Government to help tech firms join fight against poverty

Published on Friday, 14 June 2013 12:28
Written by Scott Buckler

Entrepreneurs, academics and NGOs will be among those able to access new funding for innovations that can help save lives in the world's poorest countries, the Prime Minister will announce today

Speaking ahead of the G8, the PM will announce the launch of Global Development Innovation Ventures, which will find innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems. It will test their successes and invest in the best performers.

The British government will invest £50 million over five years in the new investment platform, which is expected to unlock further investment capital from both the private sector and other countries. The US government and impact investor Omidyar Network will also be founding partners of the new platform.

The Prime Minister will say:

"More than any time in history our world is being shaped by innovation, new ideas, new technologies and new companies. This is the story of the global economy.

"Countries around the world have got to get this. Jobs and growth depend on it. We've all got to open up our economies to innovation, we've got to nurture new ideas, we've got to bend over backwards to attract the best and the brightest. A global race is underway and it is waiting for absolutely no one."

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

"Britain has already supported groundbreaking technology around the world, from mobile banking in Kenya to GPS weather-warning systems in Bangladesh. We need a model that can build on these successes and make sure great ideas that can change the lives of the world's poorest people get the investment they need.

"This new organisation means that the UK will play a key role in kickstarting a new era of innovative, cost-effective development which can help deliver a safer, more prosperous world."

USAID Administrator Dr. Raj Shah said,

"We are proud to see that this model, born at USAID, has become a global tool for improving effectiveness in development. Our partnership with the UK and future investors will amplify our impact through the discovery of breakthrough technologies and approaches to help end extreme poverty."

Managing Partner of the Omidyar Network Matt Bannick said:

"The challenges facing those from the poorest communities cannot be solved with conventional approaches to development aid alone.

"Global Development Innovation Ventures promises to replicate the most effective strategies we've deployed as a global impact investor: public and private organisations working together, leveraging technology and investing in both for-profit and non-profit organizations to spark innovation and scale successes.

"Omidyar Network is proud to be a founding partner alongside the UK and US government and to lend our perspectives and expertise to this important undertaking."

Global Development Innovation Ventures will be open to promising innovations from around the world. The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) will engage with innovators all over the world to encourage them to submit ideas, creating jobs both in the UK and across the developing world.

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