Domain: Innovation

GDI Hub Accelerate

Accelerating innovation for change.

GDI Hub Accelerate is our innovation arm - with scale studios, acceleration programmes, a network, ecosystem development, world leading coaching and knowledge dissemination. We bring together global stakeholders to accelerate disability innovation through partnership and collaboration, while supporting other sectors in becoming more disability inclusive.

Every disabled person should have access to the innovations they need. Accelerate acts as a driving force for the disability innovation sector, challenging current barriers and facilitating appropriate local solutions globally. We bring together key stakeholders through partnership and collaboration, and provide support for innovators through their product and business development journey.

Our Disability Innovation projects drive impact across three distinct approaches:

Spark Innovation - The entry point

We work with local communities and stakeholders to accelerate local disability innovation solutions relevant to their community, turn unmet or under-met needs of disabled people into an opportunity. Our current areas of spark innovation includes hackathons, makeathons and innovation activities related to research grants such as TIDAL N+. Spark is our mechanism to kick start innovation and test proof of concept. We provide evidence and participation support, with access to co-design participants and validation of innovation concepts. The most successful spark innovations will feed up the pipeline - transitioning to the start-up innovation ecosystems.

3 men sit together on the floor, working together to design
A collaborative Makeathon Event

Start-up Innovation - Where acceleration happens

The second level of innovation ecosystems, catering local-to-regional entrepreneurs. Innovators benefit from standardised entrepreneurship training programme and curriculum, Live Lab activities, business model support and expert sector insight support. Examples of our start-up innovation projects include Innovate Now, Africa's first Assistive Tech Accelerator. This approach is focused on products with existing proof of concept. We provide knowledge, expertise and data to transition into market ready solutions.

A female entrepreneur explains her innovation at a launch event to attendees
Launch event of Innovate Now, Africa's first Assistive Tech Accelerator

Scale Innovation - The exit point

the third stage caters for national-to-international ventures and investors, supporting catalytic funding and bespoke venture building support to take innovations to scale. Existing projects include the Assistive Tech Impact Fund, where we support large scale product trials, clinical trials, and research by sharing and harnessing our unique expertise and that of our partners, collaborators and coaches.

A clubfoot brace, the innovation and work of MiracleFeet
A clubfoot brace, the innovation and work of MiracleFeet

Innovation Coaching

Through all our projects we build knowledge and expertise among the innovation community. By connecting individuals and ecosystems we are able to recognise, manage and overcome barriers to entry. Using our world leading expertise, and that of our partners and networks, we support ventures through;

  • Disability coaching to overcome typical challenges in disability innovation, who can act as (and connect entrepreneurs to) mentees, enabling bespoke, specialist, and expert advice in this unique field to support products through their development stages and into the market.
  • Expert coaching to provide specialist skills in one of four support domains: technical, marketing, commercial, and manufacturing support.

Coaching takes place across our accelerator, scale studio and grant funding portfolio. As we move forward our ambition is to widen our recruitment of industry professions to provide further coaching opportunities to ventures. Through this process we will be able to reduce innovation iteration cycles, saving time and resources for new products entering the market.

Coaching case-study examples

Changing Prosthetic Service Delivery with Amparo

Digital Technology, to Revolutionise Wheelchair Provision with Motivation

The Accelerate Network

Join us. Our Accelerate Network is a space for innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, problem solvers and AT enthusiasts to share knowledge, experiences and expertise. It also provides a platform for new partnerships to develop. Though the Accelerate Network we will share exclusive content, resources, tools and discussions - aimed at supporting innovators and easing their path across the sometimes bumpy world of AT entrepreneurship.

The Accelerate Network will provide opportunities for bespoke support across our research, innovation, teaching, programme implementation and advocacy expertise. We'll also be able to provide linkages to the best technical knowledge.

To join the network:

  1. Register through the member registration form (below) and log in to GDI Hub Accelerate community on the Discord platform - where you will be able to meet other members, discuss ideas, form partnerships and drive change. You can use the Discord mobile app, the Discord desktop application, or the Discord website in any web browser.
  2. Log in to the GDI Hub Accelerate space on Discord and start sharing experiences, tell the community about you and your innovations, and offer your expert advice. Help us build the shared space into the shape you think it will be most useful. Check out our getting started with Discord guide for more info.

*GDI Hub is not responsible for the views and opinions expressed in the network. It’s expected that members will be respectful of others.

Partners and sponsors

We are grateful to all of our partners and sponsors for building disability innovation ecosystems alongside GDI Hub.

UCL logo
UCL computer science logo
LLDC logo
Guide Dogs logo
International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations logo
AT 2030 Logo
Norad logo
IKT Norge logo
Stepwise Logo
KBTA logo

Sub-projects

Accelerate Graphic of Swirling light beams with text Spark

Spark Innovation

Spark is our mechanism to kick start innovation and test proof of concept.

Accelerate graphic of swirling light beams with text Start-up

Start-up Innovation

The second level of innovation ecosystems, catering local-to-regional entrepreneurs.

Accelerate graphic with swirling light beams and text Scale

Scale Innovation

The third stage caters for national-to-international ventures and investors, supporting catalytic funding and bespoke venture building support to take innovations to scale.

Accelerate Graphic of swirling light beams with text innovation coaching

Innovation Coaching

Through all our projects we build knowledge and expertise among the innovation community.

Sub-projects

Accelerate Graphic of Swirling light beams with text Spark

Spark Innovation

Spark is our mechanism to kick start innovation and test proof of concept.

Accelerate graphic of swirling light beams with text Start-up

Start-up Innovation

The second level of innovation ecosystems, catering local-to-regional entrepreneurs.

Accelerate graphic with swirling light beams and text Scale

Scale Innovation

The third stage caters for national-to-international ventures and investors, supporting catalytic funding and bespoke venture building support to take innovations to scale.

Accelerate Graphic of swirling light beams with text innovation coaching

Innovation Coaching

Through all our projects we build knowledge and expertise among the innovation community.