The UN launches a call for innovations to tackle COVID-19 and accelerate sustainable development

A golden opportunity to present, if selected, your innovation at the UN Virtual Forum for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) 2021.


Do you have an innovation developed or adapted to address COVID-19-associated disruptions that will remain relevant beyond the pandemic to help accelerate progress towards one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

Then, you have until 26 March 2021 to submit your application and have the opportunity to present yourself on the virtual UN stage on 4 and 5 May.

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in collaboration with Global Innovation Exchange (GIE), seeks innovations that fit into one of the below categories: 

  1. Innovations that focus on essential nutrition and healthcare services, particularly HIV, tuberculosis, and maternal, newborn and child healthcare services. (SDG 2 & SDG 3)
  2. Education innovations to reduce the inequalities COVID-19 has placed on students from low socioeconomic households. (SDG 4)
  3. Innovations that respond or prevent gender-based violence or intimate partner violence (SDG 5). 
  4. Innovations that focus on vulnerable and marginalized populations that have been hit hardest by the pandemic including: older persons, persons with disabilities, children, women, migrants and refugees, and indigenous populations (SDG 1, SDG 10). 

To apply and get more information on eligibility criteria, click here.

What if you are selected?

You could then not only present your expertise and innovation at the UN Virtual Forum for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) 2021 on 4 and 5 May but also:

  1. Get expert coaching to prepare Ted Talk style lightning talks for the virtual UN stage
  2. Engage in peer feedback and learning
  3. Network with STI Forum attendees relevant to the innovation – other innovators, those who can support or scale up your innovations, and those seeking to utilize such innovations
  4. Receive a recording of the lightning talk to demonstrate they were “on stage at the UN”
  5. Potentially be included in other learning and exposure activities such as a social media campaign, case studies…

Submit your innovation before Friday 26 March 2021 via the Global Innovation Exchange at