The DevelopmentXChange July 25-27, 2017

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada (funded by the Government of Canada), the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) hosted the 7th annual DevelopmentXChange event for Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development. The event gave us an opportunity to bring together our existing innovators, as well as promising candidates for the Round 7 awards. This year, our program received an impressive set of over 550 applications.

The DevelopmentXChange is a key feature of the Saving Lives at Birth program, bringing together a community of diverse innovators who are tackling this challenge through advancements in science and technology, innovative service delivery models, and novel demand generation approaches. Over 6 years, we have sourced and supported 107 distinct innovations and seen many of our recipients achieve global recognition and accolades.

Below is a look into the 2017 DevelopmentXChange in Washington, DC. The event brought together some of the most cutting-edge innovators in the sphere of maternal and newborn health for capacity building sessions, networking, and meetings with experts and potential collaborators. On the last day, we invited the public to join us for an inspiring Pitch Competition and our signature innovation Marketplace.


~100 innovations represented at the seventh annual DevelopmentXChange


The DevelopmentXChange seeks to build capacity and provide innovators with tools to accelerate the development, implementation, and scaling of their projects.

Over 30 speakers, 7 break-out sessions, and 2 plenaries

Current grantees and finalists participated in plenaries, workshops, and breakout sessions where they heard from over 30 speakers and worked together through guided exercises to enhance their skills and knowledge across a wide range of topics.

The plenaries featured innovators sharing their lessons learned from the field and their experiences building strong partnerships for global scale.
Plenaries and Learning Sessions:
  • Stories from the Field
  • Building Partnerships for Global Scale
  • Measuring Progress, Catalyzing Action: Effective M&E to Maximize your Impact
  • Human Centered Design
  • Regulatory Issues
  • Idea to Impact: Series Overview & Breakout Workshops
  • Financing Innovation: Access Capital Across the Full Spectrum of Finance
  • The Art & Science of Effective Communications


The DevelopmentXChange aims to spark relationships and strengthen connections between innovators and potential collaborators.

Nearly 300 curated partnering and mentoring meetings in 1 day in between our innovators and over 40 organizations represented by partners and mentors.

“DevX was a lightbulb moment during the early stages of our project. The event brings together an ecosystem of maternal and child health expertise, and the connections we formed there at the beginning stages of our project have catalyzed future support and funding.” -- Pete Lambert, Current SL@B Grantee
Innovators had the opportunity to meet with experts in various fields including but not limited to: maternal & newborn health, introduction strategy & scale planning, regulatory, setting up clinical trials, and marketing & branding. They also met with potential collaborators and investors working in pharmaceuticals, bio/med technology, manufacturing, non-profit sector, and more.


The DevelopmentXChange showcases ground-breaking solutions to address some of the world's most challenging problems.

In Round 7, SL@B program partners nominated 15 innovations for awards.

From an on-site chlorine generator to prevent infection to a breakthrough fingerprint scanning technology for newborn prints, the Saving Lives at Birth partners announced that they will invest more than $7.3 million in groundbreaking solutions to protect and support mothers and newborns throughout pregnancy, but with a particular emphasis on the 48 hour window around the time of delivery – when they are most vulnerable.

Entrepreneurs, implementers, and pioneers showed how they are pushing the boundaries of innovation during our live Pitch Competition featuring 11 of our most promising current SL@B grantees. The innovation Marketplace showcased some of today's most cutting-edge technologies and interventions improving maternal and newborn health, from both competing finalists and current grantees. Attendees had the opportunity to network with experts, partners, current Saving Lives at Birth grantees, and the Saving Lives at Birth Round 7 finalists during the receptions.

Thank you to our sponsors & supporters
SL@B Program Partners | @GCDsavinglives

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