Research and development impact vouchers

The research and development (R&D) impact vouchers project seeks to incentivize collaboration between early-stage companies and public research organizations in low and middle-income countries. Through business-led research projects, the goal is to improve the products and services that companies seek to bring to market in low-income settings or to help them anticipate or overcome technical and operational obstacles.

Public research organizations possess talent, knowledge, and infrastructure that can support private sector innovation. A recognized challenge is that start-ups and small companies underinvest in research and development, lack internal research and development capabilities, and do not actively engage with public research organizations, which constrains their growth and innovation potential. The project will create opportunities for researchers and graduate students to apply their skills, develop new networks, and identify research directions.

This project will be managed by Impact Investors, in partnership with IDRC. IDRC’s funding to public research organizations seeks to complement the financial and business support that Impact Investors provide to companies in which they invest. Through a targeted expression of interest call, IDRC will identify and collaborate with Impact Investors, who employ an investment approach that supports beneficial social or environmental impact alongside financial return.

Project ID


Project status



54 months

IDRC Officer

David O'Brien

Total funding

CA$ 1,030,000


India, Kenya, North of Sahara, Philippines, South of Sahara


Foundations for Innovation


Recipient(s) to be Determined -- Holding Tank

Institution Country


Project Leader

Sylvia Dimiti


Lutheran World Relief Inc.

Institution Country

United States

Institution Website

Project Leader

Robert Karanja


Kenya Impact Innovations Foundation

Institution Country


Institution Website