21 Oct 2019 - 30 Jul 2020

Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge

The Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge, initiated by the United States National Academy of Medicine (NAM), seeks to offer an expedited mechanism to engage innovators, scientists, and entrepreneurs to catalyse breakthrough discoveries and innovations that will leapfrog existing barriers and jumpstart new solutions, thereby propelling the field of ageing research and improving the health of people as they age.

The NAM has developed a unique model built on a foundation of catalyst and proof-of-concept awards to attract bold ideas and advance successful pilots and prototypes, followed by major inducement prizes for breakthrough innovations (see Figure 1). The model includes:
Phase 1: Catalyst Awards to recognise bold new ideas;
Phase 2: Accelerator Awards to reward proof-of-concept; and
Phase 3: One or more Grand Prizes for a breakthrough innovation with demonstrated efficacy in humans.

Figure 1
Figure 1: NAM Healthy Longevity Global Challenge Framework

Projected Timeline:
  • Catalyst Award Competition [2019-2022]
  • Accelerator Award Competition [2020-2023]
  • Grand Prize Competition [2023-2025]

About the NAM International Catalyst Award Competition

As part of the Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge, the NAM International Catalyst Awards will reward bold, new, potentially transformative ideas—originating from any field or combination of fields (such as biomedicine, behavioural science, sociology, engineering and infrastructure, technology, policy)—to improve the physical, mental, or social well-being for people as they age, and in a measurable and equitable way. In particular, we seek ideas that will extend the human health span through innovations in disease prevention, biomarkers, molecular pathways, mobility, functionality, social connectedness, and more. Ideas could focus on early-, mid-, or late-life, as long as it ultimately promotes health as people age.

Topic Areas

Below are some examples of topic areas that would be considered.
  • Biology of ageing and molecular pathways
  • Built environment and urban planning
  • Disease prevention, including biomarkers and indicators of disease
  • Health care delivery
  • Housing, such as smart-enabled homes, intergenerational housing models
  • Policy, such as economic, health, and science policy
  • Social connectedness, engagement, and well-being
  • Technology, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, medical technology, assistive devices, and information technology

Evaluation Criteria

Selection of successful proposals will be based on the following evaluation criteria:
  • Innovativeness: The extent to which the proposed idea challenges existing paradigms and employs new methodologies or concepts. (This is the most important criterion.)
  • Potential for Impact: The extent to which the proposed idea may influence the physical, mental, or social well-being of people as they age.
  • Scope: The extent to which the proposed idea represents a challenge impacting the entire field, and not solely the interests of the applicant.
  • Quality: The extent to which the proposed idea and the research methodology are clearly explained and includes a compelling or well-defined outcome metric.


The Catalyst Awards will be open to all public, private or non-profit institutions from all disciplines, including research institutes, institutes of higher learning (IHLs) and community-based organisations. There is no restriction on nationality for individuals in the project team, but the entity they represent must be legally registered in Singapore. Consortiums with Singapore-registered entities are also eligible to apply. Individuals will not be eligible for application.


There will be one round of Catalyst Award competition per year.

Funding Quantum

To be advised before the application opens.

Important Dates to note

The timeline for key activities under the Catalyst Awards is set out below:

 Activity  Date
 Announcement of the NAM Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge   Oct 2019
 Public Briefing  To be advised
 Call for Applications   Jan 2020
 Deadline for Project Proposal Submission  Feb 2020
 Announcement of Results  July 2020

Submission Mode and Deadline

Submission Deadline and Application Guide will be released here when the application opens. Please note that it is mandatory for all applications to be submitted and endorsed by the Director of Research (DOR) online via IGMS by the submission deadline.

Supporting Agency

  • National Research Foundation (NRF)

In Collaboration with

Contact Us

For enquiries on the NAM International Catalyst Awards in Singapore, please email us at