SOURCE: Grand Challenges Canada

Grand Challenges Canada

May 29, 2015 11:03 ET

Saving Brains Partnership Welcomes UBS Optimus Foundation

Swiss Charitable Foundation Joins Existing Partners to Save Brains and Improve Future Prospects of Children in Developing Countries

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - May 29, 2015) - Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, and the Saving Brains Partners, today welcomed UBS Optimus Foundation as the newest partner of the Saving Brains Grand Challenge.

Saving Brains focuses on early child development and, in particular, on supporting innovations that nurture and protect brain development in the first 1,000 days of life.

Today, as many as 200 million children fail to reach their full developmental potential. This is a devastating waste of human capital that contributes to the intergenerational transmission of poverty. Grand Challenges Canada has been catalyzing the Saving Brains partnership with a growing number of organizations worldwide, to tackle this problem by seeking and supporting bold ideas for products, services and implementation models relevant to poor, marginalized populations in low- or middle-income countries. To date, Saving Brains has invested a total of $38.5 million in 106 projects, including 6 Transition-to-Scale investments and the Saving Brains platform.

A new $2.2 million CAD contribution (1.75M CHF) by UBS Optimus Foundation -- leveraging donations from UBS clients and matched by UBS -- will help fund the Saving Brains pipeline of innovations, and will strengthen the existing Saving Brains partnership between Grand Challenges Canada, the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation, the Norlien Foundation and World Vision Canada.

UBS Optimus Foundation is a Swiss charitable foundation dedicated to improving the health, education and protection of children in measurable, cost-effective and sustainable ways. It already supports existing projects aligned with the goals of the Saving Brains partnership.

"Maternal, newborn and child health is Canada's top development priority. By working with key partners through the Saving Brains partnership, and by investing in innovative projects, our government can ensure that maternal, newborn, and child health remains a global development priority and a prominent feature of the global post-2015 agenda," said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.

Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada, said, "Child development is one of the grandest challenges in international development. I want to thank UBS and its clients for working with us to deliver results for children in developing nations, so they can reach their full potential and contribute to their families and communities."

Dr. Karlee Silver, Vice President, Programs of Grand Challenges Canada, said, "The Saving Brains initiative offers a large and diverse portfolio of innovations for early child development in developing countries. Bringing in the resources and experience of UBS Optimus Foundation will ensure we are even better equipped to save the brains of young children."

Phyllis Costanza, CEO of UBS Optimus Foundation, said, "By leveraging donations from UBS clients and matching from UBS, the UBS Optimus Foundation is thrilled to join the Saving Brains network of strategic funders, to ensure the youngest and most vulnerable children around the world have the chance to grow up healthy, educated and protected, so they can reach their full potential."

For more information, visit savingbrainsinnovation.net and look for us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

About Saving Brains
Saving Brains is a partnership of Grand Challenges Canada, the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Maria Cecila Souto Vidigal Foundation, the Norlien Foundation, UBS Optimus Foundation and World Vision Canada. It seeks and supports bold ideas for products, services and implementation models that protect and nurture early brain development relevant to poor, marginalized populations in low- or middle-income countries.
www.savingbrainsinnovation.net

About Grand Challenges Canada
Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact® in global health. We are funded by the Government of Canada; we support innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas we support integrate science and technology, social and business innovation to find sustainable solutions to health challenges -- 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 the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) to catalyze scale, sustainability and impact. We have a determined focus on results, and on saving and improving lives.
www.grandchallenges.ca

About UBS Optimus Foundation
Our vision is simple: a world where all children reach their full potential. To make this a reality, we concentrate on high-impact projects that help ensure children are safe, healthy, educated and ready for their future. We break down barriers that prevent children from thriving by funding innovative programs in places where children face adversity. We currently support 128 programs across 4 continents reaching 1.8 million children directly. UBS clients have easy access to our experts in Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, the UK and the US. Furthermore, we have the ability to increase the reach of donations substantially by leveraging them through our global network, which includes international donors and funding partnerships, and matching by UBS. Because all our administrative costs are covered by UBS, our donors know that 100 percent of their contribution will go directly to the projects. Our grant-making specialists apply a rigorous, evidence-based approach to selecting projects that deliver measurable results. As a result, our donors can be confident that their investments will help achieve the best possible outcomes for vulnerable children.
www.ubs.com/optimus

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