Philips Foundation announces global innovation partnerships with the Red Cross and UNICEF

Posted on 23 Jan 2015 by Tim Brown

The Philips Foundation has formed global innovation partnerships with UNICEF and the Red Cross to drive innovation through technology.

Collaboration will be based on new types of co-creation models that enable the partners to identify opportunities for innovation based on shared value, while benefiting from a global reach of over 190 countries.

The Philips Foundation, which was established in 2014, will utilize the core expertise of Philips in research, design and technology to create solutions for addressing healthcare and lighting challenges in disadvantaged communities or those affected by disasters.

“In 2015, as the world prepares to define the Post-2015 Development Agenda, it’s clear that the only way to overcome many of the global challenges is through cross-sector collaboration,” said Ronald de Jong, Chief Market Leader at Royal Philips and Chairman of the Philips Foundation. “We look forward to leveraging the expertise and people from each organization. Consolidating these efforts into these global partnerships under the Philips Foundation is a logical and exciting step in contributing to our company’s mission to improve the lives of 3 billion people by 2025.”

The Red Cross and the Philips Foundation will focus on exploring innovations and technology that could assist in providing immediate relief to people in regions affected by humanitarian crises including natural disasters. Key areas of cooperation include exploring ways to improve healthcare, providing powerful solar lighting to enhance safety in affected communities, and understanding how existing technology or sustainable practices could be utilized in emergency management.

“As the world faces an unprecedented number of crises, the gap between the vast humanitarian needs and the ability to respond adequately is widening,” said Yves Daccord, Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “We need to find more innovative ways of responding to needs that will enable us to bring aid more effectively and quickly to millions of people who require it. The partnership with the Philips
Foundation will play a crucial role in helping us innovate and shape the future of humanitarian aid.”

The Philips Foundation and UNICEF have partnered to develop new healthcare innovations for the first 1000 days of children’s lives, from the moment of conception up until the age of two – as this is a crucial period for children to build the basis to be able to thrive. To kick start the partnership, the Philips Foundation will support the global innovation agenda of UNICEF and intends to be a lead partner in the Maker Movement project in Nairobi, which is focused on developing and deploying solutions and new business models that improve access to healthcare for mothers and their children in low-resource settings.

“We work to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future. The first 1000 days of a child’s life are crucial. Today, approximately 18 million mothers around the world still do not receive proper antenatal and neonatal care. Partnering with the Philips Foundation allows us to work with experts in cutting-edge healthcare technologies and adapt innovations to the realities of the regions and local communities we work in,” said Sharad Sapra, Principal Adviser and Director of the UNICEF Innovation Center.

Additionally, the Philips Foundation will support Philips’ country organizations with local community programs and use innovation, products, expertise and employee support in the areas of healthcare and lighting. This enables the Foundation build on and complement existing Philips projects such as the community light centers program with the KNVB across Africa and Latin America, the Community Life Center in Kenya, the mobile obstetrical monitoring to reduce maternal mortality in Indonesia, and the Design for Empowerment program.