Smart Base H: a Joint Innovation Centre for Humanitarian Innovation

Smart Base H: a Joint Innovation Centre for Humanitarian Innovation

Smart Base H: a Joint Innovation Centre for Humanitarian Innovation

At the end of 2015 there were an estimated 65 million forcibly displaced people globally, 21.3 million of whom were refugees. A growing number of refugee camps have permanent or semi-permanent status. According to estimates, 863 million people around the world live in poor conditions in urban slums, in non-registered or illegal settlements (UN-Habitat, 2014). Smart Base H is aimed at offering a conditioned environment for the development, testing, validation and pre-certification of innovations in the humanitarian sector, facilitating real-time simulations and supporting aid workers. The innovations contribute to:

  • The resilience of the population before, during and after disasters;
  • The resilience of critical infrastructure before, during and after disasters;
  • Better living conditions, such as in slums, informal settlements and/or refugee camps.

Smart Base H makes use of high-tech systems and materials as well as information and communication technology, in combination with knowledge of behaviour, management and legislation and in consultation with the local population (community-based approach).

Opportunity for humanitarian innovation

There will always be humanitarian disasters. Although academics, policymakers, practitioners and aid organizations are increasingly sharing their knowledge and expertise, including in the humanitarian domain, there is no ‘Smart Base’ for humanitarian innovation: a joint innovation centre where public, private and civic organizations can share their knowledge and access to their networks. This ‘community’ comprises innovative companies, developers and first responders who utilize the physical location(s), laboratories, testing grounds (Living Labs) and manufacturing and education facilities in the region. ‚Äč

Application of knowledge and expertise gained at Space53

The unmanned systems-related knowledge and expertise gained at Space53 is not only interesting for industrialized countries, but also for developing countries and emerging economies in areas such as agriculture & horticulture, safety & security and critical infrastructure. Smart Base H and Space53 therefore collaborate when the application of unmanned or autonomous systems (e.g. drones or unmanned cargo aircraft) can contribute to the organization and logistical support of humanitarian aid, the safety and protection of those in need of help, the setting up of communication networks and/or the establishment of resilient communities (aimed at agriculture and energy, for example).

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Applied innovation developments process