UNICEF through its Innovation Fund, is looking at making a $100,000 zero-equity investment in drone startups to help benefit humanity.

The Innovation Fund is aimed at supporting startups in developing solutions such as:

  • Remote transfer or processing of visual data over low bandwidth.
  • Artificial intelligence and deep learning algorithms for feature detection and counting.
  • Data management portal and stakeholder access protocol management.
  • Business models and sustainable drone services in emerging markets.

Other Areas

The other areas the fund will support include:

  • Development of new services through the use of existing third -party drones for transport, image capturing and analysis.
  • Air Safety, risk management tools and unmanned Traffic Management (UTM)systems.
  • Stimulation tools for managing altitude, navigation deconfliction, schedules, routings or fleet management.
  • Machine to machine or vehicle to vehicle anti -collision software and neutral networks.

Startups with open source modular hardware solutions will also be considered.

However, to be part of this funding, the drone startup must be registered in Unicef’s programme.

Also innovators with a working, open-source drone prototype or service under the BSD,CERN or CC BY License have been given up to 22, July to submit their applications.

The UNICEF Innovation Funds will support selected startups with between $50,000 and $100 000 in equity-free seed funding to use in prototype testing and validation.

UNICEF will provide them with technical assistance and access to its 6500m2 drone corridor in Malawi.

Afterwards, the selected startups will be supported with technical assistance from the UNICEF Ventures team, as well as access to Unicef’s networks and platforms.