UNTIL – Partnerships for a Stronger Tomorrow
We believe in working together for a stronger tomorrow. As the mandated technology office of the UN Secretariat, we build partnerships from within other UN agencies and departments to create sustainable emerging technology tools to achieve the SDG’s. Building sustainable solutions includes forging strong partnerships with public/private partners, global businesses and member states. Harnessing the strengths and abilities of others from different corners of the UNTIL ecosystem is one of the most strategic ways to scale innovation and solve complex challenges to wicked global problems.
We believe in supporting each other's strengths because strategic partnerships enable the UN to bring the best in talent and innovation forward. The UNTIL ecosystem has unique strengths in the emerging technology space, and our partnership strategy plays to those strengths letting our partners shine. It's rewarding to see how doing so generates functional and creative solutions. We regularly partner with other innovation teams and across geographies to learn from their expertise and apply key learnings to our own work.
Partnering with UNTIL falls into 5 broad categories:
Member states can collaborate with UNTIL 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.
Academic partners inject enthusiasm, brilliant ideas for future solutions and new talent to build better innovation. We often include an agreement with a local university, where students from cross disciplinary departments have an opportunity to gain real world experience by helping to build projects. 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 challenges.
We believe that building sustainable innovation is aided by working with the network and specialized experience of local NGOs. UNTIL focuses on our strategic strengths while a partner provides its own distinct value and connects the Lab to specific communities and issues.
We cannot achieve solutions to keep up with the exponential changes of technology and humanitarian needs without the private sector. This is key to the UNTIL network’s sustainability and success in a variety of ways. From sharing their professional know-how or hosting a skills workshop in the Lab, to contributing financially to Proof of Concepts, this is a critical area for sustainable emerging technology tool development.
UN Technology Innovation Lab Network
The most important part of the UNTIL network is that they support one another. Each Lab shares its open source information and experiments with the others, communicating the aspects and issues that lead to success and those that resulted in failure. Working on transcending the issues of intellectual property rights and open source to better facilitate technology transfer to the developing and least developed countries.
"The advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including those brought on by a combination of computing power, robotics, big data and artificial intelligence, are generating revolutions in health care, transport and manufacturing.
I am convinced that these new capacities can help us to lift millions of people out of poverty, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and enable developing countries to leap‑frog into a better future."
23 March 2018, New York