On October 31 - November 1 UNDP in Armenia hosted “Partnerships for Innovations in Development” regional workshop in Yerevan. Supported by the “Knowledge Management and Capacity Building in Russia-UNDP Partnership, Phase II” regional project and UNDP in Armenia, the workshop represented the second event in a series of knowledge sharing seminars for Russia-funded UNDP projects.

Innovation, which is a crosscutting theme relevant for all SDGs, was the overarching theme of the workshop. Work on innovations in various fields is featured in several projects of the Russia-UNDP Trust Fund for Development (TFD), such as innovations for “green economy” in the integrated development of Osh region in Kyrgyzstan, support for business innovation coaching for scaling up and business growth in agribusiness and food-processing industry in Serbia, promoting innovations in youth and female entrepreneurship in Tajikistan, sharing Russian expertise on techno parks.

During the event, the host country, Armenia, shared its innovation portfolio, including Climate Change Tech Accelerator, Integrated Rural Tourism Development, Integrated Support to Rural Communities and Armenia National SDG Lab, among many others. Presentations were followed by active discussions on topics ranging from professions of the future, innovation ecosystems and startups, innovation in various fields, including agriculture, plastic management, and energy efficiency. As was mentioned during the discussions, human capital development is the main factor determining the level of competitiveness of the country on the international scene and its innovation progress. Thus, the necessity to invest in young people and share the lessons learned across borders.

The workshop was open to wide range of participants from ministries of Republic of Armenia and Russian Federation, as well as representatives from the UNDP Country offices from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Serbia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan.

The 2-day workshop was followed by “Rethinking Innovation: Tech for Climate” event co-organized by ISTC Foundation, Founders Institute Yerevan, Enterprise Incubator Foundation, and UNDP in Armenia’s ImpactAim Venture Accelerator. During the first Demo Day of Climate Change Technology Accelerator, the start-ups presented forestry- and agriculture-related projects developed during the acceleration process to the workshop participants, guests from the Government and private sector.

Climate Change Technology Accelerator is one of the components of “Addressing Climate Change Impact Through Enhanced Capacity for Wildfires Management in Armenia” project funded by Russia and implemented jointly with Ministry of Nature Protection of Armenia. The core mission of CCTA is to establish a sustainable mechanism for the promotion of innovations and replication of technological solutions in climate change adaptation and mitigation activities related to agriculture and forestry sector.

Partnerships for innovation is not only about supporting a change in Armenia or the region. It is about changing how the UNDP works. When we overcome siloes, leverage all of the society’s resources and involve all the possible usual and non-usual stakeholders, we produce better public outcomes and more public value.

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