Public Release: 

Grand Challenges Canada funds seven new global health innovations in ASEAN countries

Novel 'skin printer', low-cost closure kit for large wounds, and Alzheimer's awareness campaign among creative ideas to save and improve lives

Terry Collins Assoc


IMAGE: This is the Grand Challenges Canada logo. view more

Credit: Grand Challenges Canada

Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, has announced funding of seven projects implemented in ASEAN member countries. This funding, totalling $784,000, will support projects that combine scientific/technical, social and business innovation to solve pressing global health challenges.

The funding was announced by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in Burma during the ASEAN-Canada Post Ministerial Conference. As one of ASEAN's longest-standing dialogue partners, Canada has enjoyed positive and fruitful relations with the ASEAN region, cooperating on many issues, including regional integration, economic interests and innovation.

A total of seven innovators were awarded seed grants of $112,000 each: two Canadian innovators (Toronto) and five innovators based in ASEAN nations (Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam). All projects will be implemented in four ASEAN member states: Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia.

The seven projects:

  • Skin printer for low-cost and on-site wound dressings and skin regeneration (Cambodia)
  • Easy and affordable surgical closure kit for large wounds in low-resource settings (Philippines)
  • Kick-starting Alzheimer Awareness to improve the quality of care (Indonesia)
  • A highly sensitive portable sensor for the rapid detection of dengue virus in mosquitoes (Philippines)
  • Vision Entrepreneurs: Community-based eye care system for older and poor adults (Vietnam)
  • Improving pharmaceutical transparency through technology (Philippines)
  • Smoke-free restaurant and bar intervention program (Vietnam)

To date and including this announcement, Canada (through Grand Challenges Canada) has invested $12.8 million in 57 innovations to improve the health of people in the ASEAN region; 28 of those innovative projects (totalling $8.4 million) are being implemented by institutions based in an ASEAN member country, and 29 (totalling $4.4 million) are being implemented by institutions based in Canada or other countries, in partnership with ASEAN institutions.

These new projects are part of Grand Challenges Canada's Stars in Global Health program, which seeks groundbreaking and affordable ideas that can transform the way low-resource nations address disease and health issues - innovations that can often benefit the developed world as well.

"Canada's support for local health innovators in ASEAN countries has grown substantially over the past years. We are proud to fund many Bold Ideas that help to overcome health challenges in the region, as they can have an important impact on economic growth and the well-being of ASEAN citizens," said Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada.


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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.

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