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UNICEF Innovation Fund Investing in Social Change Technology
By admin December 12, 2017

 

On December 8th, UNICEF announced the six start-up businesses that will receive funding from the Innovation Fund to continue their work in improving children’s lives using frontier technologies such as data science, virtual reality (VR), drones, and artificial intelligence (AI). The $12.6 million fund provides capital to early stage emerging tech companies that develop technological solutions that have the potential to improve lives of the most marginalized children. The primary investment strategies for the fund are threefold: investing in products for youth under 25 to address a range of needs including learning and youth participation; investing in real-time information for decision making; and investing in infrastructure to increase access to services and information, including connectivity, power, finance, sensors and transport.

Sunita Grote, UNICEF Innovation Fund Manager, in a statement said, “Through the fund, UNICEF has the opportunity to shape the emerging technology market to benefit some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Through the application process we identified cutting edge technologies clustered around $100 billion industries with the potential to address inequalities and provide life-changing solutions for children. Our goal is to continue to identify and invest in these solutions. We’ve chosen an ambitious cohort for our third round of investments and we’re looking forward to working with them.”

Among the start-up companies that will be invested include CIREHA, Ninaad Digital Technology, and Beijing Daokoudai which all work to provide innovative solutions to challenges faced by children with disabilities. Ideasis, a VR company, will also receive funding to resolve phobias and social adaptation problems of young people and children. Based in Turkey, this firm hopes its platform will help contribute to psychosocial interventions used in refugee camps to rehabilitate children from conflict areas. Another project to receive funding is the Autonomous Systems Research, which will develop software and hardware for aerial missions using drones to gather information and images from hard-to-reach areas that can inform emergency response and other humanitarian interventions. RedCrow, is another platform that will receive funding. Based in Palestine, RedCrow provides a platform for people to point out dangerous incidents and places through visualized maps using a mobile application and website.

Since its launch, the UNICEF Innovation Fund has invested in these eight startups that are successfully utilizing problem-solving technologies to deliver solutions that improve real time data collection and learning. Applications continue to remain open and those with novel technology ideas to improve lives are encouraged to apply at www.unicefinnovationfund.org.

Related Readings: 

UNICEF Innovation Fund to invest in open source technology start-ups

UNICEF announces addition of six start-up companies to 2018 investment portfolio

UN invests $9m in ‘open source’ tech to save children’s lives


Thanks for sharing !


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