From SF Gate on Water.org:
“When you’re trying to innovate, you have to experiment. But traditional sources of funding require statistics and data, illustrating impact. Yet, in R&D that’s not possible,” Birch said. “That’s why I was keen to support some of these ideas that have long-term impact but are high-risk investments, perhaps, in the short term.”
At my employer, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI), we are trying to do the same thing but on a more deeper scale. We develop the solutions and fund the initial R&D and then would like to scale it up with a partner. The big key question is getting large funding to support R&D.