UNICEF Aims to Drive Open Source Innovation that Helps Children Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

UNICEF Aims to Drive Open Source Innovation that Helps Children

The UNICEF Innovation Fund seeks to support open source software projects that are creating or improving technology like blockchain, 3D printing, wearables and AI.

The One Laptop per Child project -- which aims to empower children worldwide through technology -- didn't end up being fully open source. But starting this week, UNICEF hopes to leverage open source code for the benefit of children once again by funding select open source projects.

On Monday, UNICEF announced that it would award funding from the UNICEF Innovation Fund to support software projects that are creating or improving technologies designed to help children (or any "youth under 25"). To qualify, the projects must be open source.

UNICEF says it is particularly interested in helping to support technology that will assist people with real-time decision making, as well as "increase access to services and information, including connectivity, power, finance, sensors and transport," according to a statement announcing the initiative.

Christopher Fabian, UNICEF Innovation Co-Lead, mentioned blockchain, 3D printing, wearables and sensors, artificial intelligence and renewable energy as examples of the types of technology that his organization hopes to help develop.

The UNICEF announcement comes on the heels of the Linux Foundation's launch a few weeks ago of an effort to provide open source training for disadvantaged students at an adult charter school in Texas -- which is another example of how organizations are directly leveraging open source software to help improve lives.

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