One of UNTIL key roles is to foster partnerships and provide a global perspective for local technology innovation eco-systems already present in the host country. UNTIL provides network connection to other UN Member States and leverages local expertise for global value added. UNTIL engages key actors in the host country and links them through technology solution development and proof of concepts to key actors in other Labs locations.
The following are partners that UNTIL often involves in the programme eco-system:
Government can colLaborate with innovation Labs in executing national initiatives by sharing their data, experience, or resources. In some cases, the public sector has its own research Laboratories, providing a ready network of colLaborative partners and/or the ability to share useful quantifiable data and/or, in other circumstances, the data collected by a Lab can benefit government partners as they seek to reform or launch initiatives.
Academia has strengths in technical knowledge, capacity for research, and enthusiasm. Academic partnerships often include an agreement with a local university, where students from partnering departments have an opportunity to gain real world experience by helping to build projects that make a difference in their community. Local or international academia may also have a research Lab, or recurring academic courses that can share resources—including inviting student teams to work with UNTIL in developing solutions to pervasive challenges. UNTIL also present academia with an opportunity to work closely with the government and private sector globally.
The opportunity to benefit from the existing network and specialized experience of local NGOs is often exploited by UNTIL. The type of expertise that a colLaborating NGO can bring to the innovation Lab includes local outreach, the open source technology community, and/or NGOs operations in a development sector that overlaps with the Lab’s own priority focus. A partnership of this kind can lead to UNTIL focusing on its strategic strengths while a partner provides its own distinct value and connects the Lab to specific communities and issues.
Private sector can contribute to the Lab work in a variety of ways. Mobile or technology providers can partner around the Lab’s services. Manufacturers can produce physical products that are implemented in the field. Companies could also offer space or equipment in return for a supplied service. Additionally, the private sector can share their professional know-how when hosting a skills workshop in the Lab. This provides mutual benefit as companies help build the skills of youth seeking experience through Lab activities, with the idea of finding motivated people for hire.
UN Technology Innovation Lab Network
All Labs in the UNTIL network support one another. Each Lab shares its information and experiments with the others, communicating the aspects and issues that lead to success and those that resulted in failure. Additionally, each Lab carries the potential to create concept models that may be adapted by other Labs. Every implementation is a test bed for potential results that seek to address complex problems. All UNTIL Labs will work together and constitute a network of innovation operating under the UNTIL Global Programme oversight.