SBI at the opening of UNOPS GIC Sweden

UNOPS 21 October, 2019

Located in Lund’s Ideon Science Park, the center aims to create an environment that nurtures innovation and fosters partnerships leading to it – helping to identify the solutions and technologies needed to tackle the climate crisis and achieve long-term sustainable development.

The scale and ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) mean that we all need to work together to find innovative solutions to our world’s biggest challenges. This centre provides a space to foster partnerships that help think outside the box and achieve a better world for all.

Grete Faremo - Under-Secretary-General and UNOPS Executive Director
The government of Sweden will contribute to funding the centre over the next few years, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, and Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency. Sweden’s investment is part of its broader efforts to strengthen the connection between the country’s aid initiatives and innovation.

“I am pleased that the UN, through UNOPS, has rightly identified Lund and Sweden as attractive places for innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Sweden’s Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation, Ibrahim Baylan, who attended the event.

“We have a lot to offer here. By establishing the centre [in Lund], Sweden's world-leading innovation capacity can continue to help solve the global challenges addressed in Agenda 2030 and at the same time strengthen Swedish competitiveness,” he added.

Global technology giant Sony is also getting behind UNOPS latest innovation centre. Through its Lund site – which houses one of Sony’s largest research and development centres outside of Japan – some of Sony’s experts in accelerating innovation and design thinking will provide support to help develop solutions to address global development challenges.

“The SDGs constitute an important framework for any company, and Sony will play an active role in helping society reach these goals,” said Sony’s Site Manager in Lund, Stefan Andersson.

Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation, Peter Eriksson, said that solving some of the world’s major challenges requires a strong focus on innovation and research.

“International development assistance must become more efficient and better utilize modern technology as an integral part of poverty reduction and reducing environmental problems,” said Minister Eriksson.

Today’s inauguration comes after a series of successful innovation events were held at another of UNOPS Global Innovation Centres in the Caribbean. Several ‘hackathons’ held at UNOPS Antigua and Barbuda Science and Innovation Park brought experts from world-leading technology, media and renewable energy companies together with local innovators and entrepreneurs, to develop real-world solutions for climate and environmental issues.