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Drone delivery to improve mass vaccination coverage in urban areas

Rigi Technologies provide on-demand drone delivery, helping to centralise stocks and bring them to those that need them when they need them.

Photo of Louis Potter
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Describe what you intend to do and how you'll do it in one to two sentences (required 350 Characters)

Rigi Technologies provides a holistic cargo drone delivery system with world-wide applications. Based on our view that vans are a better logistics tool than sports cars, our technology is durable and fit for use. With a range of local partners, we believe adding UAVs to the vaccine toolbox can have significant positive impact.

Explain the innovation (2,500 characters)

1. What concrete problem your innovation is trying to solve. We aim to improve accessibility for hard to reach vaccine populations by providing an on-demand cargo drone delivery service. This will enable community health workers to request direct deliveries, circumventing the significant traffic-delayed travel times in large urban contexts. 2. Who will benefit if this problem is addressed? How will they benefit from your idea / what are the direct benefits you hope to create? If you can, get specific. Where do they live? What is their age? How many people might this intervention realistically reach? If you can, describe a typical user/client/beneficiary. Mobile and vulnerable populations within the urban context who would not attend mass vaccination posts under normal circumstances — enabling sufficient herd immunity. 3. Two to Three sentence description of your innovation. Introducing a disruptive shift to the world of urban vaccination — moving from a health-post centric approach to an on-demand beneficiary-centred service. This will bring the vaccinations to the hard-to-reach mobile populations, rather than having to gather large numbers in one place at certain times. 4. Description of how the your innovation works. Rigi Technologies' system is a complete user-friendly service based on robust and safe UAV technology. Using what it essentially a flying box with vertical take off and landing, the service favours smaller, frequent deliveries over larger aggregated activities. 5. Demonstration or details of how your solution has been proven. The team of Rigi Technologies have over 20 years experience in the UAV sector, with a particular focus on the development and humanitarian implementation of the technology. Iterations of our drone has flown projects in Dominican Republic and Peru in collaboration with local partners, and in Tanzania for the Lake Victoria Challenge symposium. 6. Explanation of how your innovation can be applied to the challenges of accelerating immunisation efficiencies within highly urban populations in Gavi countries. The challenges for urban vaccination campaigns rest mostly with mobile and vulnerable populations. Empowering community health works who understand the local contexts better than anyone, our technology will enable them to call in vaccines extremely quickly without having to leave the site. This on-demand service address one of the largest challenges of urban vaccination campaigns.

Which part(s) of the world does this innovation target?

  • North Africa
  • Eastern Africa
  • Middle Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • Western Africa
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • South America
  • Northern America
  • Central Asia
  • Eastern Asia
  • South-eastern Asia
  • Southern Asia
  • Western Asia
  • Eastern Europe
  • Northern Europe
  • Southern Europe
  • Western Europe
  • Oceania

Geographic Focus

The solution can be implemented in almost all regions, but is particularly suited to areas where there are infrastructure challenges (i.e. extreme congestion, rainy seasons and poor roads.) UAV delivery offers a new paradigm for reliable and fast logistics systems.

Stage of Innovation

  • Early Adaption

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

GAVI's understanding of their local partners' needs make it best placed to identify where our services should be applied. In addition, we have linked with local NGOs to demonstrate that the technology works. In the past, the team's experience working within and alongside NGO partners has provided us with the essential knowledge that, for innovative solutions to work, they must be led by those that know the local context best. Our technology will be an additional tool to respond continuously to the local needs where and when they appear.

How is your idea unique? (750 characters)

Cargo drone delivery has been demonstrated in the humanitarian context already, but remains expensive and unsustainable in its current form. The cheap and robust nature of our technology enables local businesses to take over operations of the service, whilst the quality is assured by our ongoing support and technological development. Significantly for the development sector, our drones are built with 3D printing, so spare parts can be produced by those operating the drones rather than having to be imported. This expansion in local capacity offers increased employment opportunities and a truly sustainable solution.

What is the name of your organization

Rigi Technologies

Explain your organization (250 characters)

Holistic drone cargo service delivery, focused on an affordable and sustainable business model.

Type of Submitter

  • We are a For-Profit Startup or Startup Social Enterprise

Gender and Diversity (500 characters)

Our past experience in Zanzibar have demonstrated that UAVs offer an unstigmatised industry that is open to women in traditional contexts — half of the trained operators were women. Expanding this sector could increase diverse employment opportunities. In addition, Rigi practices unbiased, gender equal hiring procedures.

Organization Location (less than 250 Characters)

Lausanne, Switzerland with close links to international organisations operating world-wide.

Size of organization (number of employees):

  • Less than 5 people

Website URL

Scale of organizational work

  • Global (within 2 or more global regions)

Tell us more about you

David Rovira — 4+ years UAV experiencein Africa through senseFly. Worked with several government agencies, international organizations and mining companies. Senior UAV Consultant at the World Bank. Managed biggest drone project done in Africa. Adam Klaptocz — 10+ years UAV experience through academia, industry and non-profits. Led engineering teams in drone development and drone operations and training worldwide. Oriol Lopez — 5+ years experience. Previously lead for cargo drones at MSF, specialist at WeRobotics and consultant for World Bank. The core team is supported by a range of technical and operational experts with experience in the drone and humanitarian sectors.

Applying to Gavi INFUSE

  • Referred by a friend / colleague


Join the conversation:

Photo of Manisha Laroia

Hi Louis Potter 
As the challenge is coming to a close, please make sure you have answered all the questions in the Public and the Privately Submitted section.

A few pointers you should check for in your final submission:
[1] How your innovation solves the challenge problem?
[2] Working of your prototype and its pilot stage?
[3] Does the solution fit in the highly mobile urban settings and how it can prove to be low cost?
[4] How the solution caters to the gender equity by having an inclusive approach?
[5] About your team and your working relation with your partners?

The submission deadline is 5pm PST on Wednesday April 10th/ 1:00am CET on Thursday April 11th.
Feel free to make the necessary changes to your application and hit the submit button before the deadline.

All the best!
OpenIDEO Community Team

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