Inspired: Canada funds 68 bold, inventive ways to improve health, save lives in developing countries

Grand Challenges Canada, Toronto

22 Nov. 2012

Grand Challenges Canada awards 68 $100,000 seed grants to innovators worldwide

Some 51 innovators in 18 low and middle income countries and 17 in Canada will share $7 million in Canadian grants to pursue bold, creative ideas for tackling health problems in resource-poor parts of the world.

Specially designed packages of anti-diarrhea kits for kids will hitch a ride on Coca-Cola’s distribution network, initially in Zambia

Among the Canadian-based projects: researchers will mimic rocket technology to propel coagulant nanoparticles into the bloodstream and stop maternal bleeding, a major cause of death in the developing world; test a high-tech Burn Survival Kit that includes a low-cost silver nanotubule dressing making treatment affordable; and develop an HIV infection detector that works in fewer than 5 minutes.

Out-of-the-box projects based overseas include a new trading system in Kenya: seeds and fertilizers for proof of child vaccinations; a $100 kitchen reno to reduce indoor pollution and problem pregnancies in Bangladesh; cultivating disease-fighting prawns in Senegal; creating wealth from human waste in cholera-troubled Haiti; and anti-diarrhea kits for infants hitching a ride on Coca-Cola’s distribution chain to get essential medicine to “the ends of the Earth.”

Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, announced the 68 $100,000 grants under its Stars in Global Health program, which fosters affordable, breakthrough ideas to improve health in developing countries.  Successful projects may apply for $1 million scale-up grants.

The projects will be implemented worldwide:

  • 38 in Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana (4), Kenya (10), Nigeria, Rwanda (2), Senegal (2), Tanzania (2), Uganda (8), Zambia (4), Zimbabwe and South Africa),
  • 23 in Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh (3), China, India (9), Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan (4), Vietnam),
  • 5 in Latin America / Caribbean (Haiti (3), Guatemala, Nicaragua); and
  • 2 in the Middle East (Jordan, Tunisia)

Interviews with the innovators and program officials are available.

For fully detailed grant descriptions, project contact information and links to video interviews and photos:

Full release: click here

Example coverage: Washington Post, click here; CNN International, click hereToronto Star, click here, The Guardian, click 1) here and 2) here

Coverage summary, click here

About Grand Challenges Canada

Grand Challenges Canada supports bold ideas with big impact in global health. Funded by the Government of Canada, GCC funds innovators in low and middle income countries and Canada.  Hosted at the Sandra Rotman Centre, GCC works with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and other global health foundations and organizations.