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Centre for Knowledge Studies launches ‘BIL’ to open new Gates of hope

Apr 25, 2012

A coalition of private and public players launch an initiative designed to alter the face of social welfare around the country, starting with its most backward state, Bihar.

The Centre for Knowledge Societies (CKS), the Bihar state government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have jointly launched the Bihar Innovation Lab (BIL), a unique initiative that aims to use innovative design ideas to improve the quality and delivery of healthcare services across the state. CKS is an innovation major that opens new possibilities to product service companies.   

In the months to come, BIL will create a design environment that promotes new products and supports superior delivery of health services. Inaugurating the novel initiative, Health Care Secretary, Sanjay Kumar said, “Over the last two years through the Gates Foundation, we have done some exceptional work with the Centre for Knowledge Societies in the healthcare sector resulting in programmes like ‘34 Ways of Saving Lives in Bihar’ and the Integrated Vaccine Services Delivery Kit. To leverage the impact of continuous innovation on the quality of healthcare services, we came up with the concept of the Bihar Innovation Lab. We want Bihar to set a benchmark for other states with this collaborative model for public interest and development.”

Aditya Dev Sood of CKS who masterminded BIL said, “The Bihar Innovation Lab is an attempt to use the expertise of the private sector in making Government smarter and more capable of identifying and solving problems on its own. This Lab will focus not on fundamental science and technology research but rather use ethnography, design thinking, and user experience modelling to create new and more effective ways of delivering services.”

The Vaccine Delivery Kit, an integrated service delivery kit for health workers, will herald a series of five life saving innovations that would be designed, developed and piloted by the Lab. Prototypes of the CKS designed Vaccine Delivery Kit are currently being manufactured and are set for launch in the coming year.

Usha Kiran Tarigopula, Deputy Director India Country Programs, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, expressed her excitement on this collaboration, “Ananya, a program supported by the Foundation and the government of Bihar, is run by several national and international organisations to improve the health of women, newborns, infants, and children under five. We look forward to working with the Centre for Knowledge Societies on BIL to promote the culture of innovation in partnership with the Government of Bihar. The Innovation lab will help Ananya partner in conceiving, designing, and building user-based solutions for improving rural health delivery in Bihar.”

The Lab will enable various partners of the Foundation such as Care, BBC World Services Trust, World Health Partners, and CKS, collaboratively discover latent innovation opportunities for improving the quality of healthcare services. Beyond this, it will offer innovation training through knowledge sharing and capacity training programmes with partners and government staff to accelerate the spread of innovation techniques.  

Stressing on why healthcare solutions need to be user-centric for them to be effective, Anant Shah, Program Officer, Vaccine Delivery Global Health Program at the Foundation said, “BIL is an attempt to institutionalize user-centric innovation and serve as a catalyst for change through creative problem solving and ‘design thinking’.  Ultimately, it is about developing breakthrough solutions that meet the needs of everyday people facing everyday problems in health and development.” Ashok Alexander, Director of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation added, “We, along with the Government of Bihar, have a larger vision for a healthier and more developed Bihar.” .



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