Bring to life, the most critical technology breakthroughs required for sustainable global development, and deploy these technologies through innovative, practical business models for large-scale impact.
Technology plays a critical role in providing access to food, electricity, clean water and primary healthcare. We believe a better and more sustainable future for those living in poverty is possible if we bring the right technologies with the right actors to the right markets.
A new model
Although the challenges and limitations of technology in low-income countries is not lost on the global development community, there’s very little consensus on how to best overcome them. Our model takes a unique approach by considering scale from the onset. Our solution: deeply define the problem, leverage early stage technology from around the world, engineer the technology into affordable, demand-based products and create partnerships with organizations capable of mass scale. The outcome? A model that ensures user-centered design, market adoption and a scaling infrastructure for long-term sustainability.
A look at impact
Since our inception in 2015, our work has contributed to alleviating poverty in India, Kenya and Nigeria by:
- lowering the cost of supplying electricity to rural communities by as much as 50% via a “utility-in-a-box” mini-grid solution
- eliminating 99% of the diarrheal bacteria in groundwater with an affordable decentralized sanitation solution designed for rural communities
- increasing the crop cycles for smallholder farmers in the non-rainy seasons through the use of an innovative irrigation drill for shallow groundwater that’s 80% less in cost than anything else on the market
- eliminating vaccine spoilage that ultimately affects 1.5 million children a year with a low-cost, solar-powered vaccine fridge that can be deployed in last-mile clinics
Advancing a tech agenda
Through trial-and-error, rigorous research and on the ground practical experience, we have learned many lessons through our successes and failures. We’re sharing these learnings with the technology for development ecosystem in the hopes of enabling a new paradigm of business partnerships and product development that exists at the intersection of technology, business and the SDGs. We believe that if more organizations use these learnings to develop and fund technology-for-good, collectively we’re better positioned to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
The Beginning: Defining the Problem
In 2014, a simple but compelling question was posed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab: how can the world’s leading centers of R&D solve the biggest social and environmental challenges affecting the global poor?
To answer that question, we began by researching the most effective ways in which advanced technology can move the needle on such problems. The outcome was a report we call The 50 Breakthroughs (50BTs).
The report rigorously analyzes the role of technology in the context of policy reform, infrastructure development, technical capacity building, and business innovations to identify the most critical technologies required to eliminate global poverty.
The Evolution: Bringing Breakthroughs to Life
In 2015 ITT’s mission evolved: with the 50BTs informing our understanding of the problem and context, we committed to bringing to life the technologies needed to solve the problems integral to the SDGs. We created a model that:
- Taps into a global network of research institutions and inventors to find the most promising early-stage technologies;
- Engineers and designs new products leveraging those technologies; and then
- Commercializes them with established players in the private sector who have the footprint and capacity for scale.
In three short years we have refined our model to a point where we have been able to consistently deliver a series of impressive successes and learnings.
Looking Forward: Mobilizing the Ecosystem
The UN has set a very ambitious goal: eradicate global poverty by 2030. If the world is to achieve this goal, then we must come together as a global development ecosystem and do so collectively.
As part of our mandate we are committed to sharing our learnings with the technology for development ecosystem to drive collective progress. As a result, the 50BTs has become a call-to-action to the entire ecosystem to prioritize talent, resources and funding towards technologies that matter.
Meet our Team
With several decades of experience spanning multiple geographies, the team represents exceptional technical expertise, business acumen and essential on-the-ground experience to bring technologies to life.
ITT in the Press
ITT's work has been featured in the news for pioneering innovative technologies across multiple sectors. We have also been invited to share our perspectives on novel approaches to solving today's most critical challenges.