Today, more than half of the world’s inhabitants live in urban areas, including the 1 billion people living in slum conditions. By 2050, an estimated 70 percent of the global population will be living in cities. Although cities provide many opportunities for employment and access to better services, unplanned, rapid urbanisation can create conditions that accelerate the spread of communicable diseases, especially in low-resourced neighborhoods where clean water and sanitation infrastructure is entirely lacking, aging, or cannot support high density populations.
In our hyperconnected world, it is easy for diseases to spread rapidly between cities and across country borders, quickly causing a local epidemic to turn into a global pandemic. However, technological advancements hold tremendous potential to combat these consequences. Innovation can go a long way in fostering healthy cities in the face of urbanisation and improving the way cities prepare for, monitor, and respond to outbreaks, particularly among the poorest inhabitants living in slum conditions.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity seeks innovative products that can greatly reduce the opportunities for outbreak and transmission of infectious diseases. To do so, the initiative welcomes manufactured solutions from innovators and makers around the world that:
- Enable advanced prediction, detection, and surveillance of communicable diseases in urban environments
- Create capacity in emergency management, readiness, and treatment of those impacted
- Improve water and sanitation infrastructure that ensures safe delivery of drinking water and the safe disposal of waste