Bridging the gap between innovation and impact, the Poshan Innovation Platform tackles malnutrition and empowers mothers and children with accessible, life-changing solutions
The India Nutrition Collaborative announced the Poshan Innovation Platform (PIP) launch at the Bengaluru Design Week, marking a significant step towards improving maternal and child health in India.
This first-of-its-kind collaborative incubator aims to facilitate seed funding and investment opportunities for innovative solutions, ultimately strengthening nutritional status across the country.
Experts have highlighted the limitations of existing initiatives, often driven by technology and focused on urban areas, neglecting accessibility in rural and underserved communities. PIP seeks to address this crucial gap by fostering innovations across critical areas, including reducing stunting and wasting in young children, combating anaemia in women of reproductive age, promoting gender equity, digital equity, and market equity, and encouraging nutrition-seeking behaviour.
Dr. Sapna Poti, Director of Strategic Alliances at the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, emphasised the urgency of action, addressing the alarming ranking of 101 for India in the Global Hunger Index 2023 and highlighting the pervasive impact of malnutrition across all socio-economic backgrounds. "Innovations must go beyond the realm of nutrition alone," she stressed, "tackling the multifaceted factors contributing to this problem."
Dr. Poti further criticised the prevalence of "cute experiments" in tackling malnutrition, initiatives that rarely progress beyond the laboratory stage due to lack of mentorship and financial support. PIP, she emphasised, aims to bridge this gap by evaluating scalable innovations and building their credibility.
Echoing this sentiment, Dr. Smriti Pahwa of India Nutrition Collaborative highlighted the need to address the issue of ineffective delivery and uptake of existing solutions. "To effectively combat malnutrition in India," she stated, "we must ensure that innovations reach the communities that need them most."
The launch of PIP marks a turning point in the fight against malnutrition. By fostering accessible and scalable innovations, this platform holds the potential to transform maternal and child health across India. This collaborative effort brings together diverse stakeholders, paving the way for a healthier and brighter future for future generations.