GIZ Innovation Fund

On March 30, the final pitch of the GIZ Innovation Fund took place. At the event, six international teams presented their innovative solutions to an expert jury, the GIZ Executive Board and the public. 1700+ people watched as teams #ScrollSafe and Waste No Waste convinced the jury and won the Best Product/Service Awards. In the now following Maturation Phase, the two winning teams will receive intensive support in implementing their approaches. 

Did you miss the live event? Watch the recording on YouTube!


The objective: increased effectiveness through innovation

Developing, implementing and rolling out innovative ideas for products, services and business models – that’s the objective of the GIZ Innovation Fund. The companywide ideas competition aims at enhancing our services and improving the impact of our projects, for example by using innovative digital applications.   

GIZ issued its first companywide call for ideas for all employees around the world in 2017. Every year the IF tackles a new challenge. The topic for 2021 is: ‘Build Back Better – Our contribution to a transformative recovery post COVID-19".  

The process: Creating a minimal viable product or service (MVP/S) in the Launchpad and Accelerator Programme

From the pool of all the submitted ideas, the global GIZ community and an expert jury select the 25 ideas with the greatest potential. The selected teams, made up of GIZ intrapreneurs and external partners (e.g. from start-ups and NGOs), validate and improve their ideas in the Launchpad. The Launchpad is a four-week, interactive learning experience on the platform Atingi. After the Launchpad, six teams get the chance to turn their ideas into a tangible product or service in a six-months Accelerator Programme. They receive financial as well as methodological support, drawing on user-centric methods and lean start-up.  

The awards: prizes for the best products or services

After spending half a year on the development process, the six teams present their MVP/Ss to the jury and GIZ’s Management Board, as well as to interested staff and external guests, at a final pitch event. Two winning teams are selected. They receive further methodological support and a budget to implement and roll out their innovative products or services within GIZ.

The outcome: ideas generate results – an example

Of the 98 ideas that were submitted in the call for ideas in 2020, team PartiCipate emerged as one of the six finalists (the challenge: "10x more by 2030: What's your idea to boost the impact and sustainability of our projects? "). "PartiCipate" offers a free consulting service for local governments and civil society actors on E-Participation worldwide. The platform analyzes through a questionnaire which participation methods are suitable for the respective context, considering the needs and digital literacy of the target group and the available digital equipment. The "PartiCipate" enabler kit then presents an overview of possible participation formats and explains the underlying processes. In addition, information on suitable "open source" participation platforms is provided.

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Want to know more?

In the download section below, you can find additional information on successful ideas from former cohorts of the GIZ Innovation Fund. A dynamic insight into the GIZ Innovation Fund is available on YouTube, and we regularly publish the latest news on LinkedIn.