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Innovation

Rising Stars in Global Health announced

TORONTO – From a tattoo that delivers drugs to combat a debilitating and disfiguring disease; to solar powered tablets to train women in Haiti on HIV prevention; to a rugged, reliable fetal heart monitor that doesn’t require electricity in order to save babies’ lives in Africa, Canadian innovators demonstrate creativity, bold ideas and big hearts in the quest to make a difference in the developing world and save lives.

Just before the July 1 Canada Day celebrations, Grand Challenges Canada announced 19 grants to Canadian innovators in the first phase of its Canadian Rising Stars in Global Health initiative.

“When I ran in the Olympic Torch Relay with my wife Sandra, we felt a sense of pride in Canada as we had never felt before,” says Joseph L. Rotman (pictured), Chair of Grand Challenges Canada. “I feel the same sense of pride about these outstanding Canadian Rising Stars in Global Health who demonstrate the leadership Canadians can and do contribute to the international community.”

Says Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada: “These innovators are dedicated to bringing change to the world’s poorest countries. They believe Canada has a leadership role in improving health conditions in the developing world. Collectively they are a source of pride for our country.”

“We are enabling Canadians to make their contribution to global health challenges, in collaboration with colleagues in low- and middle-income countries. Grand Challenges Canada is just beginning to tap that potential,” says Dr. Singer.

In a first for a Canadian grant application process, these innovators each produced a short video to explain their ideas to Canadians. These videos are as creative as the ideas proposed, showing our innovators in a new engaging light. To watch the videos visit http://gcc.eyeptv.net

Through a rigorous peer review process, nineteen innovators’ proposals were selected from across Canada each receiving a grant of $100,000. Their ideas are innovative, plan to address barriers to implementation such as community values and ethics, the health systems required to deliver the discoveries, and cost-effective commercialization of their solutions.

Grand Challenges Canada calls this Integrated Innovation, an approach which improves the success rate of discoveries. If their ideas are robust, effective, and proven, the innovators will be eligible for an additional scale–up grant of up to $1 million for each proposal.

There will be three rounds of Canadian Rising Stars for a total of $20 million. Of this amount, approximately $14 million will be available for scale-up grants.

Grand Challenges Canada is a new global health organization funded by Canada’s foreign aid budget. Its purpose is to fund research to address some of the most difficult global health issues through Integrated Innovation and save lives. Canada is the first country in the world to adopt a grand challenges approach to foreign aid.

Grand Challenges Canada participates in a consortium with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Mr. David Malone, President of IDRC, joins Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR in congratulating the new grantees. “The grant recipients have all displayed enormous creativity and commitment to solving global health challenges,” says Dr. Alain Beaudet. “It is exciting and very rewarding to have the opportunity to encourage them in their work.”

David Malone adds, “we’re very pleased to see Grand Challenges Canada, Canada’s International Development Research Centre and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research take a ‘whole of Canada’ approach to creating the Canadian Rising Stars in Global Health initiative and supporting Canadians’ contribution to global health.”

Grand Challenges Canada also announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Round 2 of Canadian Rising Stars in Global Health. In this Round, proposal submissions will require developing world innovators to collaborate with Canadians on their bold ideas.

Please click on the following link to learn more about the Canadian Rising Stars in Global Health Grantees: http://www.grandchallenges.ca/canadianrisingstars_round1grantees/

For more information please visit grandchallenges.ca

About Grand Challenges Canada
Grand Challenges Canada is a unique independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of people in developing countries by integrating scientific, technological, business and social innovation. Grand Challenges Canada works with the International Development Research Institute (IDRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR )and other global health foundations and organizations to find sustainable long-term solutions to the most pressing health challenges. Grand Challenges Canada is hosted at the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health.

About Canada’s International Development Research Centre
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) supports research in developing countries to promote growth and development. IDRC also encourages sharing this knowledge with policymakers, other researchers, and communities around the world. The result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim to bring choice and change to those who need it most. As the Government of Canada's lead on the Development Innovation Fund, IDRC will draw on decades of experience managing publicly funded research projects to administer the Development Innovation Fund. IDRC will also ensure that developing country researchers and concerns are front and centre in this exciting new initiative. www.idrc.ca

About Canadian Institutes of Health Research
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada’s agency for health research. CIHR’s mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,600 health researchers and trainees across Canada. CIHR will be responsible for the administration of international peer review, according to international standards of excellence. The results of CIHR-led peer review will guide the awarding of grants by Grand Challenges Canada from the Development Innovation Fund. www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca

About McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
The McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health is based at University Health Network and University of Toronto. We develop innovative global health solutions and help bring them to scale where they are most urgently needed. The McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health hosts Grand Challenges Canada. www.mrcglobal.org


Posted July 14, 2011

 

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