Wireless Innovation Project

Vodafone Americas Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $600,000

Anticipated deadline: Mar 5, 2019 11:59pm PST

Applicant type: College / University Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: United States

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About Vodafone Americas Foundation

The Vodafone Americas Foundation is part of Vodafone’s global network of foundations. We are affiliated with Vodafone, one of the world’s leading mobile telecommunications companies that operates in over five continents and has significant presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the United States.

About the Wireless Innovation Project
The Vodafone Americas Foundation designed the Wireless Innovation Project as a competition to promote innovation and increase implementation of wireless related technology for a better world.

Types of Projects We Are Seeking
The Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project (the “competition”) seeks to identify and fund the best innovations using wireless related technology to address critical social issues around the world. Project proposals must demonstrate significant advancement in the field of wireless-related technology applied to social benefit use. The competition is open to projects from universities and nonprofit organizations based in the United States. Although organizations must be based in the United States, projects may operate and help people outside of the United States.

Applicants must demonstrate a multi-disciplinary approach that uses an innovation in wireless-related technology to address a critical global issue in one or more of the following areas:
  • Social Issue Areas:
    • Access to communication
    • Education
    • Economic development
    • Environment
    • Health
  • Technical Issue Areas:
    • Connectivity
    • Energy
    • Language or Literacy hurdles
    • Ease of use

The project must be at a stage of research where an advanced prototype or field/market test can occur during the award period.

The technology should have the potential for replication and large scale impact.

Teams should have a business plan or a basic framework for financial sustainability and rollout.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The competition seeks to support the most promising innovative solutions that address critical global social issues using wireless related technology.
  • To be eligible for consideration, Applicants should meet the following criteria (“Eligibility Criteria”): 
    • Applicants should be either:
      • U.S. nonprofit corporation or trust that is tax-exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3) and that is a public charity (not a private foundation) or
      • a U.S. University, including a university department, university-based research center, university-based entrepreneurship or technology innovation center that is legally part of the university.
    • The applicant should propose an innovation in wireless-related technology to address a critical global issue in one or more of the following issue areas:
      • education,
      • health,
      • access to communication,
      • the environment or
      • economic development.
    • The project should demonstrate a significant advancement in wireless-related technology.
      • We define innovation as something that hasn’t been done before, building upon existing technology, or a unique combination of technologies.
    • The project should be at a stage of research where an advanced prototype or field/market test can occur during the award period.
    • Projects should involve an established multi-disciplinary team that demonstrates the expertise needed for a comprehensive solution to the targeted problem.
      • For example, a team may consist of members from two or more of the following disciplines: engineering, design, business, international development, or other relevant disciplines.
      • A team may also consist of university-based researchers and non-profit organizations working such areas as international development, health or environment.
    • Projects should demonstrate potential for replication and large scale impact.
    • Proposals should include a business plan or demonstration of financial sustainability.


  • Early-stage research, or ready to launch products, will not be considered.
  • Project team participants may not be an employee of the Vodafone Americas Foundation, Vodafone Group Plc or any entity in which Vodafone Group Plc holds, directly or indirectly, a shareholding or interest of 20% or more or has the right to exercise, directly or indirectly, 20% or more of the voting rights (collectively, the “Vodafone Entities”).