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Source of Innovation
Source of Innovation

Source of Innovation is an alliance of the IDB Group with external partners to promote the development and adoption of innovative solutions in the water, sanitation, and solid waste sector to achieve smart, inclusive, and sustainable services, with a focus on service providers in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Source of Innovation

Source of Innovation is funded by the Government of Switzerland through its State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), by the FEMSA Foundation, by the Republic of Korea through its Ministry of Environment, and by the Government of Israel. The alliance is also complemented by direct contributions from IDB Lab and the Water and Sanitation Division of the IDB, and coordinates directly with the Aquafund, the fund created with IDB capital and to which a wide range of public and private sector partners contribute.

Its implementation is co-led by the Water and Sanitation Division and IDB Lab, the Bank's innovation laboratory, and involves the Knowledge and Innovation Department (KIC), the Office of Outreach and Partnerships (ORP), IDB Invest and the Competitiveness, Technology and Innovation Division (CTI).

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Goals and Scope

The objective of Source of Innovation is to generate the conditions for the development and integration of innovative solutions in the water, sanitation, and solid waste sector so that quality access to these services and their benefits are within reach of the entire population in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Specifically, Source of Innovation directly addresses the challenges identified in the regional diagnostics previously carried out by the Bank to assess the barriers and opportunities for innovation in the sector in the region.

hands under faucet
Source of Innovation focuses on four components:


  1. Strengthening the demand for innovative solutions - empowering service providers by providing them with tools, methodologies, and opportunities to test innovative solutions.
  2. Strengthening the supply for sectoral innovation - identifying and supporting in a dynamic and interactive way the supply of innovative solutions and products developed by the private sector and the innovation ecosystem.
  3. Promote the formation of alliances between emerging companies and entrepreneurs, service providers and investors, strengthening the regional innovation ecosystem and its key players, as well as creating and strengthening spaces for dialogue.
  4. Foster a culture and environment conducive to innovation in the water, sanitation and solid waste sector, facilitating a cultural shift towards innovation in the sector in Latin America and the Caribbean.
water and sanitation system

This alliance builds on the legacy of innovation activities and products promoted by the Bank through the Bank's Water and Sanitation Division in recent years, including AquaRating, HydroBID; lessons learned from previously executed operations to foster and drive sector innovation; as well as IDB Lab's extensive experience in developing pilot innovation projects for vulnerable groups in water, sanitation and waste management; the use of innovative private financing instruments such as impact bonds and microfinance as well as a dense network of connections involving innovators, startups, entrepreneurs and civil society organizations among others.

Source of Innovation will finance concrete innovation projects with the public and private sectors. Some examples of previously financed projects are available below. 

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How to be involved

If you have an innovative proposal aligned with the goal of the alliance to be implemented in one of the 26 countries members of the IDB Group and that:

  • Bring a solution that presents a clear path to scale and attract more investors interested in joining forces to deploy resources.
  • Have a model that makes sustainability possible once the project with the IDB Group is completed.  

You can contact us at

The evaluation of proposals will include other guiding principles such as impact potential, knowledge generation, and demonstration effect, among others.

  • Trial Reservoir: A Sustainable Source of Resources to Innovate in Water and Sanitation (BR-T1532 & BR-G1007)
  • The Toilet Board Coalition: Boosting the Sanitation Economy in LAC (RG-T4144 & RG-T4148)
  • Promoting Innovation in the Water, Sanitation and Solid Waste Sector in Latin America and the Caribbean (RG-T3843)
  • Integrating Innovation in the Water, Sanitation and Solid Waste Sector in Latin America and the Caribbean (RG-T4058)
  • IDB-Israel Collaboration: Capacity Building in Water Technologies (RG-T3298)
  • Preparation of Aquarating Innovation and Digitization Plans in Public Water and Sanitation Utilities (RG-T4028)
  • Data Sharing Platform for Water Utilities in the Caribbean (RG-T4032
  • Source of Innovation: Digital capacity strengthening of the water and sanitation utilities by the traceability and data management optimization (RG-T4041
  • Development of innovation schemes in the solid waste management sector in LAC (RG-T4050
  • Innovation applied to solid waste management in Montevideo (UR-T1288
  • Development of innovative solutions for the management of water sources in Quito (EC-T1486)
  • Source of Innovation: a facility to foment innovation in the water and sanitation sector in Brazil (BR-T1525
  •  Advancing Water Disinfection in Urban and Rural Areas (BL-G1007)
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