Visit by the PEARL Grant Program Officer
By: Charles Halonda-Funa
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It was launched in 2000 and is said to be the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world.
Dr. Ernest Mwebaze was awarded a $500,000 grant by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation in the framework of the Program for Emerging Agricultural Research Leaders (PEARL). The investigation of machine learning based methods for the automated detection and classification of viral plant diseases is a central aspect of the project. The grant includes hardware, software development, training costs, logistics and technical support.
The four-year research project entitled Automated mobile survey technology and spatial modeling of viral cassava diseases in Uganda was proposed by Dr. E. Mwebaze (Makerere University, Uganda) as principal investigator, together with senior researchers Prof. Michael Biehl (University of Groningen), Dr. John Quinn (Makerere University, Uganda) and Prof. Christopher Gilligan (University of Cambridge, UK). Visiting the College of Computing and IS was Dr. Catherine Kahn, a Program Officer handling the PEARL Grant. During the visit she took the opportunity to visit the Artificial Intelligence Lab as well as discuss and review progress on the current grant that Dr. E Mwebaze is involved with.
In addition, she took the opportunity to meet other academicians at the College and exchange with them opportunities on how to access more Research Grants? Eligibility requirements? Discuss the functions of the Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation and in particular encourage more women at the College to apply whenever there is a call.