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IDB Lab Invests in Jamaican Hub to Drive Health Innovation in the Caribbean

IDB Lab, the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, will invest US$750,000 to support the Jamaican company Novamed to build Catalyst, the first health innovation accelerator and incubator in the Caribbean region.

Health innovation is crucial to overcoming healthcare challenges in the Caribbean and improving access to quality care, creating opportunities to accelerate positive impact. Novamed’s focus on private sector-led healthcare innovation aims to improve the quality and affordability of care, which can benefit on a greater scale vulnerable populations and public agencies delivering care through public-private partnerships.

Through the grant, IDB Lab and Novamed will support, catalyze, and accelerate innovation in health and the development of an ecosystem to support and grow new or improved health solutions in the Caribbean region by building out and delivering specialized knowledge, connections, organizational capacity, and partnerships needed to support innovators in this area.

The funds will be used to pilot several projects, develop regional integration and cooperation to strengthen a regional health innovation ecosystem, knowledge exchange missions with other innovation labs, pitch competitions offering micro-grants, capacity building for start-ups, and the building of a health innovation community.

“IDB Lab is catalyzing more investments in the Caribbean region addressing needing sectors, such as health, and supporting nascent ecosystems that foster not only interactions between internal and external actors but promote growth and innovation”, said Irene Arias, CEO of IDB Lab.

The solutions incubated through Catalyst will tackle four challenges that were identified as the most important and persistent in Jamaica and in the Caribbean region: Non Communicable Diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity; process innovation, which is vital to address resource constraints, improve access to care, and enhance healthcare delivery efficiency; mental health given high rates, stigma, and limited access to these services; and communicable diseases such as dengue fever and Zika virus, which intersect with climate changes and for which, the region has particular vulnerability.

“This collaboration with IDB Lab marks a significant milestone in our mission to revolutionize healthcare innovation in the Caribbean. IDB Lab’s investment in Catalyst, our pioneering health innovation accelerator, will foster a dynamic ecosystem of innovation that enhances healthcare delivery, affordability, and accessibility, ultimately improving the lives of people in Jamaica and across the Caribbean”, said David Walcott, founder and managing partner of Novamed.

This project will benefit from financial counterpart support and technical training offered by other partners such as the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).

About IDB Lab

IDB Lab is the innovation and venture laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. Our purpose is to discover new ways to drive social inclusion, environmental action and productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean. IDB Lab leverages financing, knowledge and connections to support early-stage entrepreneurship, foster the development of new technologies, activate innovative markets and catalyze existing sectors.  

About Novamed

Novamed Limited is a Jamaican company established in 2018 that aims to make healthcare better, more affordable, and more accessible in emerging markets through collaboration, creative problem-solving, and capital. Their innovation arm pilots health innovations in Jamaica and other countries on a project-by-project basis and the parent company operates several businesses in healthcare services and real estate. A leader in transforming problems into opportunities in the healthcare sector in the Caribbean, Novamed has completed projects in value-based healthcare pricing, operational optimization, organizational assessment, and COVID-19 response initiatives for public and private sector clients. Novamed Limited is one organization in the Novamed group in Jamaica that owns and operates a private hospital and a commercial hub for conferences and events, start-up offices, and other small businesses in Kingston, Jamaica.


Manzano Guillen, Maria De Gador

Manzano Guillen, Maria De Gador
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