Reinforcing the innovation ecosystem in the UNECE region to promote innovation and digital technologies for sustainable development and for the circular economy transition


Economic cooperation and integration

$ 2,250,675

01 Jan 2022

31 Jul 2025

16 Dec 2021


UNECE member States

The objective of the project is to build the capacities of the UNECE Member States to play a productive role in building innovation ecosystems that can harness innovation and digital technologies for sustainable development, in particular, for the circular economy transition. This should enable innovation to act as a driver of progress towards achievement of SDGs 9, 12, 13 and 17 in the UNECE region. The project will build on existing UNECE work in the area of innovation for sustainable development, including the intergovernmental policy dialogue through ToS-ICP and CICPPP on innovation for sustainable development; national Innovation for Sustainable Development Reviews (I4SDRs), the sub-regional Innovation Policy Outlook (IPO) and subsequent support for policy makers in putting recommendations into practice and monitoring results. The project addresses a series of challenges facing policy makers and innovation agencies dealing with disruptive innovation and offering direct support across the ECE region. These include analysing the emergence of disruptive innovation, understanding, and building innovation systems; developing the institutions and processes able to ensure that funding is catalytic and effective; monitoring and evaluating and learning from development and implementation of policies; and forging a better understanding of opportunities and challenges through systematic forecasting of market opportunities for innovation. A central element of the project is developing the structure and content for a portal on disruptive innovation, with a user-friendly interface that will enable innovation agencies and innovators to analyse historical disruptive innovations and, based on that, identify trends and emerging innovation ecosystems. In addition, the database is intended to provide a basis for reviewing existing innovations for their potential and thus also gain insights for the flagship publication. A flagship publication will serve to develop a long-term view of the potential of disruptive innovation and digitalization for sustainable development and the circular economy, stressing, in particular the importance of a productive, holistic role for government. Complementing the flagship publication, the project foresees policy dialogues, on-line communication tools, and training curricula for policy makers and practitioners aimed at building agencies that are effective in promoting innovation by: i) fostering and financing innovative initiatives and ii) using tools and processes for systematic innovation forecasting and market scouting. ommission Session (E/2021/37 and E/ECE/1494) to promote circular economy and sustainable use of natural resources in the UNECE region.