Computer vision has recently made rapid progress, achieving a level of performance that was unexpected just a few years ago. This technology has opened possibilities in many real-world domains, including transportation, entertainment and safety. While these applications give value to our technology, research to date has predominantly focused on a few geographic regions, primarily the United States and Europe, raising concerns of globally unrepresented data sets, tasks and ultimately the direction of the field.

Parallel to this, internet penetration and mobile phone usage has dramatically increased throughout the world. Simple feature phones, often with cameras, are particularly pervasive in low- and middle-income countries, providing new entry points to address long-standing development challenges in areas like health, agriculture and education. The computer vision community could aid these efforts, but complex technical challenges prevent progress.

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.

Proposals should include

  • A summary of the project (1-2 pages) explaining the area of focus, conceptual and methodological distinction between the pilot study and any future follow-on studies, a description of techniques, the research’s applicability to Facebook, a timeline with milestones and expected outcomes
  • A budget description (1 page) including an approximate cost of the award and explanation of how funds would be spent
  • Curriculum Vitae for all key project participants
  • Organization details; this will include tax information and administrative contact details

Eligibility

This opportunity is open to applicants worldwide from academic and/or research institutions that are eligible for research funding. This includes individual researchers addressing a well-defined problem, or multiple university departments. We encourage emerging scholars to apply.

Additional provisions are listed below.

  • Awards must comply with applicable US and international laws, regulations and policies
  • Applicants must be the Principal Investigator on any resulting award
  • Applicants may submit one proposal per solicitation
  • Organizations must be a nonprofit or non-governmental organization with recognized legal status in their respective country (equal to 501(c)(3) status under the United States Internal Revenue Code).

Timing and dates

  • Applications are now open. Deadline to apply is Monday, April 29 at 5:00 pm PST.
  • Notifications will be sent by email to applicants in June and the award winners will be announced during the Computer Vision for Global Challenges Workshop at CVPR ‘19.

Additional information

This RFP is launched in conjunction with Computer Vision for Global Challenges (CV4GC), a multi-stakeholder initiative to bring the computer vision community closer to socially impactful tasks, datasets and applications. CV4GC will convene a workshop at 2019 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition to be held in Long Beach, California June 16–21. Successful applicants may be invited to join this workshop and present their projects; however, proposals do not need to include conference travel costs.

For additional questions related to this RFP, please email Andrew Westbury at awestbury@fb.com.

Join our Facebook community 

Interested researchers, institutions and non-profits with computer vision or domain knowledge are also encouraged to join the Computer Vision for Global Challenges Facebook group and start engaging in discussion and sharing ideas and resources.

Interested candidates should  Click Here to Apply

Terms and Conditions

Please read these Terms carefully before proceeding.

  • By submitting this proposal, you are authorizing Facebook to evaluate the proposal for a potential award, and you agree to the terms herein.
  • You agree that Facebook will not be required to treat any part of the proposal as confidential or protected by copyright
  • You agree and acknowledge that personal data submitted with the proposal, including name, mailing address, phone number, and email address of you and other named researchers in the proposal may be collected, processed, stored and otherwise used by Facebook for the purposes of administering the website and evaluating the contents of the proposal.
  • You acknowledge that neither party is obligated to enter into any business transaction as a result of the proposal submission, Facebook is under no obligation to review or consider the proposal, and neither party acquires any intellectual property rights as a result of submitting the proposal.
  • Any feedback you provide to Facebook in the proposal regarding its products or services will not be treated as confidential or protected by copyright, and Facebook is free to use such feedback on an unrestricted basis with no compensation to you.
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