Global Health Innovation

Global Health is a priority for Grand Challenges Canada because we believe improving and ensuring equal access to health for all people worldwide will improve and save lives, and transform communities. Our focus is to empower innovators who are closest to the world’s health challenges because they have the knowledge and are best positioned to develop lasting solutions. Grand Challenges Canada has identified seven areas as having the greatest potential for impact using innovation: maternal, newborn and child health; early childhood development; mental health; safe abortion; sexual and reproductive health; sanitation; and gender equality. We are connecting innovators to funding, networks and resources to develop bold ideas, test them, and transition to scale innovations that make a profound difference.


Being is an international mental health initiative, working toward a world where young people feel well and thrive. It is hosted by Grand Challenges Canada in partnership with Fondation Botnar, United for Global Mental Health, the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR), and the Science for Africa Foundation. 

Global Mental Health

Grand Challenges Canada’s Global Mental Health program supports Bold Ideas with Big Impact® The aim of the program is to seed and transition to scale high impact innovations that support the mental health needs of underserved individuals, in particular young people, in low-and middle-income countries.

OPTions Initiative

The Options for Pregnancy Termination (OPTions) Initiative seeks innovative and transformative approaches that put women and girls in control of where, when, and how they terminate their pregnancy, in countries where there are one or more legal grounds to support it.

Saving Brains

Saving Brains supports bold ideas to improve early brain and child development globally. The portfolio focuses on three areas of healthy development (health & nutrition, enrichment and protection) that, when addressed together, set up a child to reach his or her full potential.

Saving Lives at Birth

Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development calls for groundbreaking prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in poor, hard-to-reach communities around the time of childbirth.

Stars in Global Health

The Stars in Global Health program supports Bold Ideas with Big Impact® from the best and brightest scientists and innovators, both in low- and middle-income countries and in Canada, to address some of the most pressing global health challenges. It provides funding to explore transformative ideas at proof-of-concept that bring together scientific/technical, social and business innovation.