of the team members (two-page CV)

Additional supporting material that can aid in proposal evaluation can be included in an appendix.

Funds may be used for travel and prototyping or other project expenses. Funds may not pay stipends or salaries. NOTE: In accordance with the Fly America Act (49 USC 40118), any air transportation to, from, between, or within a country other than the U.S. of persons or property, the expense of which will be assisted by this funding, must be performed by or under a code-sharing arrangement with a U.S.-flag air carrier if service provided by such a carrier is available. Tickets (or documentation for electronic tickets) must identify the U.S. flag air carrier’s designator code and flight number.

Submission: We encourage applicants to discuss their proposal with Anurag Mairal and/or Christine Kurihara prior to submission.

Documents should go to

The proposals will be reviewed by a committee of experts. The review process will take ~1 month. The decision will be communicated by email.

Deadline: has passed

Project Report: All funded projects will need to provide a final report at the conclusion of the funded activities. We may request informal interim updates for these projects.

Funded Projects

Congratulations to the following teams who have received Global Exchange funding.

Funding for Spring, 2011

  1. Affordable Augmented Anatomy - Applying Design Thinking to the Needs of Upper Limb AmputeesTowards Affordable Augmentation Solutions
  2. Clear Ear allows magnification, visualization and illumination of the ear canal with a safe wax removal tool.
  3. 'Matchstick' Microscope - A “matchstick” as a complete fluorescence microscope
  4. Neonatal Jaundice Screening - Biodesign Innovation class project
  5. Vaccine Carrier - Biodesign Innovation class project

Funding for Fall, 2011

  1. Screening Device for Neonatal Jaundice in India, additional funding
  2. AdaptAir - a device for infant ventilator assistance.
  3. CaregIVer - low-power consumption IV pump

Funding for Spring, 2012

  1. Low-cost Point-of-Care Device for Early Detection of Infection
  2. An implantable device for sustained Tuberculosis therapy
  3. Cell Phone SMS Messages to Target Diabetic Medication Noncompliance

Funding for Winter, 2013

  1. Mobile Technology to Improve health Outcomes in Kenya
  2. Vaccination Tracking using SMS
  3. Tools for Insect Vector Surveillance
  4. Inexpensive Microfluidics

[revised 1-17-13]