The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has announced the launch of a new $500M fund supporting science, technology and innovation initiatives that will tackle development challenges around the globe.
The Transform Fund will provide seed money for start-ups and SMEs to develop their ideas and facilitate the commercialization of technology among the IsDB’s member countries, many of which are developing nations. Transform will run in tandem with IsDB’s new online hub, ENGAGE which launched last month and is designed to connect innovators in the world’s developing communities with market opportunities and funding.
According to H.E. Dr. Bandar Hajjar, President of the Islamic Development Bank said:“The Islamic Development Bank understands that people living in the developing world need more than just grant funding. They need sustainable solutions to help them build their own way out of poverty. At the same time, we do need to offer access to the resources they need to realize their goals and change the world. That is why we have launched Transform. We know that real financial support in the science and technology sectors is needed in order to drive inclusive and sustainable development. Transform will ensure our members have access to a vital flow of financing facilities to help finance innovative ideas linked to real development solutions.”
The projects supported by the Transform Fund will greatly benefit local communities in member countries, as well as Muslim communities in non-member countries. The Islamic Development Bank also announced the establishment of two high-level boards to provide critical advice and guidance to the IsDB and help set the Bank’s STI strategic objectives towards achieving its development mission.
Additionally, a new Board of Trustees for the Transform Fund will provide counsel and expertise to ensure the fund is able to achieve its ultimate goal of driving economic and social progress through science, technology and innovation.
Applicants will need to submit a ‘call for innovation’ via the IsDB Engage website – www.isdb-engage.org. Each proposal must be accompanied by an initial idea concept note or detailed project proposals outlining their innovative solution to a challenge facing a member country or Muslim community in a non-member country.
The IsDB is headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with major hubs in Morocco, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Senegal, and gateway of offices in Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nigeria.
The IsDB Group has evolved from a single entity into a group comprising of five entities: Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export (ICIEC), and International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).