Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact® in global health. We are funded by the Government of Canada and we fund innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas we support integrate science and technology, social and business innovation – we call this Integrated Innovation®. We focus on bringing successful innovation to scale, catalyzing sustainability and impact. We have a determined focus on results, and on saving and improving lives.
Grand Challenges Canada works closely with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) to catalyze scale, sustainability and impact.
Grand Challenges Canada focuses on innovator-defined challenges through its Stars in Global Health program and on targeted challenges in its Saving Lives at Birth, Saving Brains and Global Mental Health programs. We help transition promising innovations from the proof-of-concept stage to scale through our Transition-to-Scale program.
Grand Challenges Canada launched on May 3, 2010. To date, we have supported almost 700 projects totaling $158 million implemented in more than 80 countries and have leveraged $224 million in additional funding from outside the Government of Canada, including significant private sector investment. Our investments are producing results: 1.2 million beneficiaries have already accessed our innovative products or services (based on less than 20% of our funded projects reporting to date). Thousands of lives have been saved and tens of thousands of lives have been improved. We anticipate even more impressive outcomes as these innovations move from proof-of-concept to scale.
Mr. Joseph L. Rotman, Chairman
Stars in Global Health – Stars in Global Health, the ‘venture capital’-like component of our work, supports exceptional innovators who have Bold Ideas with Big Impact in the area of global health, and who are based either in Canada or low- or middle-income countries. Since 2011, Grand Challenges Canada has funded over $50 million and supported 478 proof-of-concept grants through the Stars in Global health program.
Transition-to-Scale – Grand Challenges Canada enabled the creation of a rich pipeline of global health innovations and has evolved into a platform that offers opportunities for social enterprises and impact investors, to generate measurable and sustainable social impact. We have approved 38 Transition-to-Scale projects, including investments in Point-of-Care Diagnostics and projects co-funded with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Phase II Grand Challenges Explorations program.
Mr. The Phone Oximeter offers real-time monitoring of vital signs and will enable diagnosis and treatment of pre-eclampsia (LGTmedical)
Saving Lives at Birth – Grand Challenges Canada, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, the Government of Norway and the UK’s Department for International Development are partners in the Saving Lives at Birth initiative. To date, 81 innovations have been funded over the course of four award rounds to address the 289,000 maternal deaths, 2.8 million newborn deaths, and 2.6 million stillbirths that occur each year.
Melinda Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Dr. Peter A. Singer
Saving Brains – Saving Brains promotes the fulfillment of human capital potential by focusing on interventions that nurture healthy child and brain development in the first 1,000 days at scale with lasting impact on human capital in low-resource settings. Total investments to date are $33 million in 76 projects, including 5 Transition-to-Scale investments.
Drs. Karlee Silver and Peter A. Singer with Ms. Laureen Harper
Global Mental Health – Global Mental Health seeks to improve treatments and expand access to mental health care in low- and middle-income countries. To date, our total investment is over $32 million for the development of the Mental Health Innovation Network (mhinnovation.net) and 63 projects, including one Transition-to-Scale investment.
KIDS conducting evaluations with parents
Global Health Investment Fund – The Global Health Investment Fund was launched on September 23, 2013. Grand Challenges Canada is the anchor investor in this fund with a US $10 million investment. Our Board Chair, Mr. Joseph L. Rotman is the chair of its Investor Advisory Committee.
Bill Gates, the Honourable Christian Paradis and Jamie Dimon at the GHIF launch