The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Innovators are already hard at work in the new UNOPS Global Innovation Centre Japan

Supported by the City of Kobe and the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan, UNOPS officially opened its Global Innovation Centre (GIC) in Japan this November.

“In the face of multiple crises, from pandemics to a changing climate to the ever-growing affordable housing deficit, our world needs bold ideas, sustainable solutions and a nurturing environment to support innovation,” said Vitaly Vanshelboim, Assistant UN Secretary-General and Chief Executive of UNOPS Sustainable Infrastructure Impact Investments (S3I) initiative.

Mr. Vanshelboim also stated: “This centre shows our commitment to developing solutions for those in need, through innovation and by working together with the private sector, and in particular with the vibrant start-up community."

Wasting no time, the new Innovation Centre joined forces with the Sony Corporation to launch the second Global Innovation Challenge, themed ‘advancing resilient infrastructure with technology in the face of climate change’. Five finalists have been selected out of more than 600 applications that were submitted from 98 countries around the world.

"The Sony Startup Acceleration Program is a startup incubation program, which aims to support challengers who are eager to create new values in the world," said Shinji Odashima, Deputy Senior General Manager, Startup Acceleration Division, Sony Corporation.

"Being the first Global Member of UNOPS Global Innovation Programme, we would like to support startups in implementing their ideas to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for society, through Sony's power of creativity and technology," he added.

UNOPS GIC Japan will now begin its incubation programme, so that the winners can innovate towards real solutions to address some of the world's biggest challenges – and drive the Sustainable Development Goals forward.

Find out more about the finalists.

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