About the Challenge

About the Challenge

The Intuitive Foundation, in partnership with Nesta Challenges, MIT Solve, The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and Appropedia have launched the Global Surgical Training Challenge to stimulate the creation of novel, low-cost surgical training modules. These open-source modules will help surgical practitioners  to learn and assess new skills to improve the health of their communities.

The Challenge aims to create a paradigm shift in how surgical practitioners learn and assess surgical techniques. The validated modules will be free to download and inexpensive to reproduce in a variety of global settings.

Each surgical simulation model will be accompanied by a self-assessment framework, allowing surgical practitioners to test their newly acquired skills and all modules (the model, know-how for build and training materials) will be free to download online at the soon-to-be launched Global Surgical Training Community platform.

Interested in participating?

Read our Innovator Handbook below to learn more about how to apply and be involved in the Challenge.

If you have read the handbook and still have questions, or would like to speak to someone about your entry, contact the team at globalsurgicaltraining@challenges.org

How it Works

Following the launch of the Challenge on 15 July 2020, MIT Solve will host a series of virtual networking and workshop events called Solveathons. To find out more about our Solveathon workshops and how to participate, visit our page Participate.

The Challenge is divided in three stages:

Discovery Awards (up to US$200k each)

The Discovery Awards are initial grants to allow teams to develop and test their prototype surgical modules. Grantees will be expected to utilise their grant to develop an initial prototype and self-assessment framework. The Challenge’s Judging Panel will select 10 teams to receive Discovery Awards.

Finalist Awards (up to US$500k each)

The Finalist Awards are grants that allow three to five teams to further develop and improve their original prototypes. These will be awarded Finalist Awards following successful application from the Discovery Award stage or through an original application.

Grand Prize (of US$1million)

The Grand Prize will be awarded to the Finalist team deemed to have most successfully developed their original prototype and created the most impact through further module development.

Timeline of the Global Surgical Training Challenge (Click & Drag)

15 July 2020

Global Surgical Training Challenge Launch

Who can enter?

July 2020 - October 2020

Participate in our Solveathon workshops

November 2020

Discovery Awards

Applications Close

Winners will be announced in January 2021

February 2021

Mentoring Programme Kick-Off

The Mentoring Programme begins and Discovery Award Finalists meet with their mentorship managers


August 2021

Prototype Showcase

Discovery Award Winners will be invited to pitch their prototype to the Judging Panel

October 2021

Finalist Award

Applications Close

Winners will be announced in December 2021

January 2022 - October 2022

External Validation of Finalist Awards

October 2022

Grand Prize

Applications Close

Winners will be announced in December 2022