The Innovation and Technology Day (ITD) is an open forum for technology pioneers, entrepreneurs, policy makers and experts, designed to facilitate the dialogue and action on key issues related to innovation, technology and development.
The ITD is a joint initiative of UNCTAD and Qatar Foundation to unlock human potential and foster sustainable development.
There can be no sustainable development without science, technology and innovation (STI). Policymakers increasingly recognize that STI are a powerful instrument to raise productivity and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, innovation is not an automatic consequence of simply acknowledging its relevance.
The challenges of innovation take different shapes in various parts of the world, but even when some people and enterprises in developing economies have been able to achieve innovative breakthroughs, their path towards better paid and higher value-added activities often remains thwarted.
Moving away from such patterns entails political will as well as active engagement by Governments, academia and businesses. Developing effective STI strategies calls for a better understanding of the innovation process in developing countries.
The Innovation and Technology Day will extract lessons from experiences of people whose innovations have changed our vision of the world and explore policy implications.
1. To highlight the importance of technology and innovation in achieving faster economic growth and advancing sustainable human development.
2. To explore how policies can be improved to make STI a more powerful lever for development.
The Innovation and Technology Day
STI AND DEVELOPMENT (Morning session)
Wide gaps persist in the ability of developing countries to harness STI. They need to implement strategies to upgrade and modernize their productive structures through technological upgrading and learning. Stronger STI capabilities also empower countries to respond more effectively to specific development challenges, such as those related to food security, health, energy or climate change.
In view of the experience of innovations that have created new opportunities to tackle global development challenges, international and national development policies need to become better at harnessing STI. They need to help build effective institutions, networks and infra-structure encourage human resources development in science and tech-nology; create an innovation-friendly economic and regulatory environment; encourage technology and innovation-based entrepreneurship; and mobilize financial resources.
Issues to discuss
- What are critical factors for the success or failure of innovation?
- How will technology trends impact development prospects?
- What support should STI institutions and structures provide to innovation in developing countries?
- How can Government policies support entrepreneurial innovation?
- What can the education system do to promote innovative thinking?
- What challenges does the international environment pose to innovators?
ICT AND INNOVATION FOR INCLUSIVE DEVELOPMENT (Afternoon Session)
The business environment in developing countries is undergoing a major transformation with expanded use of a range of converging technologies. Traditional and novel applications are creating an entirely new ICT landscape; mobile broadband, mobile money, cloud computing, social networking and other innovations are reshaping the way companies operate.
The transformative power of ICT is opening new opportunities for a more inclusive development path. For the first time, affordable ICT solutions are within reach also for people and entrepreneurs with low income. Better access to mobile phones and related services is helping micro-enterprises even in remote areas to find vital information.
For the new ICT landscape to be fully exploited for productive and innovative purposes, access to affordable and relevant infrastructure needs to be complemented with the development of human capacity and relevant content as well as an appropriate institutional and regulatory framework. Governments and their development partners in the public and private sector can all contribute in this context.
Issues to discuss
- How do recent changes in the ICT landscape affect innovation in the Global South?
- What ICT tools are likely to gain importance in the future?
- What should policymakers do to spur innovation linked to ICTs?
- How can development partners contribute to making ICTs a powerful lever for innovation and development?
The event will consist of panel discussions and interactive debate with high-level government officials, business leaders and technology pioneers.
Dr. Tidu Maini
Executive Chairman - Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) and Science & Technology Advisor
Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Mr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh
Chairman and founder of the international Jordan- based organization, the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org)
Mr. Khalid Al-Mohannadi
Engineer by profession and entrepreneur by passion. Co-founder of Sago
Dr. Hessa Al Jaber
Secretary General of The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology ictQATAR
Dr. Hermes Chan
Co-Founder and CEO, invented MedMira's patented rapid flow-through technology
Dr. Soumitra Dutta
Roland Berger Chaired Professor of Business and Technology at INSEAD
Mr. Ali Ghodbani
CEO of Tunisia Telecom and counselor of the Minister of Information and Communication Technologies.
H.E. Ms. Tarja Halonen
11th President of Finlandand member of the Council of Women World Leaders
Mr. Erik Hersman
Co-founder of Ushahidi, a free and open source platform for crowdsourcing information and visualizing data.
Mr. Mongi Marzoug
Minister of Information and Communication Technologies of Tunisia.
Dr. David C. Mowery
William A. & Betty H. Hasler Professor of New Enterprise Development at the Walter A. Haas School of Business, Berkeley.
Mr. Fadi Nasser Chief Alliances Officer of MEEZA
Chief Alliances Officer of MEEZA
Mr. Ozires Silva
Founder and first President of Embraer, one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world.
Mr. José Urquizo Maggia
Minister of Production of Peru
H.E. Dr. Tissa Vitarana
Senior Minister of Scientific Affairs in Sri Lanka