The Australian Government has launched a new $140 million development innovation hub, innovationXchange, to ‘revolutionise the delivery and effectiveness of Australia’s aid program’, with particular attention given to leveraging new sources of financing and catalysing new approaches to development.

The new hub is a key initiative in the Government’s strategy to deliver a ‘new aid paradigm’ and aims to mainstream innovation across the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  Various investments and projects were announced at the launch of innovationXchange including:

  • $20million partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies to build the capacity of governments in developing countries to gather health data that can be used to better design health programs and interventions.
  • $30million contribution to the newly created Global Innovation Fund to invest in social innovations aiming to improve the lives and opportunities for people in developing countries.

Impact Investing Australia has welcomed the hub, saying it will create new opportunities for tackling pressing social issues, as well as scaling up our impact in regional social and economic development and poverty reduction.

“This initiative has great potential to showcase the role that social and financial innovation can play in tackling the challenges faced by many countries in our region, including access to quality healthcare, education and secure employment”, said Rosemary Addis, Chair of Impact Investing Australia.

“Governments and philanthropy alone can’t address the challenges that many of our neighbouring countries face. All sectors have a role to play in creating opportunities for people in our region. That includes the private sector, working in partnership with governments, social purpose organisations and communities.

“Impact investments – which target measurable social returns along with a financial return – provide an opportunity to bring new and larger amounts of capital to financing social innovations, improve the effectiveness of international development programs, and in the process make Australia more competitive in global growth markets.

“We welcome the opportunity that the hub will create to showcase what can be done from Australia to contribute new solutions and enable better, measurable outcomes for people in our region whether that be provision of basic services, job creation or sustainable.”

The Social Impact Investment Taskforce established by the G8 has recognised the opportunity for markets and the private sector to play a more significant role in financing international development. To read the recommendations from its International Development Working Group to governments, business and social sector leaders click here.