Innovation pipeline

iLEAD’s Innovation Pipeline incorporates a phased approach, helping innovators through the various stages of product development from “Concept & Design” all the way through to “Clinical Validation for Launch readiness”. Our phased approach has pass/fail criteria that serve as gates between the phases in the pipeline. Innovations entering the pipeline need to meet certain criteria to move through the gates into subsequent pipeline phases. This approach serves two purposes. Firstly, many innovations can be assessed in Phase 0, with a reduced amount of expended effort. Secondly, innovations that enter the pipeline can be assessed for progress and either accelerated through the pipeline or exited, thus driving cost and time efficiencies and accelerating time to implement. The fourth phase in the pipeline requires an external commercialization partner which iLEAD will help identify. As successful innovations exit phase 4 of the pipeline, they will be introduced to iLEAD’s network of linked implementing partners in South Africa and across the rest of Africa, thus driving successful pilots and impacting patients.



iLEAD’s unique approach stimulates innovation in new diagnostics and laboratory systems, with interventions that will deliver across the laboratory value chain. This will be achieved by defining discrete innovation streams. These streams are structured to work across of a matrix of priority diseases by focussing on laboratory systems and components of the value chain. This approach ensures that, where possible, innovations may impact on multiple diseases further driving broad-based laboratory system strengthening while ensuring sustainable implementation of new approaches and products. Innovation projects are selected for inclusion in the Pipeline based on their suitability to answer needs and gaps within the Target Project Profiles defined for each stream. This process uses an initial scoring matrix (which determines suitability and the current phase of the project), with additional feasibility inputs from experts, our advisory board and commercialization specialists.

The current streams are:

  • Sample Collection and Logistics
  • Leveraging the Central Laboratory / Novel Diagnostics
  • Health System Connectivity
  • Integration and Continuous Quality

The Integration and Continuous Quality stream seeks to innovate in ways that can work in conjunction with innovations in the other three streams. As the iLEAD innovation pipeline evolves, in time we anticipate adding additional streams.