Innovation for Sustainable Development

UNDP SDG Innovation Lab (SPARK Lab) in Chengdu

The world is facing multiple crisis ranging from a global pandemic to climate change, biodiversity loss, and gender inequality. With just eight years left to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty and protect our planet, progress is not advancing at the speed or scale the world needs. Fostering innovation is key to accelerating the solutions needed to tackle these challenges head on and shape a shared future that is sustainable, equitable and inclusive. In 2021,UNDP established the SPARK Lab in Chengdu, the first UN-led Innovation Lab for the SDGs in China, together with the China International Center for Technical and Economic Exchanges (CICETE) under the Ministry of Commerce and Hi-Tech lndustrial Development District Government of Chengdu City. Building on China's tech innovation and UNDP's development expertise across our UNDP's global innovation network, the lab is designed to harnessing science, technology and innovative finance to take on fast-evolving development challenges of the 21st century. The lab's annual flagship event, the Re:Think Conference, brings together top thinkers and experts from academia, central and local governments, the private sector and development practitioners to discuss the newest thinking and emerging trends in development and innovative solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs. Topics have ranged from tech-enabled solutions to lift people out of poverty, to net-zero pathways for tech parks and ensuring a just and, inclusive low-carbon transition.

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