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Science, technology and innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

Smart Specialisation for Sustainable Development Goals

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) joined the United Nations’ Inter-Agency Task Team on Science, Technology, and Innovation for Sustainable Development Goals Roadmaps (STI for SDGs Roadmaps) in 2018.

Together, we have embarked on a reflective journey to integrate the SDGs into locally tailored research and innovation agendas, such as STI for SDGs roadmaps and Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3). Remarkably, these strategies have transcended EU borders, gaining traction in countries beyond the union.

The United Nations’ Addis Ababa Action Agenda acknowledges the pivotal role of science, technology and innovation in achieving the SDGs. The EU is firmly committed to the SDGs, which permeate all EU policies, including those related to research and innovation.

STI for SDGs workstream

The workstream on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development Goals has been divided into two parts:

1. STI for SDGs Roadmaps

2. Sustainability dimension of Smart Specialisation: contributing to SDGs through place-based innovation

The EU is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As science, technology and innovation (STI) can help achieve progress in all the SDGs, in 2018 the JRC launched a workstream focused on embedding the sustainability dimension in Smart Specialisation Strategies. This new conceptual framework and methodological approach provides reflection and guidance allowing reorienting Smart Specialisation Strategies to better contribute to SDGs and the European Green Deal throughout the whole policy cycle. From the new metrics and diagnostic approaches, through inclusive governance and stakeholder engagement, to policy mix, financing and budgeting aligned with sustainability goals. This approach allows policy makers to localise sustainability challenges in different territorial contexts and translate them into innovation policies fostering sustainability transitions. As a result, key reports have been released on Directionality and Policy Coherence, Theoretical and Conceptual Framework, and Identification of STI potential to address SDGs.  


The Joint Research Centre
JRC-S3FORSDGSatec [dot] europa [dot] eu

To find out more about the JRC's work on similar topics, explore the related JRC portfolios: