Beijing, October 12, 2015 —— Finding cost effective solutions to development challenges impacting children is the goal of a dynamic partnership between Tsinghua University and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The Global Innovation Centre for Children opened at Tsinghua University (TUGICC) with a photo exhibit followed by the inaugural steering committee meeting where members exchanged ideas and agreed on strategic directions and work plans.
Over the next three years, TUGICC is committed to addressing challenges facing the world’s children in three main areas; maternal, newborn and child health; climate change and renewable energy; and inclusive learning.
Group photo of representatives from Tsinghua University and UNICEF China office at the centre’s launch ceremony. ©Tsinghua
To begin to tackle challenges within these areas, TUGICC will establish cross-disciplinary teams, utilize innovative technology and design methods, and collaborate broadly with partners and stakeholders to create products and services for children, families and their communities. A range of programmes and activities at different scales are under development. Thus far, TUGICC has initiated programs in inclusive learning, and maternal, newborn and child health. Four expert panels are being convened in child psychology, renewable energy, as well as medical devices and biomedical research.
Cynthia McCaffrey, Director of UNICEF’s Office of Innovation speaks at the ceremony. ©Tsinghua
“We want to find, test and scale solutions that reach more children, faster everywhere in this world,” said Cynthia McCaffrey, Director of UNICEF’s Office of Innovation. “In recent years, UNICEF has worked with partners to leverage technology to accomplish things such as doubling birth registration in Uganda and cutting in half the time it takes to deliver HIV test results. We look at all these accomplishments and know that together here — at the Global Innovation Center for Children, Tsinghua University – we can find the next innovations that will accelerate life-saving and life-changing solutions for children.”
Professor Xie Weihe, Deputy chair of the University council, spoke at the ceremony, “Tsinghua University and UNICEF have a sound basis for partnership. The operationalization of TUGICC marks a new milestone of the partnership. UNICEF has been working for and has made tremendous achievements for children’s rights around the world, in particular in developing countries. Tsinghua is also making efforts and innovating towards such goals. I am convinced our partnership will improve the welfare of the world’s children.”
“Innovation is not just about creating novel consumer products, but meeting the needs and safeguarding the rights of children, women, and disadvantaged communities,” Professor Lu, Director of TUGICC said, introducing TUGICC’s vision, focus areas and work plan. “Innovation in design and technology, ranging from new products, services, business models and working methodologies, can improve access to information, opportunity and choice, and support the realization of rights to survival, development, participation and reaching of full potential.”
Director of TUGICC Prof LU Xiaobo and Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to China announce the opening of TUGICC. ©Tsinghua
TUGICC is unique in that it is a global partnership between a leading academic institution and a United Nations agency dedicated to children’s rights. It is rooted in China’s socio-economic development, responds to China’s national strategy of innovation, and aims at solving problems beyond China for the world’s children through south-south and triangular cooperation.
Parallel to the opening is a photo exhibit, telling stories of children from different social, economic and cultural backgrounds. Through these lenses, the photo exhibit aims at promoting the exploration of perceptions and realities.
The Global Innovation Centre for Children, Tsinghua University (TUGICC) is a research and partnership platform between Tsinghua University and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to innovate for the world’s most vulnerable children and communities. It is established under the framework of a global strategic partnership between Tsinghua and UNICEF.
Innovation is not just about creating novel consumer products, but meeting the needs and safeguarding the rights of children, women, and disadvantaged communities. Innovation in design and technology, ranging from new products, services, business models and working methodologies, can improve access to information, opportunity,and choice, and support the realization of rights to survival, development, and reach of full potential.