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Local expert gets funding to develop food based on insects

Aaron DosseyGainesville entomologist Aaron Dossey wants to feed bugs to starving children to prevent malnutrition, and now he has a $100,000 grant to give it a shot.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday awarded Dossey the grant to develop an insect-based food for children in famine-stricken areas of the world. Dossey said he plans to create a paste or other food product using insects such as crickets, which he said are more accessible than other ingredients in places lacking resources.

“Insects are a lot more sustainable and at least theoretically can be farmed in places that don’t have a lot of access to water or resources required to raise cattle,” he said.

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Company Gets Grant to Develop Food Based on Insects to Fight Malnutrition

All Things Bugs said that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All Things Bugs develops insect-derived technologies for applications in food, farm and pharma.

Dr. Aaron T. Dossey, Founder and Owner of All Things Bugs will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Good Bugs: Sustainable Food for Malnutrition in Children”.

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Dr. Dossey’s project is one of over 100 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 8 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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All Things Bugs receives grant for groundbreaking global health and development research

All Things Bugs announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Dr. Aaron T. Dossey, Founder/Owner of All Things Bugs will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Good Bugs: Sustainable Food for Malnutrition in Children“.

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges.  Dr. Dossey’s project is one of over 100 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 8 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Grand Challenges Explorations encourages individuals worldwide to expand the pipeline of ideas where creative, unorthodox thinking is most urgently needed,” said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery and Translational Sciences at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We’re excited to provide additional funding for select grantees so that they can continue to advance their idea towards global impact.”

To receive funding, Dr. Dossey and other Grand Challenges Explorations Round 8 winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas that included agriculture development, immunization and nutrition. Applications for the current open round, Grand Challenges Explorations Round 9, will be accepted through May 15, 2012.

Dr. Dossey’s project will develop a novel food product made from insects to treat malnutrition in children from famine stricken areas of the world.  This is the first project of Dr. Dossey’s recently founded company All Things Bugs.  Utilizing insects as human food toward a more sustainable and secure human food supply is an emerging field which is growing in popularity.  For example, Dr. Dossey attended a meeting in January, 2012 at the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome Italy on this subject.  Insects possess many attractive attributes such as a higher feed conversion ratio and utilize substantially less water than do other livestock animals such as beef cattle and swine.  This also means that they can be farmed in areas of the world where cattle and other livestock cannot; providing even more promise of feeding the world.

About Grand Challenges Explorations

Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Launched in 2008, over 600 people in 45 countries have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants.  The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization.  The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short two-page online applications and no preliminary data required.  Initial grants of US$100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.

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