“In the humanitarian field, the challenges are constantly multiplying and require new and innovative solutions. However, we can only meet the major challenges of our time together and by combining our expertise. This is why I call on all eligible companies to participate in the Humanitarian Innovation Accelerator and to submit their innovative projects to us – together, we can make a lasting and real difference in the humanitarian sector,” says Franz Fayot, Minister of Cooperation and of Humanitarian action.
Humanitarian Innovation Accelerator: Innovative solutions
According to United Nations estimates, a record of 339 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection in 2023. The Humanitarian Innovation Accelerator (HIA), which is powered by the Directorate of Cooperation and Humanitarian Action of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg, in close collaboration with the World Food Program (WFP) and the Austrian Development Agency, aims to pilot the development and scaling up of innovative solutions in order to solve emergency and humanitarian challenges faced by vulnerable populations and humanitarian actors.
The call for projects targets innovative entrepreneurs all over the world, who through their products and/or services bring a positive and lasting impact to the humanitarian aid sector, particularly in the fields of emergency management, access to services and data management and communication.
Artificial intelligence, space, healthtech, logistics
The HIA is particularly interested in solutions from the sectors of artificial intelligence, space, healthtech, supply chain and logistics, and data sciences. It wishes to support proposals that are likely to be implemented at scale in different crisis contexts as well as in different geographical areas. Simultaneously and ideally, these solutions also take into account the greening of humanitarian action, the environment and gender aspects as well as the needs of vulnerable communities including LGBTIQ, seniors and people living with disabilities.
Support and funding
The HIA programme has been designed to support ventures and solutions at different stages of development. It has two workstreams: 1) Scaling and 2) Early Stage. The selected ventures and solutions for both workstreams in the programme will:
- Be invited to participate in a fully virtual WFP Innovation Bootcamp in early June 2023.
- Be invited to attend an in-person pitch event in Luxembourg on 29 June 2023.
- Be able to apply for the WFP Sprint Programme, which is a 6 to 12 monthacceleration programme with access to:
- Support from the WFP Innovation Accelerator and relevant partners through the duration of their Sprints.
- Mentorship and access to a global network of relevant stakeholders in the humanitarian space.
- Equity-free funding for the implementation of a proposed growth plan.
Funding will depend on the corresponding workstream: up to US$500,000 in the Scaling workstream and up to US$130,000 in the Early Stage workstream.
Solutions that have proven their concepts, scale and value for social impact may qualify for further funding and support.
Pitch event co-organised with Luxinnovation
The best products and services submitted to this call will be invited to pitch at a live Pitch Event on 29 June 2023 in Luxembourg. During this event, co-organised with Luxinnovation, Luxembourg’s national innovation agency, the winning projects of the call will be selected. The winners will then have access to funding, mentoring and connections with Luxembourg’s economic and humanitarian ecosystem.
Images: © Humanitarian Innovation Accelerator