Innovation and the Sustainable Development Goals

Environmental sustainability and a greener economy: The transformative role of 5G

A new Qualcomm report highlights the many ways 5G technology can achieve critically needed sustainability benefits and calls for joint efforts by industry and government to accelerate 5G adoption. The report finds that 5G can transform and positively impact industries across the globe by creating new products and processes that support environmental sustainability.  Importantly, the report shows how 5G enabled sustainability is an economic opportunity with major potential for increased revenues, profit margins and productivity – as well as a range of other business benefits.

With 5G, industries and organization can increase their overall sustainability and competitive advantage by significantly improving greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, pesticide usage, and energy consumption.

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OECD Economic Outlook, Interim Report: Keeping the Recovery on Track

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (O.E.C.D.) published its Economic Outlook Interim Report stating that a global economic recovery from the pandemic was finally taking hold, but it inched back its forecast for worldwide economic growth and warned that the rebound was benefiting wealthier countries more than the developing world as vaccine distribution occurs at an uneven pace. Countries that have made big strides toward vaccinating most of their populations are bouncing back much more quickly than those that are still struggling to obtain shots, the O.E.C.D. said, raising a host of related economic problems that are affecting global supply chains and pose a risk for the future.

Laurence Boone, the organization’s chief economist: “If we continue to vaccinate and adapt better to living with the virus, supply will begin to normalize and this pressure will fade, but for that we have to vaccinate more people.”

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2021 State of the Union Address by President von der Leyen

In her State of the Union Address on September 15, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, emphasised the need for Europe to focus on long-term innovation priorities, and to connect them to key green and digital goals. She stated that the EU has the necessary innovation and science capabilities, but needs to create the right conditions to foster innovation. This is particularly important for Europe’s planned digital transformation and in regard to the growing demand for chips, she said, and should be addressed through the European Chips Act, which will invest in European technology sovereignty, strengthen global supply chains, and develop new investment projects for green and digital technologies as part of the European Green Deal.

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Spotlight on Singapore: 10 Questions for Shiok Meats’ Ka Yi Ling

 Innovation Council sat down with Ka Yi Ling, the CTO and Co-Founder of Shiok Meats, a cell-based meat and seafood company in Singapore. An early member of Innovation Council, the company produces delicious and nutritious meats that are at the same time animal-, health- and environment-friendly. A recent tasting event in Singapore confirmed the appeal of the Shiok Meat crustacean meat products to discerning palates. 

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The Africa Agri-Tech Development Forum: Financing the Future of Off-Farm Innovation in Africa

Over the course of four online events, Innovation Council member Bobab, brings together diverse groups of experts from business, academia and policy from Africa, the UK and beyond. In this third event of the Forum Boabab will be asking tough questions around exactly how an enabling environment can be created for private sector investment; one that facilitates and directs capital to the areas of the agricultural value chain that can have the greatest impact, for both short-term recovery and long-term transformation.

Read the full story and register here.

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ICC-WIPO Virtual Seminar: Harnessing Public Research for Innovation in the Time of Covid-19 and Beyond

On 20 July, ICC is co-organizing a seminar on “Harnessing Public Research for Innovation in the Time of Covid-19 and Beyond – The Role of Knowledge Transfer Policies” together with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), AUTM, and the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI). This virtual session will take place from 12:30-15:25 CET (Geneva time) and will be held in English with simultaneous interpretation provided in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

Please register here with the following secure code: 33WSMBV521.

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Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine: A global assessment of demand and supply balance

Over the past decade, several countries–representing all regions, income groups, and procurement methods—have been unable to secure sufficient BCG vaccine supply. While the frequency of stock-outs has remained rather stable, their duration increased in 2014–2015 due to manufacturing issues, attracting the attention of national, regional and global immunization stakeholders. This prompted an in-depth analysis of supply and demand dynamics which aimed to characterize supply risks. This analysis is unique, as it provides a global picture where previous analyses have focused only on a portion of the market that procures vaccines through UN entities. Through a literature review, supplier interviews, and the appraisal of shortages, stock-outs, and historical procurement data, as well as through demand forecasting, this analysis shows an important increase in global capacity in 2017: supply is sufficient to meet forecasted BCG vaccine demand and possibly buffer market shocks. Nevertheless, risks remain, mainly due to supply concentration, limited investment in production process improvements, and inflexibility of demand.

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After a gene from algae was added to his eye, a blind man can perceive objects

Botond Roska, professor at the University of Basel, led the research for a gene therapy to add light-sensing molecules to a patient’s retina, which has improved the patient’s sight significantly. In the journal Nature Medicine, the authors describe how their patient lost his vision after being diagnosed 40 years ago with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease that destroys photoreceptors (the light-sensing cells in the retina). The doctors employed gene therapy to add a light-sensing molecule to one of the man’s eyes. The gene they added, called chrimson, comes from a single-celled algae species that is able to sense sunlight and move toward it. The idea behind adding the gene, says Roska, is to engineer retina cells called ganglions so that they become able to respond to light, sending visual signals to the brain.

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GSIV finalists transforming reduce and recover waste in developing markets

Just in time for World IP Day we received news of these innovative Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) Finalists for 2021! The UNDP, EPFL, Orange, and SAP have selected GARV toilets (India), Sinba (Peru), ColdHubs (Nigeria), Saathi (India) as finalists in the category Waste. From biodegradable and compostable pads, circular food systems and innovations, to solar-powered walk-in cold rooms and Internet of Things (IoT) enabled smart sanitation hubs, they collectively reach thousands of users across Nigeria, Peru, Bhutan, Ghana, India, and the US. They are looking to raise between USD 800,000 and 3.9 million in grants, equity, or debt to scale their impact and operations.

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