26 June 2018

#SDGsinAcademia: Goal 9

As part of the ongoing campaign on the Sustainable Development Goals carried out by the United Nations, United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is presenting a weekly series of articles on #SDGSinAcademia that highlights the importance of higher education in achieving the Goals. Featuring additional sources for use by faculty and students alike, this series is intended to inspire action on the SDGs and showcase activities and initiatives of UNAI member institutions.

26 June 2018 - This week we are featuring in our #SDGsinAcademia series Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Targets:

  • 9.1 Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all 
  • 9.2 Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries
  • 9.3 Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets
  • 9.4 By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities 
  • 9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending 
  • 9.A Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States 
  • 9.B Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities
  • 9.C Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020

What are UNAI member institutions doing about Goal 9? Here are some examples:

The Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia (Colombia) got the second place in the most recent edition of the Challenge of Materials Selection that was held in Spain. The event is aimed to foster knowledge on materials engineering and sustainable development using dedicated software for that purpose. Out of over 300 participant groups, one from this institution got a special recognition for their project, focused on protecting life of bike riders on the highways, through containment railings with very specific mechanical, physical and environmental conditions. 

The Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (Chile) is actively promoting the use electric vehicles at the domestic level through the research done by the Advanced Center of Electrical and Electronics Engineering and the Valparaiso Scientific and Technologic Center in partnership with the private sector. Current focus is on converters and charging systems in order to make them faster and to be able to function in a more efficient manner. Special effort is being made to have locally produced technology that could be then be exported to other countries in Latin America.

The African University of Science and Technology (Nigeria) within the framework of its 10th anniversary and in line with its desire to forge meaningful partnerships with the communities around it, hosted the first phase of a planned series of science and technology quiz competitions for selected secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The President of the institution, Professor Kingston Nyamapfene advised the participating students to inculcate in their academic pursuits, good scientific background to enable them become world – class scientists and engineers.

The University of Pretoria (South Africa) is completing in its Hillcrest Campus the site for the campus of the Future Africa Institute, which addresses critical needs for transdisciplinarity and responsible research, for the development of a new generation of scientists with international perspectives, yet with a scholarly vision and voice that is rooted in Africa. This new hub of scientific discovery and innovation is envisaged to become a place where Africa’s leading scientists and scholars from across the world and from a broad range of disciplines can come together.

The University of Geneva (Switzerland) is hosting between July and August the SDG Summer School where university students, in close collaboration with UN organizations, convene to conceive ways to use open data, crowdsourcing technologies, and low-cost open source solutions to tackle sustainable development and develop prototypes suitable for deployment. This year's edition focuses on team-based problem solving and hands-on prototype development in the field of mobile health run in collaboration with Be He@lthy, Be Mobile, a joint program between ITU and WHO.

The Chemnitz University of Technology (Germany) was successful in the German Excellence Initiative with a research cluster called Merge Technologies for Multifunctional Lightweight Structures (MERGE). In this cluster 7 out of 8 faculties of Chemnitz University of Technology, two local Fraunhofer-Institutes as extramural research partners as well as a number of industrial partners work together in a trans-disciplinary approach with the goal of inventing new lightweight materials in order to make e.g. cars loosing weight so that they consume less fuel and save natural resources. 

The Vimal Jyothi Engineering College (India) is conducting a comprehensive research project, externally funded, entitled Cloud based SCADA systems for Integrated Water Resources Development and Management in Kannur District of Kerala, in order to address the concerns of supply and demand management by using a modern control system method that uses computers, networked data communications and Human Machine (HMI) user interfaces for high-level process. The project intends to be an answer to drought, flooding, and salinity intrusion in the area.

The Harbin Institute of Technology (China) recently hosted the 10th Annual Longjiang Cup, which is an innovation contest for undergraduates in the fields of advanced mapping technology and product information modeling. The competition aims to implement the spirit of Proposals on Promoting College Undergraduates' Innovation and Entrepreneurship promoted by the government of the Heilongjiang Province. It also aims to cultivate students’ innovative abilities with the participation of twenty teams consisting of 150 undergraduates from 16 universities, including HIT.

The Pohang University of Science and Technology (Republic of Korea) developed through a research team led by Professor Wonbin Hong from the Department of Electrical Engineering and in collaboration with the Pohang Nambu Fire Station, a firefighter’s helmet with an integrated radio transceiver. The embedded antenna and speaker will ensure reliable communication to firefighters in the most critical moments of their work. Furthermore, the extremely lightweight antenna and speaker are both modular and waterproof so that they can easily be detached and rinsed with water for maximum versatility.

The Nagaoka University of Technology (Japan) invited students from overseas universities to the Nagaoka Summer School for Young Engineers (NASSYE) which will take place from August 20 - 31 2018. This program is open to students in their third year of university undergraduate programs and it offers the opportunity to participate in research on topics set by the laboratories at NUT within the areas of engineering (mechanical, electrical, electronics, information, civil and environmental) as well as materials science and technology, while also offering cultural exchange experiences.

Here you can take a look to a selection of the Activity Reports submitted by UNAI member institutions.

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The following resources can help improving your knowledge and understanding about Goal 9 in particular and also about the SDGs in general:

  • This is a comprehensive research guide made by the United Nations Library in Geneva listing resources about the SDGs in general and about each one of the Goals, including books and articles (some of which are fully available on line free of charge), UN documents such as resolutions and reports and additional resources.
  • The SDG Fund has created this online library featuring over 1,000 online publications. The publications are categorized by the Goals they represent, by geographical regions they relate to and by authors, to facilitate easy searchability. Each publication also has a short summary attached to it which helps with keyword searches.
  • This is an initiative supported by UNDP, UN-HABITAT and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, which offers a selection of tools such as concept notes, papers, case studies, compilation of best practices and guides providing contextual and practical information about the SDGs.
  • This is a guide entitled Getting Started with the Sustainable Development Goals intended for stakeholders and designed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to serve as an initial basis for implementing the SDGs.
  • This guide entitled Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities was also developed by the SDSN to help universities, higher education institutions and the academic sector in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific to accelerate their contributions to the SDGs highlighting the important role universities have in implementing the SDGs through their teaching, research, operations and leadership, and providing practical guidance and examples to inspire further action.
  • This guide entitled Sustainable Development Goals - Human Response Alignments features the human element of change and the human response corresponding to each of the SDGs in order to quicken the global conversation about vital issues and to encourage the movement that supports the vision of the SDGs.

Sustainable Development Goals Explained: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Sustainable Development Goals Explained: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
United Nations: Gary Fowlie, Head of the International Telecommunication Union Liaison Office to the United Nations, explains how technology and innovation connects to the pillars of sustainable development, including economic growth, social inclusion and environmental balance.