Science, Technology and Innovation

Business as usual is not an option if the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are to be met. The scale and depth of the goals require a radically different and disruptive approach, the essence of innovation, along with significant scientific breakthroughs and technological advancements. Numerous innovations, such as pneumococcal vaccines, microfinance and green technologies, have been developed and have spread around the world at an unrelenting pace over the last few decades, improving health, providing economic opportunities and addressing climate change. Digital technologies such as mobile phones and the Internet have created an era where ideas, knowledge and data flow more freely than ever before, offering new avenues for collaborative and open approaches to innovation.

There is ample scope for regional collaboration in Asia and the Pacific, as it is home to some of the most dynamic, pioneering and innovative countries in the world, but, at the same time, to some of the most technologically deprived. The challenge is to develop concrete and sustainable innovation and technology collaboration opportunities to help bridge this gap, and to enable countries at all levels of development to take advantage of available technologies and develop a robust culture of innovation.

ESCAP's role is to share knowledge across the region on what works, and to keep the region up to speed with the challenges and opportunities that this fast-moving and ever-changing agenda presents. ESCAP supports the countries in Asia and the Pacific to design locally-relevant policies that can leverage science, technology and innovation as powerful engines for sustainable development. The key policy areas include:

  1. Inclusive technology and innovation policies;
  2. Frontier technologies;
  3. Impact economy - including social enterprises and impact investment; inclusive business; women entrepreneurship and innovative finance; and
  4. Technology, trade & investment policy.

ESCAP works actively with its partners – especially through the Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on STI Policy (ARTNET on STI policy) – to carry out evidence-based research for policy making.