What is a
grand challenge?

It is a problem that is large, complex and multi-faceted. Solving this problem requires a combination of technologies, treatments, approaches and/or policies; and the solution will positively impact a great number of people.

UAB Grand Challenge winning proposal announced April 30, 2019

Healthy Alabama 2030: Live HealthSmart is the winning project selected for the inaugural UAB Grand Challenge. Led by Principal Investigator Dr. Mona Fouad, director of the UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, the project plans to make Alabama a model of healthy living.

By expanding proven innovations and changing policies, neighborhoods, schools and workplaces, Healthy Alabama 2030 aims to dramatically improve the health of all Alabamians by elevating our state out of the bottom 10 in national health rankings by the year 2030.

Alabama ranks 46th nationally in obesity, 48th in diabetes, and 49th in high blood pressure, among other metrics, and the magnitude of this problem and its impact on population health, quality of life, workforce readiness and our state economy is staggering. Dr. Fouad and her team will employ a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach—comprising academic partners, businesses, healthcare and insurance providers, local and state governments, faith-based organizations and community stakeholders—in a concerted effort to lift Alabama into the 30s in key health metrics over the next 10 years.


UAB Grand Challenge Finalists

The UAB Grand Challenge, a key component of Forging the Future, UAB’s strategic plan, inspired 77 initial entries from teams across campus and the community. Following workshops, teams formed to further develop and consolidate their concepts, eventually producing six fully formed and impressive proposals.

Mona Fouad

Healthy Alabama 2030 team charts changes to lift state rankings

Grand Challenge finalist plans to make Alabama a model of healthy living by expanding proven innovations and changing policies, neighborhoods, schools and workplaces.

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The REACH project

Transform life in Alabama through telehealth, UAB team proposes

Lack of access to care is the biggest contributor to Alabama’s health woes and technology offers a solution, according to the REACH project, a finalist in the UAB Grand Challenge.

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The Alabama HOPE Project

HOPE plans to transform rural, urban communities through longer, better lives

The Alabama HOPE Project, a Grand Challenge finalist, would bring change through education, health and economic opportunity, starting in Birmingham and Marengo County.

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Nasim Uddin

UAB team wants to build a roadmap to a model city

What does a smart, sustainable city look like in the 21st century? This Grand Challenge proposal would create a large-scale testbed for new approaches in technology, policy and sustainability in Birmingham to prove best practices to be used by cities throughout Alabama, the United States and the world.

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Karen Cropsey

To reverse Alabama’s opioid crisis, UAB team proposes an all-out effort

The project, a finalist in the Grand Challenge, promotes clinical intervention, education and research to prevent opioid overdoses.

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Ilias Perakis

UAB team plans to build a ‘Silicon Valley of the South’ model for growth

Success will position UAB, Birmingham and all of Alabama at the epicenter of the race to develop the advanced materials that will power the 21st century.

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