The U.S. Agency for International Development and New York Academy of Sciences hosted the Science, Technology and Innovation Forum at the sidelines of the Millennium Development Goals summit in New York last week.
The forum, held on Sept. 22, showcased the work of inventors that have integrated and applied science, technology, and innovation for development initiatives. Some of the innovations included a solar-powered autoclave for sterilizing surgical instruments in the field, a portable irrigation system that instantly converts saltwater to fresh water, and a bicycle converted to a corn sheller or cell phone charger.
USAID chief Rajiv Shah announced at the forum the agency’s Grand Challenges for Development strategy, which seeks to tap technological solutions to development challenges.
“Many of today’s global challenges are shared and require solutions that cross borders, sectors, and disciplines, and addressing these issues cannot be met without appropriate scientific knowledge and technological expertise,” Shah said. “At USAID, unleashing new technologies and game-changing innovations means taking a new approach and we intend to target our investments in areas where we can have the greatest impacts, improving the lives of millions.”
In the next three years, USAID plans to launch a series of Grand Challenges to help inspire innovators to design technological solutions to endemic poverty, Shah said, according to The Great Beyond.