August 14, 2017 -
Simprints fingerprint scanning technology for newborn prints is one of 15 projects that has securing new funding from Saving Lives at Birth (SL@B) to develop and refine its innovations.
Simprints is a nonprofit tech company out of the University of Cambridge that is building an affordable, secure, rugged, open-source fingerprint system that works in the world’s toughest settings. Its technology creates a unique digital identity based on a fingerprint, allowing healthcare workers in remote areas to access patient records on a mobile device. The scanners connect via Bluetooth with the Simprints identification app and is compatible with Android mobile devices. The company has previously received funding from Innovate UK, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UKAid and USAID.
The SL@B partnership, launched in 2011, includes the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada (funded by the Government of Canada), the U.K’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). It is a global call for groundbreaking, scalable solutions to end infant and maternal mortality around the time of birth.
Announced at the seventh annual DevelopmentXChange in Washington, DC, SL@B will invest more than $7.3 million in solutions to protect and support mothers and newborns. The 15 award nominees were selected from more than 550 submissions, with roughly half of the applications coming from low-and middle-income countries. Half of the award nominees themselves are previous SL@B grantees who continue to move through the program pipeline. All of the award nominees are now part of a growing community of over 100 innovators supported by the Saving Lives at Birth partnership.
The two-day DevelopmentXChange also included a pitch competition featuring 11 entrepreneurs who had received previous support from SL@B, and are now showing great promise for potential partnership and further investment. This year, the SL@B partnership offered two prizes for the winners of the Pitch Competition – six months of communication support from global firm McCann Global Health, as well as a sponsored trip to the annual Acting on the Call event, to be held in Ethiopia this year.
In May, Simprints and its co-founder Alexandra Grigore, won the grand prize at the Women Startup Challenge Europe.