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Innovation Opportunities

Seeking innovative solutions for:

  • Blockchain Innovation ExpertXinova requires a subject matter expert to evaluate a next generation blockchain platform that utilizes a unique chain joining capability between multiple blockchains.
  • Free the WaterXinova is seeking ways to manage the watery dough problem so vegetables can be included into sheets of dough and baked like traditional crackers.
  • View all opportunities

OUR GOAL: a world free of malaria

Innovator team member:
Shawn Knowles

 

Shawn Knowles- Xinova innovator who is brainstorming and testing truly innovative solutions to improve the timeliness, quality and visibility of data for the malaria supply chain in Northern Nigeria.The Xinova innovator team is brainstorming and testing truly innovative solutions to improve the timeliness, quality and visibility of data for the malaria supply chain in Northern Nigeria.
Joining our team is Shawn Knowles. 

 
Shawn Knowles understands how daily life and resource-constrained business development works in remote and developing nations, having spent significant time in China, India, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. That’s partly why Knowles, Senior Director, Program Management for Ball Metalpack, was encouraged to participate in a select team of Xinova innovators collaborating to identify new approaches to improve malarial supply chain data and tracking systems in Northern Nigeria.
 
“I spent 10 years working in med tech for Medtonic and Abbott in roles spanning concept to commercialization of products,” said Knowles, who has a Master’s in Management Technology from University of Minnesota and a Master’s in Material Science and Engineering from Clemson University. “Some of my effort included trying to understand how to bring high-tech med tech to developing countries (India and China specifically), including spending three weeks in India trying to understand both how the med tech sector operated and how products were distributed throughout the country.”
 
Malaria is the leading cause of death in Nigeria, accounting for 18-percent of all deaths and 26-percent of the mortality rate for children under the age of 5. Effective supply chains are a critical condition of success in the fight against malaria and depend on data to make sure that the right products are available in the right places at an acceptable cost. Despite recent enhancements to data capture and reporting systems in Nigeria there is still an opportunity to improve the speed and accuracy of supply chain data flows. This challenge is made more acute by the disparate malaria product supply chains across thousands of government, private and NGO clinics, pharmacies and drug shops.
 
The social and technological complexity of Nigeria’s malarial supply chain challenge demands an innovative approach incorporating more than technological factors. Over his 20 years of experience managing teams and projects across the innovation lifecycle, Knowles has learned to develop products, programs and processes with an eye on their greater context. He has managed numerous multi-million-dollar budgets on projects from product development and technology management to marketing and strategy & business development. His expertise includes business planning and strategy; AOP and budget development; program management; team building and leadership; competitive intelligence and market analysis; technology scouting and acquisition; product and technology road-mapping; and product development.  
 
Given his broad expertise, as well as his reputation as an energizing and engaging senior leader, Knowles was deemed an excellent candidate for the Defeating Malaria with Data team by longtime Xinova Consulting Inventor and CEO of Keon Research, Michael Manion.
 
“I’ve known Mike Manion for a few years and he was the one that thought I might be a good fit for thinking about this problem differently based on my experience in med tech, geospatial analytics, and high-volume manufacturing with challenging supply chains,” said Knowles.
 
When asked, Knowles recalled one innovation he helped create and bring to market that particularly stood out.
 
“I helped develop a Beta-hCG pregnancy test for the emergency department,” said Knowles. “Beta-hCG estimation plays an important role in early diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself in a place other than inside the uterus. The fertilized egg can’t survive outside the uterus, so if left to grow, it may damage nearby organs and cause life-threatening loss of blood. Early diagnosis is critical for the care of the woman and her fetus. My role spanned concept development (market research, ethnographic research), to defining product requirements (sample type, sensitivity, specificity), and commercialization (product launch).”
 
Having innovated on both lean and deep-pocketed budgets for startups and Fortune 500 companies, from North America to rural India, Knowles understands the critical role that resources and environment play in shaping a feasible solution. 
 
And what, in his experience, is the most important thing to keep in mind when working in a low-resource environment?
 
Less is more. We found that developing countries don’t require all the bells and whistles of a med tech device (e.g. wireless telemetry, remote device programming, etc.) in order to move the needle to more effective patient care.
– Shawn Knowles
Malaria is the leading cause of death in Nigeria, accounting for 18-percent of all deaths and 26-percent of the mortality rate for children under the age of 5. Effective supply chains are a critical condition of success in the fight against malaria and depend on data to make sure that the right products are available in the right places at an acceptable cost. Despite recent enhancements to data capture and reporting systems in Nigeria there is still an opportunity to improve the speed and accuracy of supply chain data flows. This challenge is made more acute by the disparate malaria product supply chains across thousands of government, private and NGO clinics, pharmacies and drug shops. 
 
 
Join the Xinova Innovator Network    Learn more about this project 

Invent your future with Xinova

We believe problems are a good thing. Every day, our global network of innovators wakes up believing each problem is an opportunity to find a new solution or application. If that’s you too, we’d love to have you join us!

Our Worldwide Locations

USA

Xinova
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Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98104
USA
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Tokyo 104-0028 Japan
+81-3-6478-6120
xinova.jp

China

Xinova Innovation (Beijing) Consultancy Co. Ltd.
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China Central Place
77 Jianguo Road
Chaoyang District
Beijing, 100025 China

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#08-06/08 Gateway West
189720 Singapore
+65 6408 5080

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North Sydney, NSW 2060
Australia
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Survey No 414
PSR Complex
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FI-00130 Helsinki
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Affiliate offices in Tel Aviv & Vienna