UK and UNICEF Innovation Leaders Converge in Copenhagen

Press Release


COPENHAGEN, 1 November 2012 - A unique consortium of innovation experts from industry, government and academia have applied their knowledge and experience to help UNICEF establish an effective pathway for product and technology innovation as part of a one-day forum held today. 


The UNICEF Innovation Leader’s consortium, in partnership with the British Embassy Copenhagen and innovation specialists, Viadynamics, brought together thought leaders from the UK and Denmark with UNICEF’s procurement and contracting teams to tackle several pre-commercial procurement challenges.


“The forum was an opportunity for UNICEF to learn from other public procurement agencies, industry and academia on how they approach product and technology development, and the mechanisms they utilise to do this effectively. The expertise and learning shared by participants around the UNICEF innovation projects presented today have given us a set of principles for engaging in pre-commercial co-development and procurement of user-driven solutions,” said Paul Molinaro, Senior Manager, Change and Development, UNICEF Supply Division.


Projects presented to participants included new, yet unproven, technology for testing water quality which has potential to significantly reduce the time taken to detect water contamination at point of use; the ARI timer challenge, which is focused on the introduction of a new method for diagnosing pneumonia and is currently in the pre-commercial phase, and the Jerry Can challenge which looks at how prototype, pilot and scale up supply of a water carrier redesigned in partnership with UNICEF, industry and academia.


 “It is fantastic to see such an exciting mix of leading UK research institutions, innovation experts, and public procurement representatives from engaging with the UNICEF innovation team during this forum. It has been a highly effective platform to create the foundations for industry, academia and UNICEF to develop cutting edge innovation that has yet to be commercialised,” Simon Nicklin, Director of UKTI Denmark said.


Participating organizations included representatives from the UK’s National Health Service Innovation Centre, the Department of Health Innovation Division, the Department of International Development, Ashoka, University of Cambridge, Warwick Ventures, Durham Business and Innovation Services, Durham University’s Wolfson Institute for Health and Wellbeing, UCL Business, Edinburgh Research and Innovation, the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Confederation of Danish Industry.  


Nick Duggan from innovation specialists, Viadynamics, commented, “We were delighted to be involved in organising this exciting workshop and to be working with UNICEF and the innovation thought leaders who attended the event. We look forward to seeing the workshop outputs help drive effective interventions by UNICEF as they align their innovation efforts with  universities, corporations SMEs and social entrepreneurs, accelerate and de-risk this innovation, and drive delivery to the people who need it most – the children of the world”.



 For more information please contact Daniel Elliott

or Maria Ieroianni