Presidential Innovation Fellows
Presidential Innovation Fellows: Development Innovation Ventures
The Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program pairs top innovators from the private sector, non-profits, and academia with top innovators in government to collaborate during focused 6-13 month “tours of duty” to develop solutions that can save lives, save taxpayer money, and fuel job creation.
Development Innovation Ventures
Enabling the US government to identify, test, and scale breakthrough solutions to the world’s toughest problems.
Great ideas and breakthrough solutions come from all kinds of different places, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has recently pioneered a competitive method for sourcing and scaling innovations to drive faster, more cost effective, and more reliable results. It uses staged financing to make small investments in promising approaches and technologies and larger investments when there is clear evidence that the method is producing significant results. It accepts proposals from startup or established businesses, social enterprises, academic institutions or non-profits, both domestically and internationally. Over 2000 proposals have been reviewed and over 40 investments made across the world in a wide range of sectors, with many more under negotiation.
Building on this innovative approach to government financing, there are opportunities to scale this effort to reach millions of people more quickly and ensure that the program structure is sustainable (through either profitability or host country adoption, not long-term donor support). Of particular interest would be supporting enterprises that are scaling through the private sector. In addition, there is a desire among domestic Federal Government agencies to optimize the use of taxpayer resources and further their missions by adapting this model of broad competitions and tiered funding for additional missions, to produce the most cost-effective, evidence-based, and scalable solutions.