Facebook is calling for proposals for pilot and early-stage research that extends computer vision technologies in developing countries1. We 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. Our 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.
We encourage proposals from teams that include institutions, researchers and non-profits in developing regions.
1 For the purposes of this RFP, we define “developing countries” as the low and middle-income economies designated by the World Bank.