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Tsinghua University and UNICEF launch innovation partnership to help reach some of the world’s most disadvantaged children

The partnership includes the establishment of the Tsinghua Global Innovation Centre for Children

© UNICEF China
UNICEF Deputy Exectuive Director Yoka Brandt meets with officials at Tsinghua University.

BEIJING, 22 March 2016 – Tsinghua University and UNICEF announced a new long-term partnership to leverage the use of innovation, design and technology, in helping to reach some of the poorest and most disadvantaged children across the world.

The partnership, launched at an official signing event at Tsinghua by Chancellor of Tsinghua University Dr Chen Xu and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Brandt, will bring together creative problem solvers from China and around the world to develop innovative solutions towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by United Nations Member States in September 2015.

Innovation is a critical part of achieving sustainable development and the Government of China is committed to building on the success of the Millennium Development Goals and achieving the SDGs. The SDGs, and how China will work to achieve them, are aligned to China’s 13th Five-Year Plan.

“Tsinghua is dedicated to educating the next generation of innovators who are committed to bring about transformational technological breakthrough as well as positive social change. Partnering with UNICEF provides an opportunity for Tsinghua to partake in the global cause for children and sustainable development,” Dr Chen Xu said.

The partnership includes the establishment of a Global Innovation Centre for Children, which will create products and services to improve the wellbeing of the most vulnerable children in China and beyond. The partnership aims to use innovation to leverage cross-sectorial collaboration from academia, young people, and the private sector as well as South-South cooperation.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity to tackle some of the immense challenges faced by children in China and across the world, through creative and innovative solutions,” Brandt said. “The new partnership with Tsinghua University is a vehicle for concrete and practical action to improve the lives of millions of children.”

The high-level and strategic partnership was signed after two years of cooperation that has included a youth-focused “Design for UNICEF” class, which exposed young people to some of the real challenges children face, and potential solutions, as well as a Youth Innovation Forum which brought together young innovators from the Global South last October.


About the partnership
The partnership will:

  • Jointly create human-centred, open source products and services to support the most vulnerable children and women, especially in developing countries, leveraging private and public sector advancements in areas including real-time information, big data, wearable and mobile technologies;
  • Identify exemplary projects, products and services developed in China that can improve welfare, public services and governance, and evaluate their potential to be adapted, localized and scaled-up in other contexts, and contribute to international development and South-South cooperation;
  • Enhance the leadership, global citizenship and innovation capacity of young people, and inspire them to create public goods and generate positive social and global value;
  • Improve the understanding of children’s welfare and sustainable development, and encourage public dialogues and participation in initiatives aimed at improving children’s lives.

About Tsinghua
Advancing a tradition of academic excellence, Tsinghua University is a pacesetter for innovation in China. It has become a leading world university in just over 100 years. Tsinghua University excels in its fundamental task of high-level personnel training, and also serves as an indispensable base for China's scientific and technological innovation. It is among the most selective universities in the Asia-Pacific region, and a trusted global partner for researchers and academics.

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:
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For further information please contact:
Shantha Bloemen, UNICEF China, +8610 85312610,
Zhiyao Ma, UNICEF China, +8610 85312616,




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