September 23, 2014

Canada ‘Incubates’ 22 Bold New Ideas

Toronto, Canada – On the eve of United Nations General Assembly events focussed on ways
to save and improve the lives of mothers, newborns and children, Grand Challenges Canada,
funded by the Government of Canada, today announced $2.4 million in grants for 22 bold ideas
to address this challenge.

The novel approaches include:

  • A program for Bangladeshi mothers working in garment factories to express, pasteurize
    and store breast milk — thereby improving infant nutrition, reducing absenteeism due to
    child illnesses, and lowering baby formula expense
  • A clever new hand-pump device design to help struggling newborns take a first breath
  • A low-cost, portable system for diagnosing child pneumonia in high-altitude Peru
  • A program to train traditional midwives in the Peruvian Amazon to use smart phones to
    collect information from pregnant women and to schedule antenatal care delivered by
    medical river ships
  • A snack produced from rice bran waste to combat child iron deficiency
  • Using chicken feathers to make a universally-affordable, effective mosquito net
  • A technique for safely storing vaccines at room temperature — considered a holy grail of
    global health — by applying a novel polymer coating
  • A portable ultrasound imaging device to help medical professionals oversee childbirths in
    remote areas via cellular telecommunications.

Seed funding of $112,000 is offered to each of eight projects based in Canada (Edmonton,
Hamilton, Toronto and Sudbury) that will be implemented in the developing world, and to 11 2
projects from innovators based in low- and middle-income countries (Bangladesh, India, Kenya,
Tanzania and Uganda). Also announced today; the first three award nominees of 22 projects
based in Peru that are funded with Peru’s National Council for Science, Technology, &
Technological Innovation (CONCYTEC) under a collaboration announced January 6

View the full press release here