Innovation for global health and education

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The Norwegian business sector and various relevant experts have submitted a total of 116 proposals for how Norway can help to achieve a new set of ambitious goals and targets for education and global health over the next 15 years. This is in response to the Government’s invitation under ‘Vision 2030’ to provide input to the negotiations in the UN on the Sustainable Development Goals, which are to be adopted in New York later this year.

‘I am impressed by the extensive response to Vision 2030 and the quality of the input we have received,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. ‘It is clear that innovative and sustainable solutions that can help the world achieve the new set of goals are being thought up in Norway. The new agenda is to be ambitious, but also realistic. It’s not just money that’s needed to bring about sustainable development over the next 15 years, but also new ideas.’

Many of the proposals consider health and education in connection with one another. There are many creative solutions. One proposal is to develop an educational app for children and young people with type 1 diabetes. This is based on an app that is already widely used by people with diabetes in Norway, and can be adapted for use in developing countries.

Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie commented, ‘We are very pleased that so many good suggestions and ideas have been presented. The Sustainable Development Goals that are to be adopted later this year will be universal. Several of the proposals may be relevant both for us and for developing countries.’

Among the proposals submitted are:

  • Aesthetic, multifunctional solar-powered lights for use in hospitals and schools. 
  • Reasonably priced or free internet access using data compression technology, provided through innovative cooperation between the public and private sector.
  • ‘Speed schools’ that enable children and young people who have not had the opportunity to attend school, or have dropped out for a while, to catch up before going back to school.
  • An app for children with literacy difficulties.  

‘There are several proposals for digital educational games, especially for developing numeracy and literacy skills. It’s good to see that Norwegian expertise in the education sector can be used to benefit people in other countries,’ said Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.

Representatives from Norad, Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Directorate of Health will now consider the proposals. The best will be presented at the Vision 2030 conference to be held in Trondheim on 3 March.

‘It’s important for us to gain a better picture of the creativity and innovation that is to be found in Norway, and that we use these ideas to achieve the new set of goals to make the world a better place,’ said Mr Brende.

Press contacts:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Astrid Versto, mobile phone: +47 90192920
Ministry of Health and Care Services: Andreas Keus, mobile phone: +47 95072023
Ministry of Education and Research: Siri Baastad, mobile phone: +47 99633534