Aiming to meet current global challenges, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) established an innovation lab – InnoLab – in 2023 to foster “progress by innovation”. It works to cultivate innovation in the organization to drive economic growth, social progress and environmental sustainability.

We at UN Global Pulse share the same vision – to propel the UN 2.0 transformation agenda and accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our Innovation Scaling team started collaborating with UNIDO in late 2022, with the aim of boosting UNIDO’s innovation capabilities, particularly in bringing innovations to scale.

In our first engagement, we worked closely with InnoLab to:

  • Understand needs, current practices and opportunities for innovation;
  • Facilitate capacity-building to help UNIDO better define their innovation value proposition;
  • Contribute to UNIDO’s advocacy in support of innovation. 

Our impact

Our Innovation Scaling team consulted some 20 representatives from five directorates at UNIDO headquarters. The resulting insights informed the development of InnoLab’s value proposition for mainstreaming innovation across its organization. 

The lessons we learnt in our first collaboration are now informing the next engagement between UNIDO and UN Global Pulse, which aims to help InnoLab incorporate scale acceleration services. These will enable InnoLab to define scale-readiness and prepare scaling strategies for their innovations. 

Also, UNIDO and UN Global Pulse participated jointly in the 8th Multi-Stakeholder Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Forum in May 2023. An online side event on “Partnering to Build Innovation Capacities for UN 2.0: the Case of Innovation Labs” focused on how innovation can speed up progress towards achieving SDGs. We highlighted the importance of partnering to strengthen the UN’s ability to innovate.

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