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Innovation Factory

Background

With the Agenda 2030, the international community of states expresses its firm belief that global challenges can only be solved together. Global forms of cooperation in partnership are the key to this goal.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) play a crucial role in achieving the SDGs. This is because digital innovations, digital methods and digital approaches offer opportunities and solutions for sustainable development and can help to achieve the goals of Agenda 2030 faster, better and in some cases more cost-effectively. The importance of digital innovations is thus explicitly emphasized in 4 of the 17 SDGs.

Digital innovations can be a key driver for sustainable development and can open up access to knowledge, education, the labor market and new business fields but also simplify communication. Digital innovations can also make an important contribution to improving the living conditions of primarily marginalized social groups – and to achieving climate targets.

However, this potential has not yet been exploited in many varying (local) contexts. One reason for this is that the opportunities offered by digital innovations to solve social challenges have not yet been realised. On the other hand, although digital innovations and solutions are already being developed in many contexts, they often do not contribute to sustainable developments.

Furthermore, in many cases there is a lack of a detailed analysis of social challenges involving all relevant stakeholders. This leads not only to many digital innovations and solutions being developed without taking into account the actual needs of its user but also to the fact that they ultimately do not contribute towards the solution of social challenges. A additional problem is that digital innovations are often developed from scratch in different regions and sectoral contexts, instead of transferring existing innovations to new local (country) contexts and adapting them in a deliberate way involving relevant local stakeholders.

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