20 February 2018: The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has taken steps to promote the role of science, technology and innovation (STI) in accelerating SDG achievement, including the launch of a digital platform and establishment of a fund that provides support to tackle development challenges. IsDB also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), which aims to scale up high-potential innovations to achieve sustainable and inclusive development.
The ‘Engage’ platform is a digital hub that uses the power of STI to accelerate economic and social progress in the developing world. The platform will focus on progress on SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) and SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure). Engage aims to provide a supportive environment and capacity building tools to help business and innovators harness the potential of STI in driving local economic growth. The platform focuses on three services: calls for innovation; technology transfer; and matching-making. Among other activities, Engage will facilitate knowledge-sharing among governments, private sector companies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), innovators and NGOs and support these groups through tailored mentoring services that will aim to help them develop proposals and ideas to an international standard.
To ensure its members have access to financing for innovation, IsDB established ‘The Transform Fund’, which will provide seed money for innovators, start-ups and SMEs for development solutions. The Fund will also support partnerships between entrepreneurs and researchers to address development challenges in line with the SDGs.
The MoU between IsDB and ESCAP commits the two organizations to work together to build a global network of entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, technologists and innovators by bringing together the capital and skills necessary to support innovation solutions for sustainable development. ESCAP Executive Secretary Shamshad Akhtar said the partnership agreement will support “a new era of open and collaborative innovation to ensure no country is left behind” in the technological revolution.
References: International Institute for Sustainable Development. 2018. Retrieved from http://sdg.iisd.org/news/isdb-platform-harnesses-sti-to-accelerate-sdgs/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2018-02-27%20-%20SDG%20Update%20AE&utm_content=2018-02-27%20-%20SDG%20Update%20AE+CID_819bf7c2cba6911ea4f0a8264bd3cdfd&utm_source=cm&utm_term=IsDB%20Platform%20Harnesses%20STI%20to%20Accelerate%20SDGs