SOURCE: Grand Challenges Canada

Grand Challenges Canada



SOURCE: Massachusetts General Hospital’s Centre for Global Health

Massachusetts General Hospital’s Centre for Global Health

May 25, 2016 00:01 ET

Grand Challenges Canada and CAMTech Support Innovations Addressing Zika

 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND--(Marketwired - May 25, 2016) - The Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) at Massachusetts General Hospital's Centre for Global Health and Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, are pleased to announce the award nominees of the Zika Innovation Awards -- six prizes of $25,000 (CAD) each that will accelerate the development and commercialization of innovations addressing the Zika public health crisis. The award nominees were announced at the Global Health Security Agenda Private Sector Roundtable, a side event at the World Health Assembly.

From low-cost Zika diagnostics all the way to personal protective apparel for women, each of the selected teams will receive seed funding and acceleration support to move their innovations toward implementation and market adoption in the most affected communities.1 The award nominees, along with their respective institutions/organizations are:

  • Team Larva Finder (University of Victoria): A mobile application that detects the presence and geographic location of specific larvae species.
  • AHEAD - Aedes Home Educational Action Kit (Tangible Design, Inc.): An easy-to-use home instruction kit for creating mosquito traps made from recyclable and non-toxic materials
  • Team Kulinda: Fashion Forward Personal Protective Apparel (Maternova, Inc.): a clothing line for women and young girls in low-resource settings to guard against mosquito bites that employs a "buy one, donate one" business model
  • LAD - Larvicide Automatic Dispenser (University of North Carolina, Charlotte): An automatic dispenser that helps ensure adequate larvicide dosing through the use of a water buoy
  • Near Infrared Spectroscopy (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute): A rapid technique for the detection of Zika and Dengue Infections in Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes
  • Low Cost Biosensor for Zika Screening (University of Victoria): A real-time screening device which detects the presence and type of abrovirus in field conditions.

"The nominees of the Zika Innovation Awards are promising examples of how innovation can be used to protect vulnerable communities at risk of the Zika virus," said Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada. "Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, is pleased to partner with CAMTech in supporting development innovation to address the Zika public health emergency of international concern."

CAMTech and Grand Challenges Canada announced the awards as a follow-up opportunity after last month's Zika Innovation Hack-a-thon at Massachusetts General Hospital. During the event, roughly 200 innovators came together to develop new solutions to address the spread of the Zika virus and related outbreaks. Over the course of 48 hours, clinicians, designers and entrepreneurs pitched ideas, formed cross-disciplinary teams, and presented 15 innovations with the potential to combat Zika and other infectious disease outbreaks around the world.

Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and USAID Global Health to the World Health Organization and the White House participated, and the event was sponsored by the chairs of the Private Sector Roundtable -- the GE Foundation, Johnson & Johnson and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

CAMTech and Grand Challenges Canada invited a select group of teams to apply for the Zika Innovation Awards through the CAMTech Innovation Platform. Applications were reviewed by a Technology Review Committee, a group comprised of external experts across the public health, clinical, engineering and business sectors who also served as mentors during the hack-a-thon.

"We are thrilled that Grand Challenges Canada has stepped up to support a group of early-stage innovations addressing the Zika epidemic," said Elizabeth Bailey, CAMTech's Director. "We saw so much energy and passion from our hack-a-thon innovators and beyond, and Grand Challenges Canada is helping to accelerate those solutions to impact the lives of women and children across the Americas."

The Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) has a mission to build entrepreneurial capacity and accelerate medical technology innovation to improve health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries. CAMTech's approach enables co-creation, where innovators across public health, engineering, and business engage with end-users to develop disruptive medical technologies to achieve widespread public health impact. CAMTech's initiatives, including its newly launched CAMTech Innovation Platform and CAMTech Accelerator Program, help connect and support a global community of innovators working to improve health in developing and emerging markets.

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 support 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®. 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. Grand Challenges Canada works closely with Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Global Affairs Canada to catalyze scale, sustainability and impact. We have a determined focus on results, and on saving and improving lives.

1 Funding of these projects by Grand Challenges Canada is subject to conclusion of funding agreements with applicable terms and conditions.

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