The Vision Catalyst Fund (VCF) is at an exciting new phase of its development and now has an initial £1m to offer in grants for vision programmes. They are looking for catalytic programmes that offer the most effective ways for eye health services to reach scale, whether through market shaping for eyeglasses, developing public health services to tackle other eye diseases and conditions, or both.
Grants ranging from £15,000 to £200,000 are being offered, with a focus on programmes that meet our level of ambition to scale up access to vision across lower and middle-income countries. The number of people needing access to vision is increasing, so we are looking for approaches and collaborations which go beyond current models and have a viable plan for sustainability through the private sector or government.
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The funding for these grants has come from an Eye Health Accelerator Bond developed through a partnership between the VCF and P1 Capital. This simple financial product empowers an investor to deploy at least 4% of their 8% return from a bond towards eye health programmes through the VCF. David and Molly Pyott are our first investors and have made this first round of Eye Health Accelerator Grants possible. The VCF aims to offer more and larger grants as investment in the bond grows in the coming year.
How to apply
We invite potential partners to submit a concept note to by 7 July 2023 by email, after which they will invite those meeting the criteria most closely to submit a full proposal by 1 September 2023. Further information and guidance, including the concept note format to download, can be found on the website.
Glasses and lens donations, in partnership with the OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation, are also open for expressions of interest. Proposals from eligible applicants are due by 1 August for the next round. We are looking for catalytic, multi-year programmes that focus on system change and explore new ways to increase access to eyeglasses at scale. Please see our website for more details and to submit an expression of interest.