UNICEF Innovation Fund 2021 for Frontier Technology Solutions for Child Online Safety - Apply Now!

UNICEF Innovation Fund 2021 for Frontier Technology Solutions for Child Online Safety – Apply Now!

UNICEF Innovation Fund 2021 for Frontier Technology Solutions for Child Online Safety is currently collecting applications from companies registered in UNICEF programme countries.

About the Award

The UNICEF Innovation Fund in partnership with the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children and Giga is looking to make up to $100K equity-free investments to provide early-stage (seed) finance to for-profit technology start-ups that have the potential to benefit humanity.

If you are a start-up using machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain or extended reality, registered in one of UNICEF’s programme countries, and have a working, open-source prototype (or you are willing to make it open-source) showing promising results, the UNICEF Innovation Fund is looking for you.

Eligible Field(s): 

We are currently looking to invest in companies that are using machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain or extended reality (virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR)) technologies to build software solutions that respond to the four broad categories of digital risks to children: Content, Contact, Conduct and Contract Risks.nb


Projects are assessed by the UNICEF Innovation Fund team and recommended for funding to the internal board. Companies need to fulfill the following mandatory requirements to be considered for funding

  • Registered as a private company
  • Registered in a UNICEF programme country (see list here)
  • Working on open source technology solutions (or willing to be open source) under the following licenses or their equivalent:
  • (i) for software, a BSD license, 
  • (ii) for hardware, a CERN license and 
  • (iii)  a CC-BY license for design or content, a CC-BY license
  • An existing prototype of the open source solution with promising results from initial pilots
  • Solution has the potential to positively impact the lives of the most vulnerable children      
  • Generating publicly exposed real-time data that is measurable

Please review the additional information for the Request for Expression of Interest here.

Selection Criteria: 

The following criteria will be used:

  • Relevance of solution for children and young people, problem-solution fit and potential for application at global scale
  • Novelty of project and alignment with Innovation Principles 
  • Suitability of the team and key personnel to implement the project
  • Project budget and financing

Eligible Countries: 

UNICEF Innovation Fund only accepts submissions from companies registered in UNICEF programme countries. See the list of countries here

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award:

  • All companies of the portfolio receive tailored support for product development, building a business model, and user testing based on their own needs assessment.
  • Startups also gain access to the UNICEF Ventures team’s tech expertise, networks and platforms to help them reach the stage where they can prove that their solutions work and tap into larger funding sources.
  • We provide up to $100K equity-free funding to open source frontier tech solutions showing promising results. The funding is intended for prototype testing and validation, and to get the solution  to a stage where the company has proof that the solution and the business model work. This includes being able to generate data to show impact, usability and strategy.

How to Apply:

  1. Read the full Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) document here
  2. Submit your Expression of Interest here
  • It is important to go through all application requirements in the Award Webpage (see Link below) before applying.

Application Deadline: 20th December 2020

Visit Award Webpage for Details

Important Notes: Female-founded startups are encouraged to apply.