Public Health Agency of Canada

Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Challenge

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The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is looking for ways to help prevent type 2 diabetes through the Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Challenge. We’re looking for concepts that can address the health and social barriers that people experience that lead to an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For this Challenge, a community is defined as a group of individuals united by sharing certain beliefs, culture, goals, activities, or geography. Community members are connected to each other and work towards common interests.

Thinking of applying? If your concept is selected by our Judges, you can receive prize money in addition to non-financial supports to help develop and implement your concept. Applications for the Type 2 Diabetes Challenge are being accepted until March 1, 2023! Apply now!

Innovative approaches to help prevent type 2 diabetes developed in partnership with communities in Canada

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting Canadians. It is characterized by the body's inability to produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Diabetes is associated with a variety of symptoms and potential complications, including increased risk of infection and chronic kidney disease. In addition, people affected by diabetes often experience stigma, depression and anxiety.

Over 3 million Canadians, or 8.9% of the population, have been diagnosed with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 90% of diabetes cases in Canadian adults. Genetic and modifiable risk factors influence the development of type 2 diabetes over time. While some risk factors cannot be changed, such as genetic factors, others risk factors related to healthy eating or physical activity can be modified. Often, these modifiable risk factors can only be addressed after accounting for the conditions in which people grow, work, live and age – they depend on the intersecting social, economic, and environmental determinants of health. This Challenge is specifically focused on type 2 diabetes, as it has the potential to be prevented by addressing these modifiable risk factors and the determinants of health that influence them.

PHAC is looking for concepts or innovative approaches that can remove the barriers to addressing the risks that lead to developing type 2 diabetes, particularly those that address the determinants of health in communities with an already higher risk.

Each community in Canada has a unique context that influences the risk of developing diabetes, and this context also influences a unique set of strengths and skills for the community. We are asking innovators and communities to partner, or for communities to lead an innovative approach, to identify and implement approaches that are bespoke to the needs and strengths of community. Through such inter-sectoral partnerships, exemplifying collaboration, compassion, and respect, we are seeking concepts that expand on the knowledge and achievements of communities in Canada to find approaches that not only help prevent type 2 diabetes but are meaningful to community members. Furthermore, such innovative approaches serve as a template to be adapted in other communities or contexts in Canada, and as a template for addressing other chronic diseases in Canada that are influenced by similar barriers and risk factors.

Whether your concept is an early idea or one that you have been developing for some time, we are looking for those that have the highest potential to impact type 2 diabetes prevention in communities that are at an elevated risk for it - successful applicants will have a chance to develop their concept before implementing it. Concepts submitted to this Challenge can be brand new for the community in which it is deployed, or a new application of a previously successful approach that may or may not have to do with diabetes (but it must not replicate existing initiatives/projects already in place in a community). To help interrupt the trajectory towards developing type 2 diabetes, we are also looking for concepts that address these barriers and risks most relevant to community members before they require entry into the medical system.

Why build on community strengths?

Canada has a diverse number of communities, each with their own unique knowledge, traditions, and expertise. These are built by the experiences of how community members live, work, and spend leisure time, as well as how community members share beliefs and collaborate towards united goals. Communities where members have a strong sense of connection to each other can have an environment of trust and genuineness, and with the right resources and conditions, can use that environment to collectively and creatively leverage their respective community’s strengths to address the most issues important issues that impact them. For communities disproportionately impacted by type 2 diabetes, this Challenge creates the structure for a strength-based approach whereby communities can use their cohesiveness and creativity, with their partners, to address type 2 diabetes. It ensures that the community is involved in continuous shaping, strategy, and implementation of an innovative approach that respects what is highest value to the community and that the approach utilizes the philosophies and practices to which community members prescribe. Through the Challenge, new mutual partnerships between communities and non-traditional partners will be catalyzed, creating new ways to use resources, supports, and ideas to better reach individuals and help prevent type 2 diabetes.

Up to 21 prizes of CAD $35,000 open to all eligible applicants who submit a stage 1 proposed concept application.

Up to 7 prizes of CAD $600,000 open to all semi-finalists participating in stage 2.

Up to 2 grand prizes of CAD $1.25M open to all finalists participating in stage 3.

Challenge details

Who can apply?

  • Not-for-profit organizations;
  • Businesses or other for-profit organizations;
  • Indigenous organizations and groups located in Canada;
  • Post-secondary/academic institutions;
  • Individuals, groups, societies, or coalitions (non-incorporated); and
  • Municipalities or local/regional governments located in Canada.

In order to receive funding, applicants are required to be a Canadian legal entity (such as a company or a corporation or a not-for-profit organization) capable of entering into binding agreements in Canada or establish one. International organizations may submit an application provided that these requirements are met.

Key Dates

Stage 1: Proposed Concept

  • Application Deadline - March 1, 2023
  • Semi-Finalists Announced - Summer 2023

Stage 2: Concept Development

  • Deadline - Fall 2023
  • Finalists Announced - Winter 2024

Stage 3: Implementation and Evidence Generation

  • Deadline - Winter 2026
  • Grand Prize Winners Announced - Winter 2026

Prizes

  • Up to 21 prizes of CAD $35,000 open to all eligible applicants who submit a stage 1 proposed concept application.
  • Up to 7 prizes of CAD $600,000 open to all semi-finalists participating in stage 2.
  • Up to 2 grand prizes of CAD $1.25M open to all finalists participating in stage 3.

Note: The number of winners and prize amounts may vary depending on the applications received. For each phase, prize amounts will not be less than the amount per winner indicated above.