Harnessing innovation for health around the world23 September, 2014 / Articles
Innovation Countdown 2030 is reimagining what’s possible in global health. The initiative is identifying and showcasing technologies and interventions with great promise to accelerate progress toward solving the world’s most urgent health issues. The initiative is led by PATH and supported by the government of Norway. Below is an introduction to the initiative by Amie Batson, PATH’s chief strategy officer, and Tore Godal, special adviser on Global Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway. To learn more about Innovation Countdown 2030 and to take part in identifying the next generation of game-changing innovations, please visit www.ic2030.org.
As sponsors of the initiative, PATH and the government of Norway are deeply motivated by the impact that innovation has had on global health in the past 15 years. From 2002-12, for example, innovations in child survival — including immunisation as well as malaria prevention and control, improved nutrition, access to clean water and sanitation, and education — have reduced the number of deaths among children under age five by 3 million per year.
When we see remarkable results like this, we know that we can do much, much more to improve the effectiveness, safety, accessibility, and cost of today’s health interventions.
As we set our sights on harnessing the potential of innovation for the next 15 years, we acknowledge a few key insights. First, we recognise that many innovations that have contributed to progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were already in the pipeline when the goals were launched in 2000. Second, we see that innovation is no longer the sole purview of white-coated scientists working in well-funded labs. Increasingly, innovation happens at the intersections of disciplines, sectors, and countries. Third, we recognise that taking bright ideas to scaled-up reality is a long, hard road with many pitfalls. Development, large-scale production, introduction, and use are seldom linear or sequential.