Let’s give Covid-19 recovery a boost!

Join us in fighting the pandemic with BOOST, a UNDP platform that amplifies innovative solutions


Covid-19 will have a long-term impact on the future of our economy, work, governance, and health. BOOST is a regional acceleration program for social impact innovation with a mission to tackle Covid-19 challenges and create a more sustainable future. BOOST is designed to prepare organizations and companies to roll out innovative local solutions in the sphere of digitalization, low touch economy and wellbeing, that address development issues stemming from the pandemic. Applicants will be able to apply to open challenges to access a total of $400,000 in funding, join our UNDP-backed network, and receive support from peers, funders, and experts.

BOOST is open for applications from private sector entities, research institutes, academia, and civil society organizations to submit solutions that can be implemented and scaled in Europe and Central Asia. BOOST is a joint initiative by UNDP Europe and Central Asia with partners across the region and beyond, including Koç Holding, the Slovak Ministry of Finance, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and others.

How BOOST works

BOOST in numbers

$400,000 in prize funding
3 challenges
15 prizes available

Issue Areas

We are looking for innovative solutions to the following issues that have accelerated as a result of the pandemic.

New Digital Services & Voice

To respond to the emerging inequalities and needs across different sectors, we are looking for innovative digital solutions that are inclusive – from reimagining banking for the unbanked to new forms of organizing and giving voice, as well as community-led service provision.

Low Touch Economies

To foster economic growth, we are looking for solutions that introduce new ways of production/consumption and support contactless economies, remote delivery services and remote work opportunities.


To support the wellbeing of individuals and communities, we are looking for innovative solutions that promote individual connection and psychosocial wellbeing, and other holistic ways of improving resident wellbeing.


Current and Upcoming challenges:
Hosted by: UNDP & Koç Holding

Civil Society Technology Challenge

Covid-19 has revealed the importance of mobilizing digital and emerging technologies in response to complex societal and environmental issues. UNDP Europe and Central Asia and Koç Holding have launched BOOST Civil Society Technology Challenge to accelerate the digital transformation of civil society organizations to increase their impact and outreach.

Submission Deadline:
September 30, 2020

Civil society organizations

Eligible countries:

Hosted by: UNDP & Slovak Ministry of Finance

Innovation Challenge Fund

The Innovation Challenge is looking for novel solutions to the effects of the pandemic in the following issue areas: new digital services and voice, low touch economies, wellbeing. Solutions should be applied in more than one country and enhance regional collaboration in addressing the crisis.

Submission Deadline:
September 30, 2020

private sector entities, CSOs and academia

Eligible countries:
Europe and Central Asia region

Hosted by: UNDP – Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Polish Challenge Fund

The Polish Challenge Fund is calling for innovative solutions to address the emerging development issues resulting from the global health crisis. Applicants can apply for any of the following issue areas: new digital services and voice, low touch economies, and wellbeing.

Submission Deadline:
September 30, 2020

Private sector entities (commercial companies), universities and research institutes

Eligible countries:
Republic of Poland

Why Boost

Top mentor pool

The program aims at providing solutions to the current Covid-19 crisis which are scalable in developing countries by launching a challenge for applicants to submit their innovative ideas for fast response and post-Covid-19 recovery; to increase community resilience and to support vulnerable people to cope with the pandemic.

Tailored program and coaching

Participants will be guided in all phases of their BOOST journey based on the needs assessment upon onboarding. Your mentors and advisors will be aligned to the needs of your initiative.

Funding opportunities

The BOOST accelerator brings a wide pool of partners and donors and at the end of the program, participants will pitch their ideas in front of a jury. BOOST fellows can win up to USD 10,000.

Access to the UNDP network

The program will leverage the UNDP global presence (+170 countries) and networks to help support the selected participants to scale-up to new country markets.