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Applications Invited By Facebook For Early-Stage Research In Computer Vision for Global Challenges
Applications Invited By Facebook For Early-Stage Research In Computer Vision for Global Challenges

Organization: Facebook

Apply By: 29 Apr 2019

Grant Amount: 40000 USD

About The Organization:

Facebook, Inc. is an American online social media and social networking service company. It is based in Menlo Park, California. Facebook's mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Community Operations' department of facebook focuses on improving the health of company’s products and helping people understand how to use them through both direct support interactions as well as scalable solutions.

About The Grant:

Computer vision has recently made rapid progress, achieving a level of performance that was unexpected just a few years ago. This technology has opened possibilities in many real-world domains, including transportation, entertainment and safety. While these applications give value to our technology, research to date has predominantly focused on a few geographic regions, primarily the United States and Europe, raising concerns of globally unrepresented datasets, tasks and ultimately the direction of the field.

Parallel to this, internet penetration and mobile phone usage has dramatically increased throughout the world. Simple feature phones, often with cameras, are particularly pervasive in low- and middle-income countries, providing new entry points to address long-standing development challenges in areas like health, agriculture and education. The computer vision community could aid these efforts, but complex technical challenges prevent progress.

Facebook is calling for proposals for pilot and early-stage research that extends computer vision technologies in developing countries1. The company specifically seek projects that address the technical challenges impeding computer vision in these contexts, including data and hardware limitations and better integration of new information sources, such as high-resolution satellite imagery. Competitive applications will similarly leverage computer vision to achieve global development priorities, especially those captured in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Illustrative computer vision applications for delivering this type of social impact include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Agricultural extension: better informing smallholders about crop health, pest control, livestock illnesses, or soil fertility
  • Health services: improving diagnosis, dietary, water or sanitation assessments
  • Education quality: tools to enhance access to information without requiring high levels of literacy or language skills
  • Infrastructure and sustainable industry: improving factory machinery or training to increase safety, jobs or output. Transportation innovations for environmental and human benefit.
  • Disaster relief and climate action: visual information for first-responders to fires, floods or other natural disasters. Technologies to manage or mitigate environmental change.

Facebook aims to support projects that align with our mission, past research, open source tools and state-of-the-art algorithms. Awards will be made in amounts ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 for projects up to 6 months in duration. The goal is to support the implementation of computer vision applications, which require further testing, pilot data and/or partnership development. Applicants requesting higher budget amounts, however, will need to demonstrate more robust research designs, novelty and potential to achieve impact. No Facebook data will be provided to award recipients. The company encourages proposals from teams that include institutions, researchers and non-profits in developing regions.

Proposals should include:

  • A summary of the project (1-2 pages) explaining the area of focus, conceptual and methodological distinction between the pilot study and any future follow-on studies, a description of techniques, the research’s applicability to Facebook, a timeline with milestones and expected outcomes
  • A budget description (1 page) including an approximate cost of the award and explanation of how funds would be spent
  • Curriculum Vitae for all key project participants
  • Organization details; this will include tax information and administrative contact details

Eligibility:

This opportunity is open to applicants worldwide from academic and/or research institutions that are eligible for research funding. This includes individual researchers addressing a well-defined problem, or multiple university departments. Facebook encourage emerging scholars to apply.

Additional Provisions:

  • Awards must comply with applicable US and international laws, regulations and policies
  • Applicants must be the Principal Investigator on any resulting award
  • Applicants may submit one proposal per solicitation
  • Organizations must be a nonprofit or non-governmental organization with recognized legal status in their respective country (equal to 501(c)(3) status under the United States Internal Revenue Code).

Application Deadline: 29th April 2019

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