The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Global Innovation Challenge
UNOPS Global Innovation Challenge brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, programmers and developers to provide the creative ideas and solutions needed to accelerate progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Global Innovation Challenges in Kobe, Japan and Lund, Sweden are now well under way. Stay tuned for details on our next Global Innovation Challenge!
Read our FAQs document here.
Advancing resilient infrastructure with technology in the face of climate change
Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time. From the stability of our ecosystems affecting human health, to our ability to grow food and create thriving communities, our future depends on how we tackle this challenge. Addressing the impacts of climate change on people, communities and nations requires the world’s infrastructure to be more resilient and better equipped to withstand increasingly frequent extreme weather events – ensuring that all people, in all corners of the world, can adapt, survive and prosper.
But to get there, now more than ever, the world needs fresh ideas, solutions and technologies.
What is resilient infrastructure?
It’s the ability of infrastructure (such as schools, bridges and hospitals), as well as infrastructure networks and systems (such as transport, water and energy), to anticipate, absorb, adapt and recover from natural shocks and stresses
What new solutions are we looking for?
We are calling on innovators and entrepreneurs to develop new technology and solutions for creating infrastructure, networks and systems that can withstand shocks and stresses. The solutions need to demonstrate how technology – from sensors to artificial intelligence – could build climate resilience, helping societies prepare for and adapt to the challenges posed by climate change.
Data on our climate and natural resources – such as forests and ocean – can be captured and analyzed. Accurately analyzing and utilizing that data will play an important role in designing and building resilient infrastructure, networks and systems.
Solutions could range from ensuring reliable power generation and effective emergency responses in the midst of a fierce storm, to advancing sustainable agriculture and protecting biodiversity. It could include improving access to clean and safe drinking water – and much, much more.
Solutions submitted in this challenge do not need to be commercialized and will be treated by our review team as confidential.
So you’ve submitted your solution, what happens next?
Global Innovation Challenge - Lund, Sweden
Out of more than 200 applications from more than 70 countries, 17 startups have been selected to take part in the 'boost camp' taking place in October. Innovative ideas selected include renewables - energy and water, ecological plants and seeds, water pollution solutions, renewable batteries, agriculture and weather forecast.
The 'boost camp' will be held at UNOPS Innovation Centre in Lund, Sweden 16–18 October 2020. UNOPS incubation programme will follow.
Global Innovation Challenge - Kobe, Japan
Out of more than 600 applications from nearly 100 countries, 25 startups have been selected to take part in the boot camp. Innovative ideas selected ranged from water management, sustainable agriculture, emergency response, renewable energy, environmental protection and much more.
The boot camp will be held at UNOPS Innovation Centre in Kobe, Japan 3–6 November 2020. UNOPS incubation programme will follow.
The top candidates from the review processes have been invited to a boot camp in Kobe, Japan and a 'boost camp' in Lund, Sweden.
Note: The set-up of the boot/boost camp will depend on global travel restrictions due to COVID-19. The timing will be determined and communicated to the selected candidates once selection is done.
Global Innovation Centre Incubator
Selected participants will be given the opportunity to join one of UNOPS Global Innovation Centre Incubators for a 12-month period. They will receive support to help advance their solution to the marketplace.
Participants with solutions that demonstrate the most potential will be given the opportunity to develop a pilot in collaboration with UNOPS, at a suitable location.
This programme is open to both individuals and groups, such as business entities and other types of organizations. Female applicants are encouraged to apply.