Innovating towards sustainable development for the Arab region
ESCWA fosters the use of modern technologies to implement innovative solutions to regional issues and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The need to address the digital and knowledge divide in the Arab region is recognized as a major development challenge, hampering the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The potential of science, technology and innovation, especially information and communications technology (ICT), in advancing social and economic development has motivated many initiatives in Arab countries, mainly in relevant productive sectors.
ESCWA supports Arab countries in profiling and streamlining their science, technology and innovation landscape. It also assists them in analysing gaps and duplication in relevant national legislation, innovation policies, programmes, strategies, and institutions in the fields of higher education, intellectual property rights and financial incentives for research and development activities. ESCWA collaborates with leading national scientific institutions to stimulate the development, transfer and use of technology, and implement measures to increase research and development expenditure as a share of gross domestic product. Given the importance of the private sector as an engine for innovation, ESCWA conducts innovation analysis in small and medium enterprises to encourage Governments to adapt their legislation and regulations to increase private sector engagement in the innovation process.