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Harnessing science, technology and innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

Scientists, innovators and technologists will meet with representatives from governments, civil society, the private sector and other experts at the first Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum), from 6-7 June 2016, to explore how to realize the potential of science, technology and innovation to achieve the SDGs.

New global innovators are emerging.  Patterns of technology are shifting.  Joint projects are bringing together experts from different regions and specialities with the common goal of sustainable development. The STI Forum seeks to grasp the opportunities that these and other developments bring.

Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, has said that developed and developing countries alike have high expectations for the Forum. “They have emphasized repeatedly that the STI Forum needs to be innovative and interactive, and should focus on practical, win-win solutions for the SDGs, engaging all stakeholders”, he said.

Outlining the key functions of the STI Forum, Mr. Wu noted that “it is envisioned as a venue for facilitating interaction, matchmaking and the establishment of networks; It is a forum for identifying and examining technology needs and gaps; It seeks to help facilitate development, transfer and dissemination of relevant technologies for the SDGs.”

Advancing human progress

The STI Forum will highlight how technology, science and innovation can help us advance human progress and live up to the promise of leaving no one behind.

On the first day of the forum on 6 June, participants will, among other things, discuss activities and policies that can support the development of technology, science and innovation that support the SDGs. They will explore how to deploy or incentivize the uptake of existing knowledge and new, innovative solutions and technologies and make them more readily available to those who need them. Innovators will present transformative, scalable examples that already shape human interaction in a variety of areas.

Creating shared value

Day two of the Forum will look at how to create shared value and at opportunities for networking and matchmaking. Best practices in identifying scientific knowledge, technologies and innovations, and effectively scaling them up, will also be explored.

A Ministerial Dialogue will identify key elements for action plans and roadmaps for effective science, technology and innovation policy frameworks, and a Youth session will shed a light on how young people are using new approaches and perspectives to innovate and develop solutions to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

Showcasing innovations

A special event and exhibition hosted during the forum will showcase innovations that were collected through a Call to Action and that provide practical examples of concrete progress on the ground. More than 250 innovations were received through this call, and 12 outstanding innovations were selected to be featured at this event.

The annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals Forum is convened by the President of ECOSOC. It is part of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism mandated by the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and supported by an Inter-Agency Task Team and a 10 member stakeholder group.

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