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UNICEF to establish innovation hubs in Finland
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will establish two innovation hubs in Finland, the Finnish government announced last month in a press release.
The new centers will focus on innovative financing and the development, testing, and scaling of new solutions in learning.
UNICEF's "Global Learning Innovation Hub" will promote teaching and learning through digital solutions, especially in primary, lower secondary, and upper secondary education.
"The Global Innovative Finance Hub" is to develop new types of financing models and technologies that will benefit the children of the world.
While almost all children in the world start school, 617 million children and young people do not learn even the basic skills at school, the release elaborated.
Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, said the placement of the hubs in Finland is an indication of Finland's commitment to UNICEF's work and the strong innovation expertise in Finland.
"We want to develop new solutions to address the learning crisis in cooperation with children and young people," Skinnari said.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement that partnerships are at the very heart of UNICEF's work to reach every child.
"Together, we're committed to innovating and finding solutions to the challenges facing the world's most vulnerable children," Fore said.
Finland and UNICEF have been collaborating for several years to promote innovation. For example, the government release said that Finland supports the UNICEF Innovation Fund and the development of international policy guidance on artificial intelligence for children.
The new hubs will offer opportunities for multi-sectoral cooperation with the Finnish private and public sector as well as research and civil society organizations. The hubs will enable Finnish technological and social innovations to be utilized more widely throughout the world, the government stated.
UN organizations currently located in Finland are the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), the UN Global Pulse (known earlier as the UN Technology Innovation Laboratory) which focuses on foresight work, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the UN Office for Project Services' (UNOPS) Sustainable Investments in Infrastructure and Innovation (S3i) initiative.