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February 20, 2020
United Nations Office for Project Services
Tokyo, Japan—The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and Sony Corporation today announced that they have entered into an agreement to collaborate on the pursuit of innovation.
Sony is the first company in the world to enter into a collaboration agreement in the area of innovation with UNOPS.
In this collaboration, UNOPS and Sony will jointly select startups and technology companies, focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to work together with UNOPS. The selection will utilize the knowledge and know-how of the Sony Startup Acceleration Program (SSAP), which provides seamless support for the creation and business operations of startups. The selected startups and companies can receive various forms of support from SSAP, from ideation, incubation and marketing to business expansion. UNOPS and Sony will also cooperate in various ways, including co-hosting workshops and participating together in events they host.
UNOPS is committed to recruiting and nurturing startups to address the challenges targeted by the SDGs so that the United Nations and partners can more effectively engage in peacebuilding, humanitarian, and development activities. Sony, for its part, has supported the creation and business operations of many new businesses via SSAP, achieving results both internally and externally. UNOPS and Sony have agreed to collaborate on the support of startups participating in UNOPS projects by leveraging each other's assets, knowledge, and know-how for the purpose of helping them continue to grow their businesses. By supporting the creation and business operations of startups that create new value for the world, UNOPS and Sony will continue to work on solving various issues targeted by SDGs and contribute to the development of a sustainable society.
Going forward, UNOPS and Sony will consider broadening the scope of collaboration beyond innovation to a wide range of other fields.
"UNOPS is strongly committed to helping address our world's biggest challenges." said UNOPS Executive Director, Grete Faremo. "Innovation, technology and bold new partnerships between the public and private sectors will all be needed to ensure that we make real progress towards implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, including ending poverty, reducing inequalities and tackling the climate crisis." she added.
"SSAP is a Sony program that aims to create new values in the world and to establish prosperous society by supporting the creation and business operations of startups," said Shinji Odashima, Deputy Senior General Manager, Startup Acceleration Division, Sony Corporation. "Through the collaboration with UNOPS, we will promote solutions to social issues by supporting more social entrepreneurs. We will strive to realize the ideas of everyone and create a sustainable and prosperous society."
The United Nations Office for Project Services is a United Nations agency headquartered in Copenhagen that specializes in project implementation. UNOPS promotes projects for aid projects based on requests from other United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, donor countries and recipient country governments.
The Sony Startup Acceleration Program was originally launched in 2014 by Sony as the "Seed Acceleration Program," aiming to support the creation and business operations of startups. A comprehensive system has been formed to provide support, from ideation, incubation and marketing to business expansion. Sony has screened 750 new business projects to date both in Japan and overseas, mostly in house, and from those, it has developed 34 projects and launched 14 businesses. SSAP builds on the experience and know-how gained through the program and delivers startup support services to the external market. Since December 2018, the program has strengthened its platform for external collaboration by establishing a dedicated space within the Sony Head Office for new business projects outside the company. The name was changed to "Sony Startup Acceleration Program" in February 20, 2019.