Press Statement: Global Call Elicits More Than 600 Innovative Ways to Save Lives at Birth

Washington, D.C.— Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development, submitted a call to the global community for innovative prevention and treatment approaches that will benefit pregnant women and newborns in rural, low resource settings around the time of birth. The request resulted in one of the largest pools of applicants ever for a USAID competition. Innovators from non-governmental organizations, academic and medical research institutions, faith-based organizations, for-profit companies, medical associations, and foundations sent more than 600 solutions that have the potential to save lives.

Nearly half of the applications came from outside of the United States and more than a quarter were received from developing countries.

From July 26-28, up to 75 Grand Challenge finalists will gather in Washington, D.C. for a Development Exchange that will bring together innovators, funders and public health experts to network and share ideas. The Exchange creates an opportunity for like-minded innovators to build relationships, engage in creative problem solving, and foster collective action.

This partnership leverages the collective resources of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, and The World Bank. Partners expect to provide nearly $14 million for this grant program’s first round of funding. Over 5 years, the partners aim to invest at least $50 million in groundbreaking and sustainable projects with the potential to have a transformative effect on the lives of pregnant women and their babies in the hardest to reach corners of the world.

For more information on the Challenge visit

Download the Press Statement in PDF format