A New Orleans-based women’s health company has been working to commercialize an intuitive, multi-use intrauterine device (IUD) inserter. Bioceptive plans to use the inserter to expand access to contraceptives and family planning in resource poor locations.
The company recently competed in Savings Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development. After multiple rounds, Bioceptive has been awarded a $250,000 product development grant through the organization.
Saving Lives at Birth originally received over 400 applications, which was then whittled down to 53 finalists. The purpose of the challenge is to award the nominees with the most innovative solutions to prevent infant and maternal deaths.
Bioceptive competed in the last stage of review, the DevelopmentXChange, in Washington, DC July 29th through 31st. The challenge highlighted other finalists, development experts and potential funders.
The other seed grant nominees include: BILIMETRIX SRL; Convergent Engineering Inc.; JustMilk; Dimagi, Inc.; Duke University, Emory University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology; Nanobiosym, Inc.; Oregon Health and Science University; Population Services International; President and Fellow of Harvard College; Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH); PATH (this program was the recipient of two nominations); The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System; The University of Melbourne; University of Toronto; and University of Valencia.
The “grand challenge” allows of a broader reach of individuals and organizations building. “If the traditional model was to hire a contractor to build a road, [then] the new model is to find and create partnerships with a diverse set of innovators to really work at ending extreme poverty in a sustained manner…” said Rajiv Shah, USAID’s Administrator (USAID helps Saving Lives at Birth orchestrate the challenge).
Since its inception in 2011, Savings Lives at Birth has funded 39 innovations through the challenge.
To learn more about Saving Lives at Birth, visit savinglivesatbirth.net.