Grand Challenges Canada today announced 15 grants valued in total at more than $1.5 million awarded to some of Canada's most creative innovators from across the country in support of their work to improve global health conditions.
"When you look at the range of innovations and the potential those creative ideas have to make a difference, Canadians can't help but be proud of our country's contribution to the health and well-being of the international community," said Dr. Peter A. Singer, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada. "Bold Canadian ideas with big impact can save lives."
The researchers are each awarded a $100,000 grant to further develop their innovations, which include:
- Dr. Walter Karlen (Vancouver, BC) is developing a low-cost cell phone test to diagnose pneumonia in the developing world
- Dr. Aman Ullah (Edmonton, AB) is developing a filter made from chicken feathers to eliminate the deadly carcinogen, arsenic, from drinking water
- Dr.Karim Damji (Edmonton, AB) is developing methodologies for preventing and treating glaucoma, a major cause of blindness in poor countries
- Dr. Karim S. Karim (Waterloo, ON) is working on a device for rapid TB detection through digital imaging, a low-cost and effective diagnostic
- Dr. Jan Andrysek (Toronto, ON) is creating an inexpensive and effective artificial knee joint for disabled people in the developing world
- Dr. Cedric Yansouni (Montreal, QB) is working on a diagnostic that is cost effective and non-invasive to determine whether a patient has visceral leishmaniasis, a deadly disease
- Dr. David Richard (Quebec City, QB) is working on a low-cost vaccine for malaria, a disease that infects 216 million people a year and kills 655,000 annually.
Each grantee has created a two-minute video to explain his or her proposal. The videos can be seen at http://www.
"Grand Challenges Canada is proud to be supporting these extraordinary ideas," said Joseph L. Rotman, Chair of Grand Challenges Canada. "Our Canada's Rising Stars in Global Health program is designed to tap into the creativity, skills and dedication of these early career innovators. Canada has so much talent and so much to offer to the world."
"The range and diversity among Grand Challenges Canada's Rising Stars in Global Health demonstrates the depth of Canada's commitment to improving the lives of those living in developing countries," said the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Co-operation. "Throughout our history, Canadian ingenuity and innovation has made a significant contribution to advance global health. I have every confidence that through Grand Challenges Canada, our best minds will help further the progress achieved and help us realize a healthier world in the future."
The grantees were selected through a rigorous peer review process. Among the criteria the proposals needed to meet were Grand Challenges Canada's Integrated Innovation (TM) approach, which smoothes the path to implementation of the discovery. Innovators must consider ethical and cultural barriers, the health systems required to deliver the discoveries and the commercialization of their solutions so that they can be distributed to the people who need them, cost-effectively.
If their ideas are effective and proven, the innovators will be eligible for an additional Grand Challenges Canada scale-up grant of $1 million. This is the second round of Canada's Rising Stars in Global Health grants.
Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the Government of Canada through the Development Innovation Fund announced in the 2008 Federal Budget.
For more information, 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 Centre (IDRC), 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 Sandra Rotman Centre. www.grandchallenges.ca
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 draws on decades of experience managing publicly funded research projects to administer the Development Innovation Fund. IDRC also ensures 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 health research investment agency. 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 14,100 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 reviews will guide the awarding of grants by Grand Challenges Canada from the Development Innovation Fund. www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca
About Sandra Rotman Centre
The Sandra Rotman Centre 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 Sandra Rotman Centre hosts Grand Challenges Canada. www.srcglobal.org