24 December 2018

#SDGsinAcademia: SDG Hub for Goal 9

As part of the ongoing campaign on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) carried out by the United Nations, the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) series #SDGSinAcademia profiles the new SDG Hubs for each one of the Goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

24 December  2018 - This week our #SDGsinAcademia series features Nagaoka University of Technology (Japan), a member institution of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), that has been chosen as the SDG Hub for Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

About the Hub:

Nagaoka University of Technology (NUT) was founded in 1976 based on the educational philosophy of “Science of Technology”, and built on a foundation of industry-university collaboration. NUT graduates have contributed greatly to infrastructure improvement, innovation and sustainable industrialization around the world.

NUT has been actively promoting international collaborative education. It has concluded cooperation agreements with more than 100 universities and institutes in Japan and around the world, and has established overseas offices in seven countries. NUT is providing educational opportunities to students from around 30 countries. Such an educational environment, built on international collaborative research, fosters global citizenship.

What is this Hub doing about Goal 9?

NUT is contributing to technological progress through its collaborative research activities with industry to help solve environmental issues such as improving energy-efficiency. For example, the improvements to inverter technology developed through research conducted at NUT has been implemented in energy-saving air conditioners.

It has also provided significant, additional employment in manufacturing and sales globally. Similarly, the water treatment technology developed by the university has attracted investment from infrastructure companies for safe water supply systems. NUT believes the achievement of the SDGs is a basic requirement of engineering education, with two thirds of NUT faculty members conducting research on SDG 9. In recent years, local small and medium businesses were offered technical solutions developed at NUT targeting the environment and that helped grow these companies. Further, these companies could expand overseas utilizing our bases abroad by responding to local environmental issues such as processing of waste tires.

NUT has set up the SDG-oriented engineer education program “Gigaku SDG Institute” through inter-university collaboration. To develop and grow the program, NUT established the “UNESCO Chair on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development” as UNESCO Chairs Programme. NUT aims to develop "Gigaku SDG Institute" into a worldwide university-industry network called "UNITWIN", consisting of multiple higher education institutions in multiple countries.

In this regard, NUT has already been holding an international conference on “Science of Technology Innovation (STI-Gigaku)”. Furthermore, the university, aside from offering over a dozen Master programs in engineering, established the Nagaoka Summer School for Young Engineers that offers international students the opportunity to participate in various research fields in the areas of engineering, materials science and technology.

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The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 reviews progress in the third year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has an overview that presents highlights of progress and remaining gaps for all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), based on the latest available data, and examines some of the interconnections across Goals and targets.

This is the overview provided in the Report about Goal 9:

  • Steady progress has been made in the manufacturing industry. To achieve inclusive and sustainable industrialization, competitive economic forces need to be unleashed to
  • generate employment and income, facilitate international trade and enable the efficient use of resources.
  • The global share of manufacturing value added in GDP increased from 15.2 per cent in 2005 to 16.3 per cent in 2017, driven by the fast growth of manufacturing in Asia.
  • Globally, the carbon intensity decreased by 19 per cent from 2000 to 2015—from 0.38 to 0.31 kilograms of carbon dioxide per dollar of value added.
  • In 2015, medium-high- and high-technology sectors accounted for 44.7 per cent of total manufacturing value added globally. The value added reached 34.6 per cent in developing economies, up from 21.5 per cent in 2005.
  • By 2016, the proportion of the population covered by a third generation (3G) mobile broadband network stood at 61 per cent in the LDCs and 84 per cent globally.

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The following resources provide general information about the SDGs:

  • This is a comprehensive research guide from the UN Library in Geneva listing resources 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, geographical regions and by authors, to facilitate searchability. Each publication also has a short summary attached to it which helps with keyword searches.
  • This selection of tools is an initiative supported by UNDP, UN-HABITAT and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, which offers concept notes, papers, case studies, compilation of best practices and guides providing contextual and practical information about the SDGs.
  • This guide, entitled “Getting Started with the Sustainable Development Goals”, is intended for stakeholders and designed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to serve as an initial basis for implementing the SDGs.
  • SDSN also developed this guide, entitled “Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities”, to help universities, institutions of higher education and the academic sector in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific to accelerate their contributions to the SDGs by providing practical guidance and examples to inspire further action.

You can learn more about the SDG Hubs at the UNAI website.  

Is your institution a member of UNAI and conducting activities and initiatives around Goal 9? Contact us at academicimpact@un.org to tell us about your work and let us connect your university with the SDG Hub! Working together we can make the 2030 Agenda a reality!