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Unicef promotes open source in fight against poverty

Unicef logoUNICEF, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund, has launched a US $9 mn. fund to promote technology start-ups.

The conditions for the programme include the following:

  • The project must be able to improve the living conditions of young people;
  • There must must a working prototype of the technology available;
  • Everything must be made available under an open source licence.

In addition, the start-ups must be registered in a country with an active UNICEF programme. This therefore excludes start-ups based in developed economies in North America and Europe.

The sponsorship is being targeted from the outset solely at smaller companies and the maximum capital injection will usually amount to a maximum US $100,000 per company. UNICEF has no intention of taking a stake in the successful start-ups in return for its funding; the fact that the technology will be open source will be sufficient reward for UNICEF. Networking possibilities and technical support are also promised in addition to funding.

The projects should focus on new possibilities for training and social participation, optimising management by making real-time data available or improving infrastructure in the fields of transport, network access or finance. Everything is possible from blockchain applications to drone hardware via 3D printing. Candidates for funding must apply by 26th February.

See UNICEF’s website for more details of the Innovation Fund.