Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact in global health. We are funded by the Government of Canada; we fund innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas we support integrate science/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 saving and improving lives.
In the 2008 Budget, the Government of Canada announced the creation of the Development Innovation Fund to:
“…support the best minds in the world as they search for breakthroughs in global health and other areas that have the potential to bring about enduring changes in the lives of millions of people in poor countries”.
Grand Challenges Canada is the primary delivery vehicle for this fund and is focused on making this vision a reality. Grand Challenges Canada was launched on May 3, 2010, by the Honourable James Flaherty, Minister of Finance for Canada (pictured to the right). In creating the Development Innovation Fund and funding Grand Challenges Canada, Canada was the first country in the world to adopt a grand challenges approach in foreign aid and has inspired a growing number of countries to take a similar approach.
Our vision is: Bold Ideas. Big Impact. A Better World.
Our mission is: Saving and improving lives in low- and middle-income countries through Integrated Innovation.
At the core of our operating philosophy is Integrated Innovation, the coordinated application of scientific/technological, social and business innovation to develop solutions to complex challenges, and to identify and overcome barriers to sustainably bring these solutions to scale.
Grand Challenges Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization hosted at the Sandra Rotman Centre, working in a consortium with Canada’s International Development Research Centre and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Grand Challenges Canada is governed by a distinguished Board of Directors and is guided by a Scientific Advisory Board, whose members include world-renowned scientists from both the developing and developed world. Mr. Joseph L. Rotman is the Chairman (pictured to the left) and Dr. Peter A. Singer is the Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada.
Our primary strategic priority is solving critical health challenges in low- and middle-income countries.
Our programs include:
Stars in Global Health, the ‘venture capital’-like component of our work, which supports exceptional innovators who have Bold Ideas with Big Impact in the area of global health, and who are based either in Canada or in low- or middle-income countries. To date, we have funded more than 100 innovators through this program at the $100,000 level and 5 awards at the $1 million level, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Stars in Global Health grantee Dr. Jan Andrysek’s artificial knee joint
Saving Lives at Birth, in which Grand Challenges Canada has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, the Government of Norway and the UK’s Department for International Development. So far, 39 innovative projects have been funded to save the lives of pregnant women and newborns in poor communities around the time of childbirth.
Melinda Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Dr. Peter A. Singer
Saving Brains, which focuses on supporting the development and implementation of effective solutions to promote early childhood development and long-term human capital formation in the face of poverty. To date, 11 projects have been funded through this program.
Drs. Karlee Silver and Peter A. Singer with Ms. Laureen Harper
Global Mental Health, which supports the implementation of innovative solutions for improving treatments and expanding access to mental health care in low- and middle-income countries. So far, 15 innovative, pioneering projects have been funded to improve mental health diagnosis and care in developing countries.
Buyiswa, a South African mother suffering from depression and bipolar disease
Our secondary strategic priority is to leverage the Grand Challenges Canada platform to engage strategic partners by testing new models of aid, with a focus on private investment, blended value, pay-on-results and testing new models of innovation diplomacy by forging valuable innovation-focused partnerships with significant international organizations, agencies and countries. For example, Grand Challenges Canada is currently working with key stakeholders in Israel to implement Grand Challenges Israel.
To date, grants to 275 Canadian and low- and middle income country innovators have been approved by the Board of Directors, along with one innovative non-grant investment.
Please visit grandchallenges.ca and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.