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Use an “innovations lab” to generate pilot projects


Use an “innovations lab” to generate pilot projects

Use an “innovations lab” to generate pilot projects

Posted on August 31, 2021 by Lillian Holmes

Authoring Organizations: CEO Water Mandate
Consulting Organizations: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Universal: No
Applicable Phases: Assess
Last Updated May 22, 2024


As a new partnership works to identify its goals, consider uniting specialist knowledge with corporate support to create an “innovations lab” that can generate proposals for pilot projects. The “innovations lab” concept is a way to generate pilot proposals that meet the needs of many different stakeholders. Recruit specialists from relevant disciplines as well as industry leaders to co-create proposals for pilot projects. The partnership can then move forward with selecting projects to pilot in accordance with the Natural Resources Risk and Action Framework Tool 12 and 13.


  • Brainstorming multiple project options helps involve multiple stakeholders in the project creation process and facilitates final project selection from a robust list of options.


  • Identify and engage key specialists to bring local knowledge and scientific know-how to the project profiles.
  • Solicit partners’ participation to generate a robust list of possible projects.


The UN Global Compact Brazil local network, in partnership with UNESCO and FAO, corporate partners, and a research institute with an agricultural focus, has launched a 1-year program for companies which will have four phases (or modules), 2 theoretical and 2 practical, as follows:

  • Presentation of the water valuation basis (theoretical module)
  • Water valuation in agriculture (theoretical module)
  • Case studies of water valuation in agriculture (practical module)
  • Innovation Lab: development of pilot projects (practical module)

The “innovations lab” concept will propose pilot projects for the agricultural sector. The partnership is preparing an official start of the program, which will be followed by a 1-year program implementation culminating with the launch of the pilot projects that were developed in the innovation lab. These pilot projects will be compiled into a publication and launched at an event. The long-term objective, for a later stage, is the implementation of pilot projects with Brazilian companies. Furthermore, the project team hopes to replicate this approach with additional sectors in addition to the agricultural sector.

Projects that have validated this Lesson

None found.

This lesson learned reflects the beliefs and experiences of the author, not necessarily the Pacific Institute, CEO Water Mandate, or UN Global Compact.