The Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW) in Geneva, Switzerland

The project Innovation Laboratories for Climate Actions (ILCA) participated in the United Nations humanitarian cooperation week in April in Geneva, Switzerland. The Finnish government is involved in organizing the event with its partners. ILCA project’s coordinator Savonia University of Applied Sciences is part of the Finnish delegation. On April 27, 2023, the ILCA project organized two seminars at the HNPW event with the Finnish delegation. The Finnish delegation’s theme was Innovations for Humanitarian Needs.

The first seminar Innovation Laboratories for Climate Actions in Humanitarian Crisis Situations focused on new forms of collaboration in humanitarian crisis situations. EIT-Climate-KIC (supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology) built a big picture of the importance of innovation; EIT Climate-KIC’s response to the climate emergency has been to focus their efforts on systems innovation, to generate options and pathways for radical transformations in countries, cities and regions. ILCA partners presented the Climate Roadmap process in Ukraine’s agriculture, municipality and energy.

The second seminar International Cooperation in R&D and Innovation for Disasters and Crisis focused on new forms of R&D and innovation to support the recovery of Ukraine’s society while contributing to the green transition of the country.  Ministry of the Interior, Finland reminded us that when we talk about Research, Development and Innovation, quite often we think about tools, programmes or applications that have been invented. Above these – innovation and development can be the people forming networks, which might use technical solutions. European Commission’s (DG Agriculture and Rural Development) theme was Building-up resilience through EU pre-accession assistance in the agri-food sector. United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) motivate the application of new knowledge and approaches in disaster risk reduction, with an emphasis on the development and use of more effective products, processes, services, technologies, and business models. ILCA partners presented how they strengthen human capital in climate innovation and entrepreneurship by training and mentoring students, academic and non-academic staff in systemic problem-solving.

Participating in the event showed us how networks are also part of preparedness for crises and exceptional situations. Therefore we can act quickly because we know each other, we know our mandates, and we know the people we would work with. We see networking as a cornerstone of societal resilience where every stakeholder has an irreplaceable role.

The Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW) is a humanitarian conference organised annually by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). It is one of the largest events of its kind, that provides a collaborative space for practitioners and experts from a large variety of humanitarian stakeholders including UN agencies, NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, academia, the military, private sector initiatives, and Member States.The project Innovation Laboratories for Climate Actions (ILCA) unites five higher education institutions and three research organisations under the theme of climate in Ukraine, Finland, Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria. They will develop research-and-innovation projects based on pre-defined mission areas for climate actions,

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