HDIF Innovation Week 2018 

HDIF Innovation week May 21st-26th

Last week, APOPO's Dr Georgies Mgode, Tanzania's Proram Manager, joined some of the brightest minds in Tanzania to connect, learn, and celebrate innovation!

To be truly considered innovative, something must be original, new and important. Innovation is about finding a new fix for an old problem. APOPO’s rat detectors are a good fit because they save lives by using their amazing sense of smell to detect landmines and speed up TB diagnosis, and we are still researching and developing other innovative scent detection applications.

Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) has been hosting Innovation Week every year since 2014. The Week celebrates innovations that make a positive impact in human development and brings together a wide community to share in them. The theme for Innovation Week 2018 was "Innovation into Action" and showcased some exciting and creative projects that are improving the lives of Tanzanians such as APOPO’s TB detection research project.

HDIF collaborated with over 24 partners to showcase a series of interactive events, exploring innovation in research, development, entrepreneurship, technology and design across three sectors: health, education, and water/sanitation/hygiene. Over 1,000 people participated at the event in in Dar es Salaam.

To begin the week, Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Secretary of DFID - UK Department for International Development, visited APOPO’s TB laboratory in Dar es Salaam, as part of his one day visit to Tanzania.  He was accompanied by the British High Commissioner to Tanzania, Mrs. Sarah Cooke, as well as Jane Miller, Deputy Head of DFID in Tanzania and David McGinty, Head of the Humanitarian Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) in Tanzania.

APOPO was also honored to receive a special invite to the British High Commissioner’s Residence to exhibit at the sister event ‘Scaling for Success: Innovation Week 2018’ at a diplomatic reception. The event had a high-level audience of Development Partners, Funders, and Government officials, many of which were unable to attend the full Innovation Week, so it was an excellent opportunity for APOPO to showcase and do some high-level networking.

APOPO was also used as a case study in discussions held at the event where groups were formed to discuss issues related to principles of digital development. Our collaborating partners were listed and the groups were asked to assess how important these partners are to the project and how they can affect it.

Overall it was concluded that APOPO’s collaborators are ranked as a high priority seeing as they can affect project performance if the collaboration is not nurtured or, if they deviate from the agreements in place. APOPO felt honoured participate in HDIF's innovation week 2018 and it was a wonderful week of innovations and discussions. Congratulations to all the new grantees, all those who participated and HDIF for hosting another fabulous event.