Grand Challenges Canada seeks a team to speed significant change or action (an “Ecosystem Catalyst”) that is optimally positioned to match local government demand with a supply of health innovations, in support of scale, sustainability and impact via the public sector.
They are interested in funding an entity that can identify government demand for health innovation across multiple low- and middle-income country geographies in and beyond Sub-Saharan Africa, match it to an appropriate supply of innovations, and facilitate connections that enable implementation of innovative solutions at scale with public sector support. Once viable connections are made, Grand Challenges Canada can make catalytic funding available to innovators aligned with its investment priorities, in support of early-stage transition to scale plans.
The objective of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to select an Ecosystem Catalyst (“Funding Recipient”) to enter into a grant agreement with Grand Challenges Canada to match local government demand with a supply of health innovation, in support of scale, sustainability and impact via the public sector.
Scope of Work
Grand Challenges Canada seeks a team that is optimally positioned to speed significant change or action (an “Ecosystem Catalyst”) in matching local government demand with a supply of health innovations, in support of scale, sustainability and impact via the public sector. They are interested in funding an entity that can identify government demand for health innovation across multiple low and middle-income country geographies in and beyond Sub-Saharan Africa, match that demand to appropriate innovations and practically facilitate connections to enable implementation of innovative solutions at scale with public sector support.
The Ecosystem Catalyst should provide assurance that its “matchmaking” methodology is grounded in accurate assessments of health need, government demand and technical merits of innovations. It should propose a set of reliable early-stage markers indicative of implementation of innovation via public sector uptake, against which it will evaluate successful matches. Ideally, the Ecosystem Catalyst will possess networks and internal capacities to discern demand and provide matchmaking services across multiple geographic contexts (sub-national levels of government, countries, regions, etc.) in SubSaharan Africa and beyond. This Ecosystem Catalyst will source supply from a pipeline of ready-to-scale health innovations from both Grand Challenges Canada’s portfolio and those of innovation funders elsewhere in the ecosystem. Matchmaking activities will focus on sectors that are strongly aligned with Grand Challenges Canada’s five priority areas for investment in Global Health Innovation:
- Maternal & Newborn Health.
- Childhood Development.
- Global Mental Health.
- Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights (with specific focus on safe pregnancy termination and sexual & gender-based violence in target geographies).
Grand Challenges Canada seeks an Ecosystem Catalyst to match innovation supply with articulated government demand across multiple low- and middle-income country geographies. In keeping with Grand Challenges Canada’s investment focus in SubSaharan Africa, strong preference Applicants able to serve both Sub-Saharan Africa and contexts beyond Sub-Saharan Africa, for reasons of scale. Beyond this, specific areas of geographic focus for this grant will be determined by the depth and breadth of successful Applicants’ existing networks and internal infrastructure. Proposals should clearly demonstrate that the Ecosystem Catalyst has the capacity to assess alignment and generate commitment to implement innovations at scale from governments within its target geography.
The successful Applicant can expect to draw upon the work of a concurrently funded Ecosystem Catalyst for Innovation Aggregation (RFP-01-2022-09-30), providing supply-side assessments of innovations’ readiness to scale. Grand Challenges Canada expects that success will include the following outcomes:
- Definition and validation of indicators for viable “matches” between public sector demand and innovation supply.
- Evidence that the approach results in viable “matches” made between innovation supply and demand of low- and middle-income country governments.
- Generation of pipeline for Grand Challenges Canada’s Transition to Scale program.
Grand Challenges Canada will explore the deployment of catalytic Transition to Scale funding in support of implementation via the public sector once matches have been identified between government and innovators. Grand Challenges Canada is open to different strategies and approaches to achieve the objectives outlined above, including the funding of consortia of organizations to achieve these objectives.
The Ecosystem Catalyst will be expected to leverage significant existing networks and infrastructure / capacities. Grand Challenges Canada will not fund significant capacity building within organizations in order to conduct this Scope of Work.
Activities and Deliverables
- Over the course of a 12-month contract, the Ecosystem Catalyst will be expected to demonstrate that their approach results in viable “matches” between innovators and multiple low- and middle-income country governments, in which fit between demand for health innovation and proposed solution are evident, and concrete plans (including roles and responsibilities) to support implementation of a health innovation via the public sector are drawn up. The successful project team will be expected to engage in the following activities and provide similar deliverables listed below in order to demonstrate project progress and success, and to be eligible for renewed funding:
- Performance reporting focused on utilization of funds, learnings and outcomes achieved. The frequency of reporting will be every three or six months, depending on Grand Challenges Canada’s assessment of project and institutional risk.
- Input on investment cases for Transition to Scale funding from Grand Challenges Canada to catalyze innovations’ implementation in collaboration with public sector, for identified matches.
- Sharing progress, achievements and lessons learned through matchmaking activities about demand-led public sector scaling, including through:
- Stakeholder engagement.
- Learning community.
- Press releases.
- Social media.
- Grand Challenges Canada must be acknowledged in any dissemination of knowledge activities.
- A final report accounting for financial expenditures, that also captures analysis and learnings from both successes and failures of the matchmaking process, and provides an assessment of project impact. Please note that a 5% hold back of funds will be released to the funding recipient upon submission of a satisfactory final report and full justification of costs.
- Instructions for reporting will be provided to the funding recipient. Written progress reports and regular conversations via teleconference may be required to satisfy reporting requirements. The funded recipient must retain supporting project documentation until March 31, 2031 after the end of the Grant Agreement, including financial records, and may be audited by Grand Challenges Canada or any funders of this initiative. Associated requirements, as well as the full and detailed listing of activities and deliverables will be reflected in the Grant Agreement.
- Before moving forward in the review process, all proposals will be screened for eligibility based on the below criteria.
- The Applicant must be a non-profit organization, for-profit company, research/ academic institution, limited liability companies or any other legal institution that is capable of receiving and administering funding. Preference will be given to qualified applicants with strong presence in low- and middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in contexts beyond Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Proposals must include all required information and address all questions. Only complete proposals will be considered for review.
- Applications must be submitted in either English or French.
- Grand Challenges Canada may, at any time and at their sole discretion, modify eligibility criteria with respect to an Applicant, Project Leads and/or eligible countries, to the extent that such modifications do not materially undermine the review process.
- Please note:
- Grand Challenges Canada must approve any changes in applicant organization from the originally funded grant.
- Grand Challenges Canada must approve any changes to the original application relating to the Applicant or Project Lead.
- Project Leads must get their affiliated institution’s sign-off before submitting any application.
For more information, visit https://www.grandchallenges.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/RFP-02-2022-09-30-FINAL_EN2.pdf