About the Organization
UNICEF works in Across 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. UNICEF has spent 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families. Defending children’s rights throughout their lives requires a global presence, aiming to produce results and understand their effects. UNICEF believes all children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfil their potential – to the benefit of a better world.
UNICEF Innovation Fund
UNICEF’s Innovation Fund has been specifically designed to finance early stage, Open Source technology that can benefit children. The core motivation of the Innovation Fund is to identify “clusters” or portfolios of initiatives around emerging technology – so that UNICEF can both share markets and also learn about and guide these technologies to benefit children. They invest in solutions clusters around $100 billion industries in frontier technology spaces, such as: blockchain, virtual and augmented reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
The Innovation Fund is particularly seeking solutions that are:
- Addressing challenges to accelerate results for children.
- Optimized for low-resource environments (e.g. low connectivity, mobile access).
- Focus on reducing, rather than widening, inequalities.
- Able to deliver in multiple languages, including smaller languages.
What they’re looking for?
We are currently looking to invest in companies that are using machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), or data science (DS) technologies to build software solutions that respond to the following questions:
- Area 1: Are you creating platforms for personalized services? Or are you providing tools to automate processes and decision-making?
- Area 2: Are you building tools to optimize system performance for greater access to and delivery of services? Or are you trying to use data science, machine learning or artificial intelligence techniques to generate new insights from data?
- Area 3: Are you generating and curating data for any of the above?
Projects are assessed by UNICEF Innovation Fund team and recommended for funding to the internal board. Companies need to fulfill the following mandatory requirements to be considered for funding:
- Registered as a private company
- Registered in a UNICEF programme country (see list here)
- Working on open source technology solutions (or willing to be open source) under the following licenses or their equivalent:
- for software, a BSD license,
- for hardware, a CERN license and
- a CC-BY license for design or content, a CC-BY license
- An existing prototype of the open source solution with promising results from initial pilots
- Solution has the potential to positively impact the lives of the most vulnerable children
- Generating publicly exposed real-time data that is measurable