The Ideas to Impact programme is coming to an end after a successful run of six years. Funded by UK aid and managed by an IMC Worldwide-led consortium, the aim of the programme was to solve development challenges by offering prizes for innovation. Ideas to Impact ran a series of prizes designed to spur participants to develop innovative solutions to problems faced by the poor in Africa and South Asia.
In partnership with CLASP, Energy 4 Impact managed the Global LEAP Awards Refrigerator Competition and the Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge (OGCCC) prizes. In a market that still requires evidence of the technology and business model, the programme demonstrated that the prize system could be a successful mechanism to foster innovation.
“It was a tremendous effort which saw both established and new players participating in these prize challenges,” says Maria Knodt, Project Manager at Energy 4 Impact. “They successfully deployed local and international solutions for various productive use value-chains, such as milk and vegetable cooling”.
Some invaluable learning on using prizes to drive innovation for development can be found in the following three papers:
- Rising to the challenge: How to get the best value from using prizes to drive innovation for development explores the unique value of innovation prizes for development and how to get the most from them.
- Evaluating the value for money of Ideas to Impact’s innovation inducement prizes analyses the approach taken to establish the VfM of the Ideas to Impact prizes.
- Evaluating the results of innovation prizes for development: Reflections and recommendations from practice reflects on the experience of evaluating the Ideas to Impact prizes and draws out some lessons about how to effectively evaluate future prizes for development.