Funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the research and development impact vouchers program is designed to connect institutions that carry out research and the private sector, specifically focused on emerging businesses in low- and middle-income contexts. This innovative funding model provides targeted grant funding for research in areas of product development, product validation, and a variety of other outputs. Villgro Africa was chosen as the implementation partner for the program in East Africa.
This case study examines three partnerships included in the IDRC voucher program and is based on interviews conducted with representatives from each organisation involved. The partnerships highlighted in this case study illustrate not only the efficacy of the IDRC R&D impact vouchers program, but also the diverse ways in which it can benefit both early-stage companies and their partners in academia. Each of them fall within the guidelines identified by IDRC, but look markedly different from each other, depending on the needs and purpose of each business. The three companies featured are The Pathology Network, Insurance for All and Simbona.
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