The Philips Foundation Launches UNICEF Global Innovation Center (GIC) in Nairobi


The Philips Foundation commits to innovation that improves the lives of children in need with the launch of the UNICEF Global Innovation Center (GIC) based in Nairobi, Kenya

The GIC based in Nairobi, Kenya is designed to build scale and accelerate innovations that will improve children’s lives around the world

The Philips Foundation has extended its partnership with UNICEF as one of the 5 founding partners and steering committee member of the UNICEF Global Innovation Center (GIC).  The GIC based in Nairobi, Kenya is designed to build scale and accelerate innovations that will improve children’s lives around the world.  The Philips Foundation will also provide UNICEF’s innovation team with consultation and access to Philips innovation processes and solutions as well as the company’s internal network of researchers and designers to solve challenges.

“With the Global Innovation Centre and Innovation Fund, UNICEF is building new forms of engagement between businesses and development organizations that bring resources and expertise, to bear on children’s issues,” said Dr. Sharad Sapra, Director of the UNICEF Global Innovation Centre. “UNICEF welcomes the valuable contribution of the founding members of the Global Innovation Centre and Innovation Fund for their willingness to approach partnerships in an innovative way, and for their commitment to improving children’s lives and futures,” he added.

The Philips Foundation is actively engaging in projects around the world that improve people’s lives since it was incorporated as a charitable organization in 2014.  The Foundation will link UNICEF’s Innovation team with support at Royal Philips to maximize the strength of their current projects and realize opportunities to scale technology across countries even faster.  They will meet this week in a workshop led by Philips Design to bring the GIC committee members together in a collaborative environment to explore the many ways in which each member can engage with innovation opportunities to create the most impactful outcomes for children in the near future. 

“Supporting the UNICEF Global Innovation Centre is a natural next-step in our partnership with UNICEF as it allows us to leverage Royal Philips’ technology, innovation know-how and employees in a really meaningful way to bring scale to social innovators in communities around the world in support of children,” said Ronald de Jong, Member of the Executive Committee at Royal Philips and Chairman of the Philips Foundation.  “Innovation as a means to improve people’s lives is at the heart of who we are at Philips and we increasingly seek engagement and co-creation with strong partners like UNICEF.”

It is the second project in the Philips Foundation-UNICEF partnership following the Maker Movement project which supports social entrepreneurs to create, prototype and scale-up, low-cost maternal and newborn child health equipment in Nairobi, Kenya.  The project also leverages the on-ground expertise of employees at the Philips Africa Innovation Hub in Nairobi ( to mentor social entrepreneurs to support infrastructure.


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