Innovation and Impact Newsletter - August 2018

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USAID: From the American People
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Innovation and Impact E-newsletter from the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact. USAID Global Health





A collage of photos from the 2018 DevelopmentXChange.

The Saving Lives at Birth (SL@B) partners thank you for supporting the 8th annual Saving Lives at Birth DevelopmentXChange. This two-day event convened more than 700 global experts and 52 innovators from around the world to develop and scale interventions for improving maternal and newborn survival in poor, hard-to-reach communities.

On July 26th, we hosted a plenary featuring stories from the frontlines of care and a live pitch competition among several of our current grantees, who presented their ideas to investors and a panel of judges. The day culminated with a performance of scenes from the Ensemble Studio Theater mainstage production of BUMP, a play inspired by Jorge Odón, creator of the SL@B-funded Odon Device.

Click here to see highlights of the 2018 DevelopmentXChange [PDF, 3.0MB].

Hands icon. Partnership

USAID joined forces with GlaxoSmithKline and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management to launch the GSK | Kellogg | USAID Global Health Case Competition. This first-of-its-kind competition targets business and public health graduate students to identify sustainable solutions to global health challenges, helping to build and connect future generations of global business leaders and save lives. Learn more.

Two photos from the GSK/Kellogg/USAID Global Health Case Competition.

Hands icon Innovation

NPR published a piece on Jorge Odón, the Argentinian car mechanic who created the Odon Device to address maternal and newborn deaths associated with prolonged or complicated second-stage labor. The device received Saving Lives at Birth funding for development and testing by the WHO and was licensed by Becton, Dickinson & Co.

Photo of Jorge Odon and the NPR logo.


The SL@B 8th annual DevelopmentXChange included more than 200 curated partnering and mentoring meetings for SL@B innovators , representing over 40 organizations. These SL@B mentors shared their ideas with VentureWell, an Accelerating SL@B partner, on practical ways that innovators can leverage a single, initial mentor session to gain a much-needed support network. Read more.

VentureWell - ideas to impact


Smithsonian Magazine featured WeRobotics, a Combating Zika and Future Threats Grand Challenge innovator, and its work in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Brazil to test a mechanism that releases sterile mosquitoes from unmanned aerial vehicles. This method  of vector control aims to reduce the number of mosquitoes carrying infectious diseases such as Zika. Read the article.

Innovator Insights logo.


Each year, the Saving Lives at Birth DevelopmentXChange hosts a live pitch competition. At this year’s pitch competition, 10 of the most promising innovators and current SL@B grantees were invited to present their concepts, which have the potential to drastically reduce maternal and newborn mortality. The 10 finalists were selected from a highly competitive pool of nearly 500 applications. Read more from this NPR article.

Photo of the DevX Pitch competition.

calendar EVENTS

September 18–October 5
73rd Session United Nations General Assembly
United Nations, New York, New York

September 20
Harnessing the Power of Leadership and Management in Community Health
The Aspen Management Partnership for Health, Washington, D.C.

October 8–9
Africa Health Business Symposium III
Africa Health Business, Johannesburg, South Africa

October 8–12
Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research
Health Systems Global, Liverpool, UK



USAID Global Health Supply Chain Program
New Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Procurement Guide

Stanford Social Innovation Review
Expanding Access to Health Care in India through Strong Mobile Design

Fortune’s 2018 Change the World List

The New York Times
Inside a Neonatal Clinic in South Sudan

One Man's Quest to Make Socially Responsible Investing More Responsible

broadcast bars CII NEWS

Global Health Technologies Coalition
10 Brilliant Technological Innovations to Save Moms and Babies

Aspen Management Partnership for Health (AMP Health)
AMP Health 2018 Impact Brief

USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program
Reflections from SL@B DevelopmentXChange

The Aspen Institute
Driving New Ideas to Action to Service Communities at the Last Mile


broadcast bars NEWS

PEPFAR, USAID, South African National Department of Health
Innovating for HIV Impact: The South African HIV Innovations Accelerator
Due September 18, 2018

World First as Baby Born on the Blockchain in Tanzania
July 25, 2018

The Aspen Institute
Applications Open for New Voices Fellowship
Due October 15, 2018

FDA Approves New Vaginal Ring for One Year of Birth Control
August 10, 2018


Adam Lewis

ADAM LEWIS, Director, Communications & Marketing at Gradian Health Systems

"In July 2017, we won a Saving lives at Birth Transition to Scale grant for a project centered around our Universal Anaesthesia Machine to strengthen emergency childbirth care in Zambia, which we have been implementing with our local partners ever since."

Read the full interview [PDF, 119KB].



USAID's Center for Innovation and Impact (CII) takes a business-minded approach to fast-tracking the development, introduction and scale-up of health interventions that address the world's most important health challenges. CII invests seed capital in the most promising ideas and novel approaches, using forward-looking business practices to cut the time it takes to transform discoveries in the lab to impact on the ground.

Learn more

Photo credits: GlaxoSmithKline,Northwestern University, Gradian Health Systems