Transform Fund COVID-19 Innovations Showcased at IsDB Group Annual Meetings

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 02 September 2021 - Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) President and Chairman of IsDB Group, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser has lauded the Innovation of Tomorrow – a US$ 500 million Transform Fund-supported notable development solutions that were showcased during a side-event of the 2021 IsDB Group Annual Meetings in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 2 September 2021.

During his keynote speech, IsDB President and Chairman of IsDB Group H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser also mentioned IsDB’s progress in supporting its MCs in developing STI ecosystems to facilitate innovation and promote entrepreneurs. STI has been a cornerstone in recent economic and financial developments, given the current global challenges and volatile situation during the pandemic, he noted.

The showcased innovations originated from Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Senegal and Canada, and have the potential to tackle key health and COVID-19 related challenges in the developing world.

H.E. Prof. Ibrokhim Abdurakhmonov, Minister of Innovation Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in his keynote speech, expressed strong support to the Bank’s work to facilitate Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in enabling development in the 57 IsDB Member Countries (MCs).

Instrumental in leading IsDB’s STI initiative, Dr. Hayat Sindi, Senior Advisor to IsDB President on STI, observed that these efforts are aimed at creating and enabling environment to nurture ideas and support entrepreneurs across the world in scaling up their innovations through IsDB’s Transform Fund, Engage Platform, Innovate Crowdfunding and IP ecosystem.

The IsDB - Transform Fund efforts and STI’s hands-on approach in tackling the developmental challenges were highlighted during a panel discussion led by Prof. Mohamed Hassan, President of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and IsDB STI Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) Member as well as Ms. Sandra Ro, CEO of Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC).

Six Transform Fund Winners showcased their works demonstrating how their innovations played a vital role during COVID-19 Pandemic: Mr. Abdullah Butt, CEO, Educast; Dr. Shakhlo Miralimova, Deputy Director, Academy of Sciences, Uzbekistan; Dr. Karim Sallaudin Karim, Founder & CTO of KA-Imaging; Mr. Azizjon Azimi, Founder of Tajrupt.ai; Ms. Sylvana Sinha, CEO & Founder of Praava Health, and Dr. Cheikh Loucoubar, Researcher, Pasteur Institute, Dakar on behalf of Dr. Amadou A Sall, CEO, Pasteur Institute of Dakar.

As an example, Mr. Butt’s Educast in Pakistan through its telehealth network connecting out-of-practice female doctors served 175,000 COVID-19 patients during the pandemic. Dr. Karim’s invention of a specialized portable X-Ray has the ability to detect COVID-19 among patients and can also indicate whether the patients are responding to drugs.

Adding to the potential of innovations, Dr. Loucoubar of Pasteur Institute noted that generation of health data is increasingly abundant; innovative approaches are needed for health data management, analysis and reporting to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

The knowledge sharing and networking event was meant to complement the theme of the Annual Meeting, “Respond, Restore, Restart: Post-COVID Resilience and Prosperity for all”, to recognize the importance of STI as a catalyst for social and economic growth in the developing world.

The side event also highlighted how the Engage Platform complemented by Transform Fund has successfully leveraged innovative solutions to enhance MCs preparedness and response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, and provided a real-life model of Transform Fund supported projects and success stories to sharing the IsDB STI experience with development partners.