Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

 invite applications

Second Edition | 2021

Call for Innovation

Saving Women's Lives from Cancer

Global partnership to improve the Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast and Cervical Cancer in Low- Income Countries

Submission open: 15 June - 15 August 2021

Cancer has emerged as a priority in the global health and development agenda because of its continued increasing disease burden and its profound social and economic impact. Within the cancer agenda and recognising the benefit for women’s health, breast and cervical cancers have been identified as priorities for action by global, multi-sectoral stakeholders.

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been working over the recent decade to support common Member States in improving cancer control and expand access to effective, safe and sustainable cancer diagnostics and treatment services. This extensive collaboration has led to the realisation that there was an urgent need to further expand the IsDB-IAEA partnership to forcefully tackle the issue of women’s cancers.

The Cancer Call is also in alignment with two World Health Organization's (WHO) cancer initiatives, aiming to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer and to reduce deaths from breast cancer, saving millions of lives by 2030.


Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Niger, Palestinian Territories, Senegal, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan

Application process

  • Eligible candidates must apply for the call for innovation by filling the online application form.      
  • Applications from individual scientists, innovation hubs & incubators, universities, research & development centers supported by three well known scientific referees are preferable.
  • The application shall be accompanied by detailed information demonstrating the requested information and supported by illustrative media means (e.g. photos, videos, demos, etc.).

Selection process

The selection will go through rigorous proposal assessment process by two independent committees from inside and outside the Bank, which will choose the winning scientists as follows:

  • The Screening Committee composed of international consultants will review, in consultation with the STI Department, the applications, contact the applicants (if required for missing information) and prepare a shortlist of applications.
  • The Selection Committee composed of eminent scientists will evaluate the applications and select the winners, against the qualifying criteria mentioned above.
  • Successful applicants will be contacted and informed about the Bank’s decision once finalised.

Financial Award and Awarding Ceremony

  • Two winners from each category would be selected for the prize.
  • The prize shall include a cash award as well as a certificate of recognition.
  • The suggested cash award for each category shall be as given below (based on international benchmarking):
    CATEGORY 1 - $50,000.00 (two prizes)
    CATEGORY 2 - $50,000.00 (two prizes)
  • The winning proposal might be selected for further support and networking opportunity from the bank if found suitable for scale up.

We believe in change

The need to address women’s cancers as a matter of priority and to scale-up effective diagnosis and treatment has become pressing. The vast majority of the cancer burden arises in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), which are least prepared to avoid cases and deaths.

With almost 90% of new cervical cancer cases and 92% of related deaths occurring in LMICs, the situation is reaching epidemic proportions. Most of these deaths could be avoided if prevention measures, proper cancer screening and treatment were in place.

Breast cancer is now the most common cancer globally, affecting more than 2 million women each year, and resulting in 685,000 deaths in 2020.
Cervical cancer is a fully preventable and treatable cancer, yet about 604,000 women were diagnosed and 342,000 died in 2020. At least 90% of breast and cervical cancer deaths are occurring in LMICs.
Significant investments involving a broad range of partners in comprehensive cancer control are required and crucial to improving the quality of life of women affected by cancer while at the same time strengthening national health systems