#FundingFriday: 2018 World Cup Edition

This week’s #FundingFriday post curates U.S. federal grant programs for countries or regions represented by national teams in the 2018 World Cup.

The programs highlighted below support a range of initiatives, including economic development, capacity-building, environmental protection, and collaborative research.

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Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Other Countries

Promoting the eSports Industry in the MENA Region

  • Agency: Department of State, Assistance Coordination
  • Closing Date: August 1, 2018
  • Purpose: Aligned with the U.S. Government’s Economic Reform objective, this funding opportunity seeks to advance U.S. economic interests in the MENA region while bolstering the nascent eSports industry. This initiative will advance and promote the industry to become a part of the mainstream private sector, encouraging formalization of business development and economic growth. Through partnerships, technical assistance, and joint ventures with the private sector from the U.S. and other regions, this initiative will develop and implement business strategies and models to monetize the industry. Further, it will create a viable career option for youth in the region by participating on teams or by producing innovative regional and local gaming and eSports content.


Strategic Alliances for Mexico (SAM)

  • Agency: Agency for International Development, Mexico USAID-Mexico City
  • Closing Date: January 1, 2019
  • Purpose: Through SAM, USAID/Mexico announces its desire to forge strategic alliances with a focus on engaging the private sector in priority areas, as defined by the Government of Mexico (GOM) and the United States Government (USG). SAM is designed to increase the sustainability and impact of our development investments in Mexico in the following areas: Crime and Violence, Rule of Law, Human Rights, Integrity and Transparency, and Sustainable Landscapes. USAID/Mexico is interested in providing both financial, or non-financial support in these areas.


Capacity Building for the Egyptian Court of Cassation

  • Agency: Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics-Law Enforcement
  • Closing Date: July 20, 2018
  • Purpose: The Court of Cassation has requested assistance in developing its training and management capacity for the benefit of judges and court administrators. To support progress in Egypt’s judicial development process, U.S. Department of State has allocated funds to support capacity-building efforts within the Court of Cassation to provide specialized training and professional development opportunities.

Japan and Other Countries

Supporting Sustainable Seafood Private Sector Businesses in the Pacific Islands

  • Agency: Department of State, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Closing Date: July 2, 2018
  • Purpose: The U.S. Department of State Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP) announces an open competition for organizations to submit applications to support Pacific Islands businesses in the fisheries/seafood sector to adopt sustainable and inclusive practices and to generate economic growth for Pacific peoples through participation in a global business plan competition. The program should leverage U.S. expertise in innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment to empower Pacific Islands businesses.

Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Other Countries

Reducing Child Labor and Forced Labor in Palm Oil Supply Chains (Notice of Intent)

  • Agency: Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs
  • Closing Date: August 31, 2018
  • Purpose: Subject to the availability of funds, USDOL’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) intends to award, through a competitive process, one cooperative agreement to fund a project to improve the implementation of social compliance systems that promote acceptable conditions of work and reduction of child labor and forced labor in palm oil supply chains.

France, Germany, Japan and Other Countries

Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience

  • Agency: National Science Foundation
  • Closing Date: November 27, 2018
  • Purpose: Computational neuroscience provides a theoretical foundation and a rich set of technical approaches for understanding complex neurobiological systems, building on the theory, methods, and findings of computer science, neuroscience, and numerous other disciplines. Through the CRCNS program, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF), the French National Research Agency (Agence Nationale de la Recherche, ANR), the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF), and Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) support collaborative activities that will advance the understanding of nervous system structure and function, mechanisms underlying nervous system disorders, and computational strategies used by the nervous system.


Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises’ Access to Finance in Tunisia

  • Agency: Department of State, Assistance Coordination
  • Closing Date: July 19, 2018
  • Purpose: The micro, small and medium-scale enterprise finance sector in Tunisia has changed substantially— beginning with the introduction of a new microfinance law in 2011, which opened up the market to new entrants— and the Tunisian government has continued to build on this progress through the newly-passed Start-Up Act in 2018. The Tunisian lending market accounts for less than ten percent of the financial sector, but is increasingly important for external financing of fixed asset investments of small- and medium- enterprises (SMEs). The banks’ current liquidity situation encourages lending only to those clients perceived as less risky and which offer real assets as securities. Access to finance is one of the main impediments to the business environment in Tunisia, and this is particularly true for SMEs.