A mother and her baby. The Saving Lives at Birth grand challenge will soon announce a new call for solutions that could save the lives of mothers and newborns. Photo by: Gates Foundation / CC BY-NC-ND

A new call under the pioneering grand challenge seeking solutions that could save the lives of mothers and newborns could be out very soon, Devex has learned.

In October, partners of the Saving Lives at Birth announced the five-year expansion of the grand challenge, which to date has financed 81 innovations to help put a stop to yearly 289,000 maternal deaths and 2.8 million newborn deaths.

The next call will be coming out “in a couple of weeks or less,” according to Wendy Taylor, director of the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact at the U.S. Agency for International Development, one of the Saving Lives at Birth partners.

Under the relaunched, $50 million phase, Saving Lives at Birth will focus more on helping innovators transition to scale. The large majority of the winning ideas in the first phase of the program received seed funding designed to finance prototyping and testing the solutions in a closed setting. Transition to scale involves testing the innovation in a broader setting and under real-world conditions.

“Then once you've proven that, then you're really poised to start thinking about how do I scale something say countrywide? How do I prepare to introduce in multiple countries?” Taylor told Devex.

Previous winners can apply for the new round of grants. Taylor said that Saving Lives at Birth partners “want to be able to provide the support and make sure we have those handoffs and connections to the next stage” of the innovation process.

You can help shape our coverage on global development innovations by emailing news@devex.com or tweeting #innov8aid.

About the author

  • Ma. Eliza Villarino

    Eliza is a veteran journalist focused on covering the most pressing issues and latest innovations in global health, humanitarian aid, sustainability, and development. A member of Mensa, Eliza has earned a master's degree in public affairs and bachelor's degree in political science from the University of the Philippines.

Join the Discussion