From cities all across the country, 17 Canadians are selected for their bold out-of-the-box ideas to tackle debilitating disease and save lives in the Developing World
TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2012 /CNW/ - Grand Challenges Canada, which is funded by the Government of Canada, announced today seed grants awarded to 17 innovators for their bold and creative ideas to tackle health conditions in poor countries. The Stars in Global Health program seeks unique, breakthrough and affordable ideas which can be transformative in addressing disease - innovations that can benefit the developed world as well. The 17 were selected from a total of 60 proposals submitted for the Canadian Stars program. A total of more than $1.7 million in funding will go to innovators from across Canada.
The bold ideas are breakthrough innovations such as mimicking rocket propelled technology, but in the body, to address maternal bleeding. A meter to detect HIV infection in fewer than 5 minutes. And a virtual reality game to assist stroke victims.
"Canada has a deep pool of talent dedicated to pursuing bold ideas that can have big impact in the developing world," said Dr. Peter A. Singer, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada. "Grand Challenges Canada is proud to support these extraordinary innovators from across the country because they will make a difference to so many lives."
"Canada works with our like-minded partners throughout the world to leverage our investments in health innovation so they're focused on getting results," said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. "We support Grand Challenges Canada's Stars in Global Health so these innovators can apply their talents and further efforts to make the world a healthier and safer place."
Each of the 17 innovators will receive a grant of $100,000 to develop their bold ideas, which include:
- Vancouver: Dr. Christian Kastrup will mimic rocket technology to propel coagulant nanoparticles into the bloodstream and stop maternal bleeding, a major cause of death in the developing world. (for video: http://bit.ly/RWdW9w)
- Vancouver: Dr. Robin Evans is developing a Burn Survival Kit, a high-tech solution to treat burn victims. The innovation is being tested in Uganda where often burns are untreated or mistreated. This unique kit will include a low-cost silver nanotubule dressing so that the treatment is affordable. (for video: http://bit.ly/T2rPFK)
- Edmonton: Dr. Julianne Gibbs-Davis is creating a unique approach to diagnosing TB. It involves extracting DNA from the infected persons TB bacteria and does not require the usual temperature recycling that is expensive and difficult to implement in low resource settings. (for video: http://bit.ly/SKNLSf)
- Hamilton: Dr. Leyla Soleymani is also tackling TB diagnosis with a hand-held, solar rechargeable, inexpensive diagnostic for rapid assessment of patients at the bedside. (for video: http://bit.ly/T02HhS)
- Toronto: Dr. Cheng Lu has a unique idea for tackling clinic and hospital infections. A coating can be sprayed or wiped on surfaces; once applied, the long-lasting anti-bacterial components are activated by sunlight or artificial light. Easy to use and effective. (for video: http://bit.ly/TDxU6L)
- Kingston: Dr. Karen Yeates will employ cell phones to improve cervical cancer screening and detection. It is being tested in remote areas of Tanzania. (for video: http://bit.ly/RSvWTK)
- Ottawa: Dr. Marion Roche will use social marketing to rejuvenate interest in taking zinc to control childhood diarrhea. (for video: http://bit.ly/QF7S8t)
- Montreal: Dr. Philippe Archambault will use virtual reality to assist rehabilitation of stroke victims suffering from hand or arm immobilization. (for video: http://bit.ly/T2rX7X)
- Montreal: Dr. Hanna Kienzler's project is called "Defeating the Giant with a Slingshot" and is a novel approach to treating trauma in the developing world. The innovation results in blocking trauma memory and will be tested with torture victims in Nepal. (for video: http://bit.ly/QF7TJx)
- Montreal: Dr. Alexis Vallée-Bélisle is developing a meter to detect HIV infection in fewer than 5 minutes. This diagnostic will lead to earlier treatment of the disease.
(for video: http://bit.ly/XD4oFw)
- Halifax: Dr. Patricia Livingston's project will improve emergency services with a specific focus on crisis management for mothers delivering babies. The project is being tested in Rwanda. (for video: http://bit.ly/TCTACv)
"It is inspiring to see the wealth of Canadian talent working to improve the health of people in developing countries," said Joseph L. Rotman, Chair of Grand Challenges Canada. "Our Stars in Global Health program is an excellent opportunity for these dedicated Canadian innovators, with support from the Government of Canada, to bring their bold ideas forward and improve global health conditions."
In addition to these 17 Canadian innovators, Grand Challenges Canada announced today 51 grants totalling just over $7 million for Canadians and developing world innovators. Like the Canadian Stars, these innovators' bold ideas aim to tackle global health challenges (http://www.grandchallenges.ca/wp-content/uploads/stars-LMIC-newsrelease-2012nov22-en.pdf)
In total, 68 Canadian and developing world innovators were selected from 310 submitted proposals.
Upon completion of this grant, if their ideas are effective and proven, the innovators will be eligible for an additional Grand Challenges Canada scale-up funding of up to $1 million.
Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the Government of Canada through the Development Innovation Fund announced in the 2008 Federal Budget.
For information on the grants and to see each Canadian Star's short video explaining the project, visit http://www.grandchallenges.ca/stars-r3-grantee-announcement-en/.
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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 through the Development Innovation Fund announced in the 2008 Federal Budget. We fund innovators in low and middle income countries and Canada. 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 through integrated innovation - bold ideas which integrate science, technology, social and business innovation. Grand Challenges Canada is hosted at the Sandra Rotman Centre.
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.
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.
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.
SOURCE: Grand Challenges Canada
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