Saturday, May 11, 2013

Innovation Prizes for Environment and Development

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From the 18th century Longitude Prize to help British navigators, to the 20th century Schneider Trophy for aviation, which inspired the Spitfire, prize competitions have been used as a mechanism to spur innovation for centuries. 

DFID now hopes to use this successful model to drive innovation in international development. Innovation Prizes offer a reward (often finance, but can also include other technical assistance) to whoever can first, or most effectively, meet a defined challenge. 

They act as an incentive for meeting a specific
challenge, rather than an award for past achievements.

By offering prizes in international development, the new DFID programme aims to incentivise R&D in the development and deployment of solutions for developing countries, particularly focusing on low carbon energy; water and sanitation; and climate change adaptation.

This will help support environmental technologies and business models that will benefit the poor, while also helping to build developing country capacity to innovate by actively encouraging participants from developing countries.

‘Innovation Prizes for Environment and Development (IP4ED)’

Adding prizes to the portfolio of tools DFID uses to stimulate innovation has the potential to reach large numbers of poor beneficiaries and bring in new socially orientated innovators.

The scale and urgency of development challenges means a step-change is required - ‘business as usual’ is insufficient to tackle poverty in the face of a rapidly changing world.

Step-changes are often driven by innovation, which can result in significant improvements in the impact, outcomes, efficiency, effectiveness, quality and affordability of the basic services used by poor people.

However, innovation efforts that target the problems of the poorest and most vulnerable are rare because they are not a priority for private finance.

The new five year DFID programme aims to leverage/crowd-in new investment into the development and deployment of affordable and accessible technologies for the poor.

It will administer up to five individual innovation prizes, to be determined following in-depth research and consultation with the development community, including end-users themselves. DFID will soon be searching for a Service Provider to establish and manage the new programme.

If you are interested in bidding for this tender, please register your interest through DFIDs supplier portal and you will be notified as soon as the tender is launched. UKCDS.

Members: DFID
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