What is Grand Challenges Canada?view-pdf


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 lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) 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 takes an evidenced-based approach to development innovation to save and improve lives in LMICs. We are a platform for development innovation in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) through our Saving Lives at Birth, Saving Brains and MNCH Stars in Global Health programs. We are also focused on helping the poorest and most vulnerable populations, for example those who suffer from mental illness.

Since our launch in 2010, Grand Challenges Canada has supported a pipeline of over 700 projects in more than 80 countries. Our investments are producing results: Thousands of lives have been saved and over one hundred and fifty thousand lives have been improved, thus far. We anticipate even more impressive outcomes as our innovations move from proof-of-concept to scale. By 2030, these innovations are projected to save 3 million people and improve 35 million lives.



The Stars in Global Health program supports transformative solutions to global health problems identified by innovators in Canada and in LMICs to save and improve lives.



Through the Transition-to-Scale program, Grand Challenges Canada has 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.

To date, this project to idenfity and refer people with visceral leishmaniasis has saved the lives of 110 people and has contributed to a major reduction of the disease.


The Saving Lives at Birth program supports ground-breaking prevention and treatment approaches to reduce stillbirth,
newborn and maternal death.

For our portfolio of innovations: savinglivesatbirth.net



Melinda Gates, Hillary Clinton and Peter A. Singer


The Saving Brains program supports new approaches to ensure children thrive by protecting and nurturing early brain development; providing a long-term exit strategy from poverty

For our portfolio of innovations: savingbrainsinnovation.net


Community worker and Mother congratulate baby for completing puzzle (Kingston, Jamaica)


The Global Mental Health program supports innovative models to expand the access to care and effectiveness of services to improve mental health.

For our portfolio of innovations: mhinnovation.net

Zanmi Lasante expands services for a range of mental health disorders, like depression, epilepsy and child/adolescent disorders. To date, over 5,000 individuals have received treatment of which an estimated 2,325 have experienced improved health.


Announced in September 2013, the Global Health Investment Fund is a $108 million impact investment fund. Through a pioneering group of investors, including anchor support from Grand Challenges Canada, this fund was created to overcome a critical market failure: the lack of availability of investment capital to take promising global health innovations to scale in low-income countries.


Mr. Joseph L. Rotman OC, founding Chairman of Grand Challenges Canada