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ZzappMalaria Wins Top Prize at Cisco’s Global Problem Solver Challenge

The 250,000 USD grand prize is the largest ever awarded in this challenge and will be used to help Zzapp demonstrate the feasibility of malaria eradication

Tel Aviv, Israel – WEBWIRE

ZzappMalaria, the developer of an AI-based platform to help combat malaria, has been chosen from over 1700 teams from 126 countries as the grand prize winner of the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge 2021. ZzappMalaria will receive a $250,000 USD prize to continue its global fight against the disease. This prize announcement comes on the heels of last week’s announcement of a $3 million prize awarded to ZzappMalaria in the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE competition.

ZzappMalaria, a spinoff of Israeli startup Sight Diagnostics, has developed an app that manages malaria elimination operations to make malaria eradication possible on a global scale. Malaria is spread by mosquitoes that reproduce in stagnant water. Current anti-malaria campaigns focus on controlling the spread of the disease, rather than eliminating the mosquitoes which cause it.

Launched in 2016, ZzappMalaria has developed an end-to-end solution that targets the breeding sites of malaria-bearing mosquitos. Its proprietary algorithm combines topographical data, satellite imagery, weather data, and user reports to predict where stagnant water is likely to occur, and treat it. ZzappMalaria’s technology is specifically adapted to work in areas without internet connectivity, on low-cost phones common in developing nations. In its most recent operation in Obuasi, Ghana, Zzapp drastically reduced the number of mosquitoes, at a fraction of the cost of conventional control methods.

The Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge awards cash prizes to early-stage start-ups that have developed a technology solution that drives economic development and addresses social or environmental problems. Cisco established the Global Problem Solver Challenge in 2017 to support start-ups that can contribute to economic growth and job creation, while also addressing some of the world’s pressing challenges. On June 29, 2021, Cisco awarded $1 million USD in total prizes to 20 teams around the world as part of this year’s competition. Over the past five years, Cisco has awarded $2.25 million USD to 63 start-ups from 20 countries. This year’s 250,000 USD grand prize is the largest ever awarded in this challenge.

“Winning the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge is an acknowledgment of the hope that Zzapp brings to the global fight against malaria,” said Arnon Houri-Yafin, ZzappMalaria’s CEO. “We hope that this recognition, following the Xprize victory, will help Zzapp to bring its revolutionary technology to more countries worldwide. We’re hoping to partner with even more governments and health authorities in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond to bring Zzapp’s protection to the hundreds of millions of people affected by this deadly disease.”

About ZzappMalaria
ZzappMalaria was born out of Sight Diagnostics in 2017 with the aim of eradicating malaria worldwide. Founded by Arnon Houri-Yafin, ZzappMalaria developed a system for planning, executing, and monitoring large-scale and cost-effective malaria elimination campaigns. ZzappMalaria’s solution focuses on larviciding - thorough treatment of stagnant water bodies in which mosquitoes breed. Its algorithm tailors optimal and localized malaria elimination strategies, and its mobile app allocates assignments to workers, guides them in the field, and enables them to easily upload data to a designated dashboard. ZzappMalaria’s machine learning capabilities continuously improve the system’s efficacy from one operation to the next. The project has won several grants, including from the Gates Foundation and the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC), and has been conducting anti-malaria operations in Ghana, Zanzibar, Kenya and Ethiopia. Zzappmalaria is the grand winner in the IBM Watson AI XPRIZE Learn more at


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