The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through its innovation laboratory, IDB Lab, in coordination with the IDB Water and Sanitation Division and in partnership with the members of Source of Innovation seeks to advance solutions and innovations from the private sector that can be adopted by service providers in Latin America and the Caribbean to assure safely managed drinking water and the resilience of water systems.
Source of Innovation is an alliance of the IDB Group with external partners to promote the development and adoption of innovative solutions in the water, sanitation, and solid waste sectors to achieve smart, inclusive, and sustainable services, with a focus on service providers in Latin America and the Caribbean. Source of Innovation is funded by the Government of Switzerland, through its Secretariat of State for Economic Affairs (SECO), by the FEMSA Foundation, by the Republic of Korea, through its Ministry of the Environment, by The Coca-Cola Foundation, the Government of Spain, through its Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation (MINECO), and by the Government of Israel, through its Ministry of Finance. The alliance is also complemented by direct contributions from IDB Lab and the Water and Sanitation Division of the IDB, and coordinates directly with the Aquafund, the fund created with IDB capital and to which a wide range of public and private sector partners contribute.
This challenge will focus on strengthening the supply of sectoral innovation from the region by (i) identifying and supporting innovative solutions and products developed by the private sector and (ii) promoting the development of the innovation ecosystem with special attention on those actors focusing on the water sector.
- IDB Lab contingent recovery financing in the order of US$250,000, to a maximum of US$400,000, and participation in IDB Group regional networking events.
What are they looking for?
- IDB Lab is looking to support private sector organizations such as startups, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and Social Businesses (i.e., B corporations), with business models of “ready to implement” innovative solutions supporting the strengthening of the supply of innovation for the sector in any of the following areas:
- Energy efficiency for the water and sanitation sector
- Non-revenue water
- Water quality
- Management of systems related to water and sanitation services (incl. services management, information management, and interaction with users)
- Environmental sustainability and resilience of services (incl. water availability for drinking water, quality of water bodies, planning, etc.)
- The proposed solutions must demonstrate that they contribute to the following indicators:
- reduce water loss (non-revenue water).
- improve water quality.
- increase sustainability (operational, environmental, or financial) of water and sanitation services.
- increase resilience (operational, environmental, or financial) of water and sanitation services.
- reduce volumes of untreated wastewater.
- reduce pollution of water sources.
- GHG emissions avoided (this indicator cannot go alone and requires contribution to another indicator from this list).
- Funding will be exclusively allocated to projects aimed at enhancing water and sanitation services. While various organizations (startups, SMEs) might be involved in developing water-oriented solutions for sectors like agriculture and industry, their focus remains on water and sanitation service improvements.
- Only organizations either focused on water and sanitation service providers (such as public or private water utilities, municipalities, regulatory bodies, and national water and sanitation service programs) or those aiming to showcase verifiable advancements, technological innovations, or business models tailored for these service providers will qualify. Projects with primary objectives outside of this domain will not receive financing.
- Target countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.
- Legally established entities from the private sector such as startups, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Social Business (i.e.: B corporations) eligible to receive financing from the Bank.
- If your organization is legally registered in one of the 14 target countries where the project will be implemented, you can apply to the Challenge.
- If your organization is legally registered in one of the 48 members countries of the IDB Group, other than one of the 14 target countries where the project will be implemented, you may apply only in partnership with an organization registered and located in one of the 14 target countries where the project will be implemented.
For more information, visit Inter-American Development Bank.