The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

UNOPS launches Global Innovation Centre in Japan

With support from the City of Kobe and the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan, UNOPS will launch a new Global Innovation Centre in Kobe, providing valuable opportunities for public-private sector collaboration to address global challenges.

"Innovation is needed if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To end poverty and reduce inequality we must make fundamental changes in how we produce, distribute and consume. We are delighted to be working with Kobe City and the Hyogo Prefecture to establish our Global Innovation Centre in Japan," said UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo.  

The centre will act as a two-way channel between Japanese technology companies and entrepreneurs, UN organizations, other UNOPS Global Innovation Centres and a global network of innovation partners. The centre will also support access to UN procurement processes for startups, including those based in developing countries around the world.

“I am delighted that Kobe was chosen from cities in Asia. Kobe is developing leading initiatives such as Urban Innovation Kobe, with the aim of becoming an ‘experiment city’ for cutting-edge technology,” said the mayor of Kobe City Kizo Hisamoto.

“The opening of the Global Innovation Center will create a completely new form of innovation from Kobe, where the public, private sector and citizens are united, and Kobe [becomes] a city where the world’s most advanced challenges can be made,” he added.

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Leveraging Japanese technologies and expertise, the facility will boost opportunities for the development of innovative solutions towards achieving the SDGs. Under the agreement signed in Japan this week, UNOPS will manage the innovation centre, with financial contributions from both public and private sector partners. The centre is expected to open around the summer of 2020.

“With the new Global Innovation Center here, we can expect that experts from various fields and startups will come to Kobe, Hyogo, and will interact with local entrepreneurs and innovators,” said the governor of Hyogo Prefecture Toshizo Ido.

“I believe that this interaction will inspire new technology and ideas as well as innovative industry, which will boost the local economy and lead to global sustainable development,” he added.

UNOPS Global Innovation Centres aim to harness the critical role that public-private partnerships can provide towards achieving the 2030 Agenda. The opening of the new centre in Japan follows successful launches of similar initiatives in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda and most recently, in Sweden.


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