1. What is the objective of the challenge?
We seek innovative solutions based on automated learning technology and artificial intelligence (AI) developed by the private sector, startups, businesses, universities, and the civil society, where there is direct or indirect addressing of problems based on a sex and gender perspective in the areas (areas of the Call) of financial inclusion; education, talent, and employment; health and social welfare, and other vertical areas of IDB Lab, for possible financing by IDB Lab in order to scale such solutions in the region.
2. Which are the thematic areas of the challenge?
- Health and social welfare
- Education, talent, and employment
- Financial inclusion
- Other IDB Lab’s verticals: agriculture and natural capital; essential infrastructure services; and climate change as a cross-cutting issues.
3. Can I apply if I use or develop big data technologies, but I am not currently implementing AI/machine learning technology?
Our main target are solutions based on AI, but we don't rule out those solutions that currently use personal, massive data with the potential for improvement after the implementation of AI technologies. However, priority will be given to solutions that are already implementing AI/machine learning.
4. Can I submit my application if my AI-based solution does not directly address a gender gap, but incorporates a sex and gender perspective in any of the thematic areas of the challenge?
Yes, we are also looking for scalable solutions that incorporate a sex and gender approach regarding the Challenge thematic areas, i.e. financial inclusion; education, talent, and employment; health and social welfare; other vertical areas of IDB Lab, and even if they do not directly address a gender gap.
For example, a solution in the field of financial inclusion that is not explicitly aimed at the financial incorporation of women or underrepresented groups, but whose algorithms consider, from the design, the mitigation of biases based on sex and gender, race, socioeconomic status. The same applies for the other thematic areas of this Challenge.
5. Which countries can apply for Category A (financial support)?
Applicants legally registered in one of the 26 IDB borrowing countries where the project will be implemented can apply to Category A. The 26 countries are Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Those Applicants that are not legally registered in one of the 26 IDB Borrowing Countries, but are registered in any of the following 22 non-Borrowing Countries can apply for Category A, jointly with a registered organization based on one of the 26 Borrowing Countries where the project will be implemented. The 22 Non-borrowing countries are Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, the Republic of Korea, Croatia, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, the United States, Finland, France, Holland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Switzerland.
6. Interested parties from which countries can apply for Category B (honorable mention)?
Applicants from the following countries, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Republic of Korea, Croatia, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, the United States, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Switzerland.
7. Who is eligible to participate?
Companies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), startups, social impact organizations, civil society organizations (NGOs, foundations), universities that develop and implement market solutions based on AI and machine learning. The solutions should contribute to economic growth, social welfare, and improvement of social health services, and education while contributing to reducing inequality.
8. How do I apply?
The application must be completed and submitted online through the YouNoodle platform.
9. Can I attach support documents in my application?
The only attachments accepted are the ones specifically requested in the application form; no further attachments will be reviewed.
10. What is the fAIr LAC 3S ethical self-assessment of AI required to be completed by the preselected proposals?
The AI Ethics Self-Assessment Tool is a guide developed by IDB Lab to support the private sector in incorporating AI ethical principles in the development and deployment of their AI-based
technology solutions. The preselected applications will receive access to the interactive version of the tool, aimed at creating an ethical balance profile around three dimensions: Solution, System, and Society, thus obtaining actionable recommendations for developers to prioritize and incorporate product improvement and risk mitigation elements into their solutions.
The result of this exercise will be an input to prepare the pitch to be presented by the preselected entities during the final selection process.
We do not seek perfect scores in the self-assessments, but rather honest and transparent exercises that show recognition of the importance of the concept of "ethical AI" in the development of products, services, and solutions with this technology. Entities that successfully pass the preselection phase will undergo a review of results aimed at confirming the consistency of the self-assessment for the design of proposals to be submitted for IDB Lab financing, as part of the due diligence process.
11. If my organization is chosen for Category A and seeks non-reimbursable grant or contingent-recovery funding, what should be the contribution of my institution as IDB Lab's counterpart funding?
In the case of projects requesting a non-reimbursable grant or contingent-recovery funding, each organization shall be responsible for counterpart contributions covering 50% of the total amount of the proposed project. The 50% not covered by IDB Lab is considered as local counterpart contributions and has to be secured by the organization during the execution of the project. At least half of all counterpart contributions must be provided in cash, aimed at covering the project implementation costs. The remaining half of the counterpart contribution may be provided in kind, as the use of conference rooms or office spaces, use of equipment, and time dedicated by the organization staff for specific activities of the project.
12. Can my institution receive/seek support from other organizations aimed at meeting counterpart financing requirements?
Yes. Applicant organizations may implement resources from a variety of sources including private entities, national and international government agencies, NGOs, foundations, and bilateral and multilateral bodies, as long as these funds can be used for the proposed project with IDB Lab.
13. How will be the selection process?
The selection process will consist of two parts: Preselection and Selection (pitch day).
Preselection (Phase I): In this phase, telematic evaluations of the proposals will be carried out to reduce the universe of applications to the best proposals.
The best proposals will be invited to carry out an AI ethical self-assessment exercise through an interactive web tool, as well as a boot camp aimed at preparing the pitch to be presented to the jury that will determine the selected proposals.
Selection (Phase II): The selection will be carried out through a pitch day with a panel made up of experts in gender and AI and of specialists from IDB Lab.
Selected entities will be notified in November and asked to participate in proposal strengthening activities organized by IDB Lab, allies, and partners.
14. When will I know the outcome of my application?
The selected proposals will be announced in November 2022 on the website of the Challenge.
15. Will I receive feedback on the content of my proposal after the selection process?
We do not provide individual feedback or comments on proposals, under any circumstance.
16. Can I apply for the challenge if my organization has received funds from IDB Lab in the past?
Yes. However, IDB Lab does not finance continuation projects. Therefore, the idea of the project must be completely new, with different objectives. Additionally, to apply for new funding, the prior project shall prove to have obtained positive results.
17. Can I send the application in a language other than English?
Yes, apart from English and Spanish you can send the application in Portuguese. The eligibility documents (proof of legal registration, by-laws, and auditors report) can be submitted in Portuguese, French, English, and Spanish.
18. Who should I contact if I have questions regarding my submission?
Consider that only the questions related to technical issues will be answered. You can email your questions to: email@example.com.
20. Where can I have more information on how to prepare my application and access to the recording of the information session that took place on July 20?
Please click here to see the recording of the session. Please note that the recording is only available in Spanish.
21. Can the same institution submit more than one proposal?
22. Which entities can establish partnerships to qualify for Category A funding?
This information can be found in section 5 of the challenge guidelines.
23. Can the applicant be a European company?
Yes, as long as it is part of the non-borrowing member countries of the IDB Group. If you do not have an alliance or partnership with an entity registered in a borrowing member country, you may apply for Category B (honorable mention).
24. What does contingent recovery financing mean?
It corresponds to a reimbursable financing, which repayment is contingent on the success of the solution, which can be measured based on sales, traction, social impact or other metrics agreed upon during the due diligence process.
25. What types of organizations can apply for non reimbursable grant funding?
This information can be found in section 6 of the challenge guidelines.
26. In the case of non-reimbursable grants, can 50% of the requested counterpart be divided among the institutions that are part of the partnership submitting the application? Can the salaries of the executing team be considered as cash counterpart?
Yes in both cases.
27. Should proposals submitted by civil society organizations have a business model?
Any proposal submitted for IDB Lab funding (Category A) should demonstrate its viability, sustainability and potential for growth over time.
28. Are you looking for solutions whose artificial intelligence or machine learning technology component has already been tested?
We are looking for solutions whose technology has been tested in at least a controlled environment with initial users or beneficiaries that are external to the developing organization.
29. Which is the minimum development level expected for the solutions, can it be a prototype?
We are looking for solutions with operating technologies with at least initial traction with users, customers or beneficiaries, in order to be able to scale these products and services.
30. What happens to confidential information contained in my application?
The IDB has an Access to Information Policy which includes among its principles the non-disclosure of categories of information and documents whose disclosure could cause more harm than good. Within the framework of this call, the IDB and IDB Lab recognize that the information provided in each applicant's application is confidential and therefore will receive the protection of information provided in confidence and commercial or financial information of a private party, which may not be disclosed or shared without the consent of its owner.
You can review the Access to Information Policy here:
31. What will happen with the existing intellectual property in the selected proposals?
IDB Lab will acknowledge ownership of pre-existing intellectual property, so it is important that applicants indicate the existence of such creations, their nature and application in the proposed solutions. In the case of non-reimbursable grants, IDB Lab reserves the right to use, copy, distribute, reproduce, exhibit and publicly perform any results derived from the execution of the project, as long as they do not refer to confidential information of the applicants, nor violate existing property rights.