Research and innovation as drivers in achieving the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals

Press releases, 10.11.2016

With the 2030 Agenda the international community has set 17 sustainable development goals, to be achieved by 2030, bringing together poverty eradication and sustainable development under one umbrella for the first time ever. Research and innovation play a key role, both in the design of measures and in achieving these goals. Stakeholders from science, development and politics gathered together to explore the best ways of achieving them at the second Research Fair on 9 November 2016 at the SDC's head office in Bern.

Visitors to the Research Fair walking around and talking to each other at the various stands.
The Research Fair at the SDC's head office in Bern brought together scientists and development stakeholders around the theme of the 2030 Agenda. © FDFA

This second edition of the Research Fair, entitled 'Pathways to Transformation', was organised by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE). Its goal was to stimulate discussion between scientists, development and political stakeholders around the themes of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Switzerland is committed at the national and international levels to the implementation of this agenda which aims to contribute to economic development, foster prosperity and fight against the destruction of the planet.

Research and innovation are important factors in reducing poverty and global risks and ensuring global public goods. To illustrate this, and to make the link between the worlds of research and practice, some fifteen ongoing projects and new ideas were selected and put on display at stands at the fair. After a brief presentation of each of the projects, the public were able to talk with the experts and contribute to the discussions.

Among the themes under consideration by the experts was the issue of potential conflicts between sustainability objectives and the choice of policies to adopt in order to achieve them. What dilemmas could arise when implementing the different goals of ending poverty, ensuring sustainable agricultural production methods, protecting ecosystems or improving the urban environment? What synergies and contradictions result from political decisions?

One answer might include a visualisation tool which shows the impact of different national and international policies on sustainable development objectives. Another project, based on research done in Nepal and Colombia, looks at how to include local populations so that they are best equipped to recover from natural disasters such as droughts, landslides or floods. Throughout the discussions on new technologies, water, food, language and urbanisation, the development practitioners and stakeholders along with the researchers from Swiss institutions also debated the establishment of partnerships appropriate for achieving the objectives of the 2030 Agenda and ways to measure how progress will be made in achieving them.

The first Research Fair took place in 2013. 

Further information:

'Pathways to Transformation', Research Fair 2016
The 2030 Agenda
Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries (KFPE)
Horizons, the research magazine of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

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