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The IEEE in 2030 Challenge: Delivering Value to Engineers and Technology Professionals in Underserved Communities

what is the 2030 challenge

IEEE wants your ideas for new programs, products, and services and innovative ways for delivering valued offerings to engineers and technology professionals in underserved communities. This “seed grant” program is designed to encourage and support innovative and creative approaches to serving the needs of engineers and technology professionals in underserved communities worldwide.

IEEE New Initiatives Committee is currently accepting seed grant proposals for short-term (completed in 12 months or less) projects—the submission deadline is 30 November 2017. Have a great idea that directly addresses this call for proposals? Submit your proposal today.


Call for proposals: deadline 30 November 2017

Seed grant funding is used for smaller-scale initiative projects and pilot programs that entail some risk and uncertainty necessary for innovation and growth. These projects may include a proof of concept in preparation for subsequent full-scale implementation. Funding is limited to grants that require US$40,000 or less and take 12 months or less to complete.

Seed grant proposals in response to this IEEE New Initiatives Committee call may be submitted by one or more IEEE members or organizational units[1], individually or in cooperation with an IEEE staff group. IEEE encourages coordination and efficient use of IEEE resources and therefore will look more favorably on proposals with multiple IEEE organizational unit (OU) sponsors than those with only a single or no OU sponsor.

The due date for proposals submitted in response to this call is no later than 1:00 p.m. ET on 30 November 2017.

Download IEEE Seed Grant Proposal Application (DOC, 79 KB)

Please send submissions to the New Initiatives Committee (NIC) by email at Note: Include “NIC Call for Proposals” in the subject line of the e-mail for easy identification. For questions or inquiries, please contact John Keaton at 

[1] An IEEE organizational unit is a subset of the entire IEEE membership that has been formed to carry out particular educational, geographic, professional, technical, or other appropriate activities of interest and service to those who are members of that organizational unit. Examples include Chapters, Sections, or Societies.


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Examples of what IEEE is looking for in this call

  • New programs, products, and services serving IEEE Young Professionals[2] 
  • New programs, products, and services serving women in engineering
  • Innovative ways to deliver valued offerings to engineers and technology professionals in developing countries
[2] The official definition for IEEE Young Professionals refers to those who are 15 years or fewer from their first professional degree. Those at the tail end of the 15 years could be any age from their late 30s to, depending on their experience, early 40s or even older.


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Selection criteria for funding

Here are some criteria that will increase the likelihood of being selected:

  • Addresses a clearly defined need of engineers and technology professionals in an underserved community
  • Balances quality, innovation, and creativity with likelihood of success
  • Has a set of concrete deliverables with near-term, quantifiable impact and benefits to IEEE
  • Is scalable and broad enough to make an impact on the larger IEEE organization
  • Includes two or more IEEE organizational units as sponsors of the proposal
  • Has a clear and realistic plan for successful completion of the project  
  • Includes clearly defined metrics to effectively measure success
  • Contains a brief statement about the long-term growth and financial viability of the program, product, or service
  • Project leader has expertise to conduct project

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What items will IEEE not fund under this call?

  • University, private company, and individual research and development projects, including prototypes and testing products
  • Venture capital for patentable inventions
  • Humanitarian activities typically funded through other IEEE mechanisms
  • Overhead (general and administrative or indirect costs)
  • Ongoing activities or operational costs of the applicant
  • Construction or building renovations (unless it is an extraordinary strategic initiative)
  • Lobbying or electioneering
  • Commercial promotion activities
  • Personal or commercial loans
  • Grants with an individual as the sole beneficiary
  • Scholarships to individuals or institutes 
  • Endowments
  • Participation of specific/individual teams at competitions or conferences
  • Extensive travel and meeting expenses


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Key dates for 2017

DeliverablesDue Dates
Call for proposals - Open10 August 2017
Call for proposals - Closed1:00 p.m. ET (17:00 UTC-04), 30 November 2017
Winners announced and notifications for accepted submissions sent20 December 2017


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