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April 21, 2020
Now accepting submissions for business ideas for Global Innovation Challenge
United Nations Office for Project Services
Tokyo, Japan—The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and Sony Corporation announced the launch of a collaborative program for innovation today.
In February 2020, UNOPS and Sony have entered a collaboration agreement in the area of innovation. UNOPS and Sony start its collaboration through Global Innovation Challenge, a program hosted by UNOPS to support startups and companies providing solutions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
UNOPS and Sony have jointly developed the theme for Global Innovation Challenge, and business idea submissions to the program can be made from today. Selected startups and companies will be able to move into Global Innovation Center of UNOPS to be established in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. Participants will have access to UNOPS Global Innovation Accelerator Program, which includes participation in the Sony Startup Acceleration Program (SSAP) and other programs designed to offer various forms of support for realizing their ideas.
As with audio and video files, data on climate and natural resources such as forests and oceans are "unstructured data" and have regional diversity. UNOPS and Sony established the above theme, as accurately analyzing and utilizing that data through sensing and AI technology, will contribute to the enrichment of ocean- and forest-based resources and help mitigate climate change.
Through this Global Innovation Challenge, UNOPS will provide the necessary platform for sustaining efforts to address environmental issues within the SDGs and where Sony will provide necessary support in the areas of investment, technology and business development and education and human resource development. By supporting the creation and business operations of startups that create new value for the world, UNOPS and Sony will continue to work on solving various issues targeted by SDGs and contribute to the development of a sustainable society.
The United Nations Office for Project Services is a United Nations agency headquartered in Copenhagen that specializes in project implementation. UNOPS promotes projects for aid projects based on requests from other United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, donor countries and recipient country governments.
Global Innovation Center is an incubation facility of UNOPS which collects and fosters startups in Japan and overseas, and supports access to UN procurement to services providing solutions to achieve the SDGs created in Japan.
UNOPS plans to open Global Innovation Center in 15 locations around the world with its first Center in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, the second Center in Sweden, and the new Center in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture to be the third Center.
The Sony Startup Acceleration Program was originally launched in 2014 by Sony as the "Seed Acceleration Program," aiming to support the creation and business operations of startups. A comprehensive system has been formed to provide support, from ideation, incubation and marketing to business expansion. Sony has screened 750 new business projects to date both in Japan and overseas, mostly in house, and from those, it has developed 34 projects and launched 14 businesses. SSAP builds on the experience and know-how gained through the program and delivers startup support services to the external market. Since December 2018, the program has strengthened its platform for external collaboration by establishing a dedicated space within the Sony Head Office for new business projects outside the company. The name was changed to "Sony Startup Acceleration Program" in February 20, 2019.