Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies and their innovative applications are playing a crucial role in facilitating resilient recovery and growth in the Asia-Pacific region, as countries move to mend the severe socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and get back on track to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The International Conference on Fourth Industrial Revolution Technologies for Sustainable Development was jointly organized today in New Delhi by the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) of the Ministry of Science and Technology of India.
High-level officials at the Conference exchanged best practices and strategies to promote usage of 4IR technologies for combating the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening healthcare systems, mitigating climate change, improving sustainable production, and fostering resilient economic recovery.
“As we recover from the pandemic, emerging technologies have demonstrated potential for building back better across the economic and social sectors of countries. In particular, 4IR technologies are playing a vital role to support and sustain developmental activities,” said Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, in her opening address.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, 4IR technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, Big Data analysis, blockchain and intelligent manufacturing systems have been rapidly mainstreamed to enable faster digital transformation and delivery of solution-oriented services. These technologies have also offered ground-breaking applications in the development of vaccines and medicines as well as designing targeted responses such as population screening, infection tracking, contact tracing and resource prioritization.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution can achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a faster way,” said Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, DSIR Secretary and Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of the Ministry of Science and Technology, India.
In his keynote address, Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog of India, underscored that 4IR technologies can transform people’s lives and make a smart, better world.
The Conference brought together more than 200 policymakers as well as representatives from public and private sector organizations, research and development institutions, academic and 4IR technology experts. Policy recommendations from the Conference will be used to design the future work programme of APCTT – the region’s premier institution to promote sustainable, equitable and inclusive science, technology and innovation (STI) development.