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Innovation Hub impresses Pacific Islands head

12 September 2018

The President of Nauru and Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, Baron Waqa, has welcomed a Commonwealth programme aimed at sharing innovative solutions to development problems, during a presentation on the Commonwealth Innovation Hub by Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.

“Talent comes in many sizes,” she told members of Nauru’s Cabinet who took part in the meeting alongside the President.

She explained that the digital hub offers cost-effective and practical ideas to many of the challenges faced by member countries while trying to improve standards of living and achieve sustainable development.

The presentation included examples of innovation drawn from Nauru, such as its collaboration with Australia to improve education and primary healthcare services, as well as case studies from other countries, all made available through the online resource.

Discussions looked at opportunities to expand the hub content, as well as to promote the programme to current and potential funding partners. 

“The Innovation Hub is guided by the vision of putting the ‘common’ into ‘wealth’, and the ‘wealth’ into ‘common’,” said Secretary-General Scotland. 

The focus areas are to:

  • display and promote innovation across the Commonwealth
  • offer a treasure trove of data and data analysis tools for evidence-based policy and innovative solutions
  • show the new model is inclusive and impact-oriented
  • be a laboratory for new ideas, concepts and pilot projects, and
  • work with partners to make innovation a key engine of sustainable development 

The Secretariat has partnered with the Global Innovation Fund to establish a Commonwealth Innovation Fund. They will jointly raise UK£ 25 million to incubate and accelerate innovative social and business initiatives from across the Commonwealth.

A multi-year partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies will help build a comprehensive Commonwealth database and support projects in the areas of trade, oceans, disaster management, and sustainable development. The partnership is being developed with the World Economic Forum, with an aim to improve understanding of the impact of Fourth Industrial Revolution on Commonwealth countries, and help members devise policies and strategies to prepare for and benefit from it.