The US$ 500 million challenge: Gavi launches INFUSE 2.0 to scale up innovations in immunization

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. INFUSE is an innovation scaling hub that matches investors with innovators and entrepreneurs to help scale up new ways to improve vaccination coverage in lower-income countries.

. Leaders expect to secure at least US$ 500 million in private investment, alongside financial and operational commitments from Google, The Coca-Cola Foundation & Project Last Mile and Alwaleed Philanthropies.

. “With millions more children now at risk of deadly, preventable diseases, we need to ensure the most promising, most scalable innovations reach the countries that need them, urgently. INFUSE 2.0 can do just that,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance announced today the launch of INFUSE 2.0, an innovation scaling hub to accelerate immunisation systems upgrades for the world’s most in-need countries.

INFUSE 2.0 features a collective of commercial and philanthropic investors focused on supporting global health entrepreneurs. The initiative also introduces a first-of-its-kind digital platform to simplify connections between communities, innovators and the private sector to make it easier and faster to share expertise. Impact evaluators will also help start-ups, investors and stakeholders better track and amplify the impact of their innovations on immunisation and global health.

By 2030, INFUSE 2.0 expects to secure at least US$ 500 million in private investment to promote access to new and under-used vaccines and immunisation innovations in the fight against deadly and debilitating infectious diseases.

“The pandemic has rolled back years of progress improving vaccine coverage in the world’s most vulnerable countries,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “With millions more children now at risk of deadly, preventable diseases, we need to ensure the most promising, most scalable innovations reach the countries that need them, urgently. INFUSE 2.0 can do just that, bringing together investors looking for impact with entrepreneurs who can deliver it to help protect children across the world.”

The new initiative builds on Innovation for Uptake, Scale and Equity in Immunisation (INFUSE) 1.0, launched in 2016, which has cultivated a community of start-up innovators overcoming vaccine delivery challenges. Initial investments in INFUSE totalled more than US$ 60 million, leading to more than US$ 200 million in follow-on funding for global health innovators.

Projects supported by INFUSE 1.0 include:

. To prevent vaccine damage from excessive heat or cold, Nexleaf Analytics and Parsyl are deploying state-of-the-art sensor technology.

. To help Pakistan and Mozambique reach under-immunised children, Zenysis Technologies is harnessing big data analytics to sharpen the accuracy of vaccine planning.

. To ensure that every child is registered in the health system and receives critical vaccines, Simprints is pioneering biometrics in Bangladesh, Ghana and Tanzania.

INFUSE 1.0 also mobilised investments and support from commercial and philanthropic entities including Google.org, Mastercard, NEC, Tencent and the UPS Foundation.

INFUSE 2.0: Reclaiming ground in the global fight for health security

According to the United Nations, the COVID-19 pandemic erased five years of human development progress globally. Impacts to already-fragile government services in vulnerable communities resulted in the largest backslide in childhood vaccinations in three decades.

Today, INFUSE 2.0 launches to address immediate country needs and brace immunisation systems against further shocks, strengthening and scaling services and solutions faster than ever before.

“Beyond the financial support, INFUSE helped us cultivate partnerships with Ministries of Health in Bangladesh and Ghana, as well as technology powerhouses NEC and Arm. Together, we’re boosting use of real-time service delivery data for vaccine verification and ensuring that every vaccine reaches children who need them,” said Toby Norman, Co-founder and CEO, Simprints Technology Ltd.

INFUSE 2.0 debuts with the support of leading corporates:

. Google has renewed funding and support, including US$ 25 million in advertising grants and expertise to help boost vaccine confidence worldwide.

. The Coca-Cola Foundation has allocated US$ 1.5 million through Project Last Mile – a public-private partnership that strengthens health systems across Africa by transferring the Coca-Cola system’s business and technical expertise in route-to-market, demand generation and cold chain management.

. Alwaleed Philanthropies has committed US$ 2 million to ensure that innovations help protect vulnerable children against deadly diseases.

“We are pleased to announce a new collaboration between Project Last Mile and Gavi INFUSE, made possible by a US$ 1.5 million grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation to Project Last Mile.” said Adrian Ristow, Executive Director of Project Last Mile. “With Project Last Mile already having reached over 40 million lives through more than 40 projects in Africa alongside USAID, the Global Fund, PEPFAR, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this is another exciting milestone step toward in PLM’s journey in supporting the scaling of immunisation innovation.”

While the pandemic brings global health to a critical juncture, Gavi’s work stabilising disrupted health and immunisation systems is yielding promising results:

   . Installing a health care credential service: Throughout Mauritania and Ethiopia, Mastercard is supporting continuity of care by enabling offline medical data storage and allowing patients to travel with this data on a Mastercard Wellness Pass chip card.

   . Solving last-mile delivery: Zipline, an automated logistics and aircraft company, is pioneering on-demand drone delivery of priority products including emergency vaccines in Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Japan and India.

   . Expanding health horizons: In India, Unilever and Gavi are working together to shift behaviour among parents with through handwashing, hygiene and immunisation education.

Engineering the future of immunisation system resilience

In 2023, strengthening worldwide immunisation systems through digital innovation is a priority among G7 and G20 countries. INFUSE 2.0 offers a means to introduce these innovations at scale.

Within INFUSE’s unique scaling-hub experience, Gavi invites stakeholders to explore critical roles:

. Country partners surface pressing needs and challenges;

. Innovators deploy applications and insights to immunisation and health systems;

. Investors join the INFUSE Syndicate and coordinate investments to create reliable funding pathways for project scale-up;

. Corporate partners share expertise and implement solutions in varied country contexts; and

. Passionate doers engineer the digital platform and nurture next-generation social mission innovators.

Learn more and join the INFUSE community at www.gavi.org/investing-gavi/infuse.