"The driver of innovation is the free pursuit of solutions to real needs. The starting point for an innovation centre is local. In a globalized world, those needs are rarely limited to a local context," said Ms. Faremo, at the conference in Frankfurt on 14 March.
'Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Euro Area' brought together economists and entrepreneurs, to discuss how innovative thinking and new technologies can transform societies.
"There are practically no limits to what we could do to improve the livelihoods of millions who are striving for a better life, and to whom technology could make a huge difference."
UNOPS has signed partnership agreements with several academic and private institutions over the past year, such as Columbia University and MIT. Partner accreditation with the Green Climate Fund is also underway.
This cooperation aims to harness knowledge transfer and to build partnerships to foster innovative solutions, helping grow developing economies where UNOPS implements projects.
It's about supporting sustainable development, and furthering local capacity through the use of technology and the creation of global innovation centres.
Currently UNOPS operates three global innovation centres in China and another 10 are being established in locations such as Dubai, Japan, Nepal and the Caribbean.
"So just imagine how the world will change when we create smart phone apps that can register new AIDS, tuberculosis or diabetes patients and monitoring their treatments; or when we enable rural farmers to get bank accounts through their phones; or when easy-to-use computerized tax systems reduce corruption and increase tax revenue."
Grete Faremo's entire keynote address is available here.