Challenge: improve sanitation in developing world
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation wanted to address the need for improved sanitation in the developing world. Through their Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, they challenged global experts and organizations to create sustainable solutions for the 2.5 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to safe, affordable sanitation. The Gates Foundation needed assistance to accelerate development and commercialization of the resulting technologies.
RTI Innovation Advisors created the Sanitation Technology Platform (STeP) to support Gates Foundation grantees through a holistic approach that addresses technical, market, and nonmarket factors in parallel. STeP - a global collaboration of organizations, universities, and experts - delivers expertise to and supports partners and the broader sanitation community who are invested in testing and commercializing technologies.
STeP provides field testing, market intelligence, and user insights to help inventors and industry develop products and services that address market and consumer needs.
- Our field testing platform in India assessed three toilet systems for more than 10,000 hours. Our findings enabled partners to refine their technologies in response to performance in a real-world testing environment, thereby increasing their potential for successful commercialization and global health impact.
- STeP’s market intelligence studies help inform critical elements of the business plan for transformative technologies, including Reinvented Toilets and Omni Processor technologies, highlighting, for example, market size, market segments, customer profiles, and go-to-market considerations. This insight helps organizations that are commercializing sanitation technologies, as it reduces market risk and enables them to move quickly.
In addition, STeP helped the Gates Foundation identify potential partners to take transformative sanitation technologies to market.