World Creativity and Innovation Day – progress of the current Challenge Fund projects

The United Nations designated 21 April as World Creativity and Innovation Day to raise the awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development. Czech-UNDP Partnership for SDGs (CUP) recognizes the importance of innovations and their positive effect on the sustainable development. Therefore, every year CUP supports multiple innovative projects in 6 countries (Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Zambia, Cambodia and Ethiopia).

Currently, there are 12 ongoing projects in 4 priority countries with different approaches to innovations. This week, we will gradually introduce all of them, how their implementation progressed in the last months and what is the expected outcome of the projects. Enjoy!

Projects in Georgia
  • Sustainable tea in Guria: Guria is a rural area which has a long tradition of tea production, yet there is a big unemployment problem in the area. A Czech tea manufacturer Petr Sic has been active in the region for over a decade and currently works with 120 small family-owned tea production places. This project aims to increase local eco-production from 0.5 ha to 3 ha, with a focus to receive an organic tea certification that would allow local producers to sell their tea to larger customers. Initiation of organic certification process has already started, together with reconstruction of the factory and ordering new machines for local suppliers. Cooperation with Caucascert (certification organization) was established.
  • Implementation of Smart city platform with public portal in the city of Tbilisi: Incinity is a Czech innovator, which will implement Invipo smart-city platform to the city of Tbilisi. This will include environmental monitoring, waste management and public transport information that will be shared with the public via a web portal. For this project, it was necessary to establish local partnerships and together with them analyze how the best implement the project according to the local needs. Implementation plan was introduced to the city hall representatives and currently is being installed.

  • Behavioral insights for low uptake of HIV testing in Georgia: Even though Georgia belongs to HIV low prevalence countries, the rapid spread is expected in the near future as approximately 40 percent of infected persons are not aware of their HIV-positive status. Therefore, in cooperation with NGO Caritas, this project seeks to increase HIV testing in the country. So far, a protocol for stigma-free advisory and service provision was developed and website and communication campaign was released. There is an ongoing analysis of the behavioral insights conducted by project researchers and there will be a pilot HIV self-testing solution at the end of the project.
  • Innovative Laboratory – Building local innovation ecosystem around Rustavi´s Business Incubator: Since 2018 Rustavi´s Innovation Hub has been running a series of projects which increase youth participation and engagement such as providing support for start-ups. The current project implemented by seeks to use the existing platform and uses the space of the Business Incubator to provide development opportunities for young people in Rustavi. It plans to establish partnerships between local students, businesses and stakeholders following a model of existing Innovation Laboratory from the Faculty of Information Technology at the CTU Prague. The project succeeded to sign cooperation agreements with Rustavi Innovation Hub and Business and Technology University. In addition, trainers from CTU joined the project as the trainers and partnerships with 5 big Georgian companies were established. 22 young people were selected to participate in the project and currently are going through the training that will help them to develop competencies relevant for the labor market.
Projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Adaptive traffic control with advanced detection and V2X emergency vehicles priority in Bosnia and Herzegovina: This project aims to implement first modern adaptive traffic control system based on the newest European standard V2X at selected intersections in Banja Luka. This control system adapts to actual traffic level detected by cameras with advanced data analytics with emergency vehicle priority. This so far does not exist in the country and has a potential to scale-up. Cross Zlin, a.s. is the Czech innovator, which provides the innovative solution for this project. So far, intersection analysis was prepared, the intersections were chosen and the infrastructure was prepared for the installation.

On Thursday the rest of our ongoing projects will be introduced – namely 5 projects in Moldova and 2 projects Ethiopia.