Innovation is an essential instrument for addressing sustainable development challenges, and achieving the 2030 Agenda.
Innovation can be a driver of economic growth, improved productivity and efficiency, and job creation. Innovation requires a favourable enabling environment, a promising entrepreneurial ecosystem, and suitable collaboration between public research centres, academia and the private sector to strengthen and foster technology transfer.
In the Arab region, there is a need to institutionalize innovation and formulate strategic policies to benefit from its economic and social impact at the regional, national and local levels. Some Arab countries have included innovation in their strategies and policies, but more efforts are needed in all countries to fully reap the benefits of innovation for sustainable development.
ESCWA began working on innovation policy and ecosystems, then focused on innovation for various stakeholders, namely innovative public services, innovation in small and medium enterprises, innovation for entrepreneurship and startups, and social innovation. Today, ESCWA is focusing on technology and innovation for developing specific sectors, such as land transport or agriculture.
ESCWA has published comprehensive studies on facilitating, formulating and adopting innovation policies in Arab countries. ESCWA has also evaluated the innovation ecosystem in Arab countries, identified challenges, and proposed policy recommendations.
ESCWA has showcased several success stories, especially from Asian developing countries, on how innovation can boost economic growth and development.
ESCWA has published several reports on innovation policy for sustainable development, and on fostering and developing innovation among stakeholders, such as the public and private sectors, academia and local communities.
Furthermore, ESCWA prepared a comprehensive study on intellectual property for fostering innovation in the Arab region. ESCWA also held several expert meetings on innovation for accelerating the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. ESCWA also collaborated with six United Nations agencies to organize capacity-building training on innovation policy.