Chhimi Dema 

The Accelerator Lab, part of UNDP global, aims to address issues in the society by testing innovative solutions from local expertise and wisdom, and speed up the progress towards sustainable development goals.

The launch was held virtually yesterday.

UNDP’s resident representative, Azusa Kubota, said that the Accelerator Lab aims to help accelerate the rate of learning to keep pace with the world while also fast-tracking the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and agenda 2030.

“It is our sincere hope that the Lab serves as a platform to reflect whether the current approaches, systems and mindsets designed to address the 20th-century problems are adequate to tackle the challenges of the 21st century through the application of innovation,” Azusa Kubota said.

The lab consists of the head of exploration, solutions mapping and experimentation to work and test ideas.

Head of solutions mapping, Tshering Wangmo, said that the lab was a new service offering to look at things and do them differently. “The lab focuses on promoting inclusive innovation to build an innovation ecosystem in the country.”

Before the lab was launched UNDP established an innovation unit last year which initiated system-based approaches to youth unemployment and waste management issues. The unit serves as a foundation for the lab.

Currently, the lab focuses on three frontiers: a system approach to overcome barriers in the youth unemployment landscape, apply behavioural insight interventions in waste management and build an inclusive innovation ecosystem to nurture the culture of innovation.

Tshering Wangmo said that the lab not only focused on these frontiers challenges but went beyond.

UNDP would identity partners such the government, civil society organisations and local innovators to bring innovative ways to address issues, Tshering Wangmo said.

A week before the launch, UNDP initiated the innovation idea challenge as a platform for young innovators.

The idea challenge received 62 ideas within seven days. Three ideas (electronic voting system for persons with disabilities, online system to track the learning progress of high school students and an App providing real-time information on city bus routes) were selected from the challenge.