The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) invites applications

Transform Fund

4th Call for Innovation 2021

Building Resilience through Innovation in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic




The COVID-19 global pandemic has been ongoing for over one year, resulting in loss and negative socio-economic impact on our Member Countries. Small businesses and Poor communities have been hit the hardest and require additional attention. With lessons from the pandemic, we can now imagine and create innovative pathways to recovery for a more resilient and prosperous future, by generating more jobs and better health outcomes.  Innovation can change the way affected communities interact and interface with the world to ease the challenges and restrictions caused by the pandemic. Hence it's crucial to crowdsource and support innovative ideas and inventions that address important needs.

The IsDB has a longstanding commitment to harnessing the power of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) to help solve the global development challenges. Our US $500 million Transform Fund, launched in 2018, invests in testing early-stage innovative ideas and in scaling innovation by providing seed money for innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, SMEs, and institutions. We provide needed initial funding or growth capital to develop and commercialize innovations that will generate economic and social impact.

We are pleased to announce the Transform Fund Call for Innovation 2021 will focus entirely on supporting our Member Countries response to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic with the aim of building a stronger, more resilient, and prosperous future. Open for application submission from 1 April 2021 – 31 May 2021, the Call for Innovation will identify, encourage, and reward innovative, high impact proposals that support the following SDGs:

Anyone can apply

How to applySubmit A Proposal

But it is important to note that your project must take place and be developed in one or more than one  IsDB Member Countries.

Successful proposals will contribute to one of the following:

  • Creating innovative, high-value, locally produced products and services in IsDB Member Countries for local markets and export to international markets.
  • Creating and delivering innovative low-cost solutions to serve poor communities in Member Countries to facilitate access to social and basic services interrupted by the pandemic. This includes but is not limited to 1) education and schools, 2) physical distancing and hygiene, 3) home delivery and shopping, 4) mental and psychological support, and 5) communication and virtual business.
  • Boosting or enhancing manufacturing capabilities in Member Countries, particularly for strategically important products (e.g., vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, medical supplies, water and sanitation systems, energy systems, high value industrial products)
  • Creating innovative products and services that that support supply chain management for strategically important products (e.g., vaccines, medical oxygen maintenance, medical supplies, etc.) in Member Countries.
  • Applying advanced technologies (e.g. IoT, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Smart Sensors, etc.) to enable an autonomous Global Value Chain and create innovative and resilient supply chain, distribution and delivery systems for goods and services in Member Countries for heavily affected industries, with emphasis on building digital trust and addressing COVID-19 vaccines value chain challenges related to distribution and delivery.
  • Capacity building interventions targeted at training youth and displaced workers in the digital skills needed to advance in new, innovative, and growing fields.
  • Capacity building targeted at improving operational capacities of the institutions involved in COVID-19 vaccines research, production, distribution and delivery, regulation and standardization in OIC countries to reach the standard of quality assurance and safety required by the WHO for vaccine production and export(such activities may include training, experts’ visit, deployment of software applications, upgrading of laboratories facilities, awareness campaigns, etc.).

For a quick summary to help guide you in determining the most appopriate of the 4 categories to apply click here.

The categories of application are:

Grants ranging from US$ 50,000-100,000

Private Sector Equity Investment up to US$ 300,000

Private Sector Equity Investment up to US$ 1,000,000

Grants ranging from US$ 100,000-150,000

This Call will support the IsDB Group’s wide-ranging initiatives coordinated by Strategic Preparedness and Response Facility by leveraging innovative solutions that can boost the Bank's response to our Member Countries.

Through Transform, innovative ideas will be translated into real development solutions that will address development challenges and empower the communities and youth in particular to realize their full potential.

Linked to the Engage hub, Transform will accelerate science, technology and innovation led solutions that drive economic and social progress in the developing world.

For eligibility criteria and other operational matters, candidates may be assisted by referring to Operational Guidelines for the Application for Transform Fund.

Please create an account by signing up to participate.

How to submit a successful proposal?