Assistive technology innovation ecosystem design: A Kenyan case study

Catherine Holloway, Vicki Austin, Sarah Albala, Felipe Ramos Barajas, Dr Giulia Barbareschi, Bernard Chiira, Dr Ben Oldfrey, Umesh Pandya, Richard Ayah, Joyce Olenja, Kim Chapman, Helen Dawes
Aug. 5, 2019

Innovations within the AT space frequently fail to get to market and therefore to the people who could benefit from the products. The Scoping Report which underpins the AT2030 programme identified the need to test and develop 'what works' for AT innovation to ensure new products, services and approaches are able to scale and reach people, especially people living in low-  and middle-income countries.

This paper sets out the initial thinking for an East Africa Innovation Ecosystem. We present the emerging thinking from initial scoping exercises and product trials which have helped to shape the newly launched Innovate Now ecosystem. We outline the ecosystem including the core elements –the accelerator programmes and Live Labs. Live labs will allow for rapid innovation testing and user feedback. Thus, increasing user-involvement in the design and development process, and reducing the time to market. The Innovate Now ecosystem is growing and is being led by AMREF. Successful graduates of Innovate Now will be connected into the Innovation Scale Fund which will be launched by AT2030 next year (2020).