The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation in the UN 2030 Agenda


We argue the transition path to inclusive and environmental sustainable economic development must be Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) intensive. We outline an economic framework that demonstrates the need to transform the nature of STI and reorient it towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We outline the various public policy options that can reorient investment patterns in STIs towards achieving the SDGs.  The Means of Implementation (MoIs) of the UN 2030 agenda will need to blend to create new modalities of finance, governance and public policy at all levels if we are to reorient STI and induce the transformative changes in economic, social, environmental and political systems required to achieve the SDGs. We address the implications of our analysis for the UN global Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) which aims to promote STI access, transfer and capacities across nations to achieve the SDGs.



Walsh PP,  Murphy E, Horan D. “The Role of Science, Technology and Innovation in the UN 2030 Agenda”,  May 2020, Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

Walsh, P.P.  “Industrial Policy and Sustainable Development“, United Nations Global Sustainable Development Report Policy Brief, 9 Mar 2015.

Sutton, John (2012). “Competing in Capabilities: The Globalization Process”, Clarendon Lectures in Economics, Oxford University Press, 2012.

Stiglitz, Joseph E. (2016). “Joseph Stiglitz Says Standard Economics Is Wrong. Inequality and Unearned Income Kills the Economy,” adapted (with permission) from: Jacobs, Michael, and Mariana Mazzucato, eds. Rethinking capitalism: economics and policy for sustainable and inclusive growth. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

UN Global Sustainable Development Report 2019:The Future is Now: Science for Achieving Sustainable Development,

Additional materials:

Walsh, P. (2020). The Economics of COVID-19 and Sustainable Development. Universitas 21 Health Sciences Group Annual Meeting hosted by UCD, Dublin Ireland.


TFM 2030 Connect is a dynamic new tool for entrepreneurs, innovators, students and leaders from around the world seeking to exchange ideas and technology, build networks, and work to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). United Nations online technology platform for the SDGs

UNESCO GO-SPIN is a methodological tool to map national science, technology and innovation (STI) landscapes and analyse STI policies and their implementation. The open-access platform offers innovative databases with powerful graphic and analytical tools for the use of decision-makers, parliamentarians, universities, knowledge brokers, companies, specialists and the general public, with a complete set of diverse information on STI policies.
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