The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

UNOPS launches unprecedented Global Innovation Challenge at Slush 2019

From centre stage at the world’s leading startup event in Helsinki, Finland, UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo today launched the organization’s first innovation challenge to advance resilient infrastructure in the face of climate change.

Global Innovation Challenge

Advancing resilient infrastructure in the face of climate challenge.

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“Climate change is the defining challenge of our times. How we react will define us as a species. Infrastructure is key to how we respond to this challenge,” said Ms. Faremo during her talk.

“Infrastructure defines how we live today – how we connect, move and work. It defines how we access food, water, power and light. To mitigate, and adapt to a changing climate, we need innovative ways of creating and using infrastructure,” added Ms. Faremo.

Some 25,000 people – including 4,000 startups and 2,000 investors – attended the event held 21-22 November. Slush is a not-for-profit movement that creates and helps the next generation of groundbreaking entrepreneurs, all in the name of uniting tech communities to solve the most meaningful challenges of our time.

Launching the Global Innovation Challenge, Ms. Faremo emphasized the importance of building climate-resilient infrastructure for sustainable development, as well as the pivotal role the private sector will play in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

We want to tap into your expertise, your entrepreneurial skills and your appetite for thinking outside the box to help us find solutions to our world’s biggest challenges.”

Grete Faremo - Under-Secretary-General and UNOPS Executive Director

“We know that we can find much more meaningful, innovative solutions, when we all pull together our resources,” she added.

UNOPS Global Innovation Challenge brings together innovators, entrepreneurs, programmers and developers to harness creative ideas and identify solutions for building climate-resilient infrastructure, which could then be used to help communities prepare for, and adapt to, the challenges posed by climate change.

The solutions submitted by participants will be reviewed by a team of subject matter experts – including from both UNOPS and the private sector – through UNOPS Global Innovation Centre based in Lund, Sweden. Selected participants will have the opportunity to join one of UNOPS Global Innovation Centre incubators for a period of 12 months, and will be provided with support to advance their solution to the marketplace.


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