Goal 9 is based on the three interconnected pillars of infrastructure, industry and innovation and aims to ensure universal availability of basic services which support economic growth, for example technology, communication and transportation. According to the Global Infrastructure Outlook, global investment in infrastructure will need to reach $94 trillion by 2040 to keep pace with economic and demographic changes. China, India and Japan account for 39% of this total, and the sectors most in need of investment are electricity and roads.
The number of people connected to the internet has tripled in the last decade, yet four billion people (60% of humanity) have no access. Only 11% of households in developing countries had internet access at the end of 2016 compared to 84% in developed countries. Mobile coverage is more universal: in 2016, 95% of the world’s population and 85% of people in less developed countries had mobile coverage, although the cost of data remains a barrier for many. Investment in research and development and innovation is critical to driving sustained economic growth. While global research and development expenditure has grown, wide disparities exist. According to the UN, in 2013, developed countries dedicated 2.4% of their GDP to research and development, while the figure for developing countries was less than 0.3%.
Technology in action
Deep Learning Indaba
Since 2017, Deep Learning Indaba has enabled a yearly pilgrimage of students, researchers and developers to meet and share knowledge on ML …
Urban Tech Bets: Commuter Ride Sharing
This project highlights car-pooling services offered to workers by employers to ensure that they get to work safely, to reduce their impact …
Project Vive is a social tech company creating low-cost, open-source, multi-sensor speech generating devices to give a voice to people with …
Data Science Africa
Data Science Africa is a non-profit knowledge sharing professional group that aims to bring together leading researchers and practitioners …
Simprints are a non-profit tech company building low-cost,biometric identification systems for the last mile.
Financial Innovation Platform
The UN Global Compact’s Financial Innovation for the Global Goals Action Platform aims to explore innovative financial instruments with the …
Breakthrough Innovation Platform
The UN Global Compact Breakthrough Innovation for the Global Goals Action Platform aims to drive breakthrough impact on the SDGs through …
Micro:bit & World's Largest Lesson Global Challenge for young people
By combining the resources of micro:bit and the World’s Largest Lesson we aim to reach children across the globe, and run a campaign to …
Opportunities & Challenges
Opportunities and challenges to accelerate development of sustainable infrastructure and innovation include:
SME Finance: SMEs are a crucial contributor to industry in emerging markets, contributing up to 60% of total employment. However, 200 million SMEs lack access to affordable financial services and credit. When firms gain access to financial services such as credit and insurance, they can accumulate assets, expand their firms, make more productive investments and create jobs.
Supporting rural markets and services: Investments in local infrastructure and technologies, such as clean and efficient water pumps, cook stoves, mini-grids and mills can support local and inclusive growth. Investment in reliable and resilient infrastructure enables access to services, markets and helps increase agricultural and business productivity.
Smart infrastructure: Developing countries face a large infrastructure deficit, which will be exacerbated by population growth and urbanization. Cities are expected to require new built floor space equivalent to 85% of today’s building stock, and 2.5 times today’s level of port infrastructure to meet rising container shipping demand. Most of this infrastructure growth will be required in developing markets. It is estimated that Africa has a $55 to $60 billion public deficit spend on infrastructure each year.
Upgrading transport and logistics networks: As the pace of economic growth and industrial development accelerates, transport and logistics systems will need to keep pace. Developing markets often have the poorest transport systems, and regions such as Africa are growing too quickly for road systems to keep pace.
The main sustainability benefit of technology will be efficiency and reduction of waste – doing the same things we do today, but more efficiently.Philip Sparks, Arm