Online informal expert consultation and expert group meeting

Building © (c) Guy Delsaut CC BY-SA 4.0 Wikimedia Commons (cropped)

This event was initially scheduled for March 5-6, 2020 but had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. It is now being held virtually with three sessions on June 22, 30 and July 7.

This workshop, organised in cooperation with the European Committee of the Regions and UN – Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), will bring together the two perspectives mentioned above: firstly, it will summarise the challenges and achievements in implementing S3 as localised roadmaps for transformation and for the achievement of the SDGs. Secondly,  it will bring together UN stakeholders including UN-DESA, UNIDO, UNESCO, UNCTAD, the World Bank and countries involved in the UN Global Pilot Programme on STI Roadmaps for SDGs to discuss the progress in testing the emerging global methodologies and tackling sustainability challenges in the context of rapid technological change. The event will bring together high-level speakers from EU and UN institutions, EU Member States and regions, the UN global pilot programme countries, other international institutions as well as experts and practitioners.

TNT Researcher Caroline Zimm will be present The World in 2050 (TWI2050) initiative and the upcoming TWI2050 report "Innovations for Sustainability" in Session 1: Smart specialisation and Place-based STI Roadmaps for SDGs – the EU Experience and worldwide application on June 30, 15:40-16:40 CEST.


This meeting will focus on the implementation of the STI for SDGs roadmaps in the context of their contribution to sustainable recovery and future resilience. The countries, regions, cities and international partnerships will present and discuss the roadmap implementation experience based on the challenges and achievements in implementing smart specialisation as localised roadmaps for transformation and for the achievement of the SDGs. This will be a basis to propose suggestions on how to better use STI to deliver post-crisis recovery and strengthen resilience and to discuss the potential application of the STI for SDGs roadmaps and smart specialisation to support the economic and social recovery and greener development models. 

Key issues 
  • How does your smart specialisation strategy integrate the – social, economic and environmental – dimensions in order to enable the achievement of SDGs? What are the main related challenges (for the design, implementation and/or monitoring)? 
  • What are the main milestones and instruments of your smart specialisation strategy for achieving sustainable territorial transformation?
  • To which extent and how do you align your current S3 priorities challenges and objectives with the goals and targets of the UN Agenda 2030?
  • How can smart specialisation strategies and other STI for SDGs Roadmaps contribute to the sustainable post-crisis recovery and future resilience?

The virtual event will bring together speakers from the EU and UN and the EU and UN Member States. It is directed to the countries and organizations interested in applying science, technology and innovation in order to achieve SDGs, respond to the development challenges and contribute to the post-crises recovery and resilience in a sustainable and knowledge-based manner. 


A half-day session will be structured into two main parts. The first part will give an overview of the context, state of play and recent developments followed by an interactive, moderated discussion. The second part will focus on specific examples of the discussed issues and aim to learn from the experience gathered so far. It will also be followed by an interactive, moderated discussion – between the panelists and with a wider audience.  


The Addis Ababa Action Agenda1 recognises science, technology and innovation as a means to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Starting in November 2018, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has been working with UN Inter-agency Task Team on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs to share the EU experience on Smart Specialisation (S3) Strategies as one of the global methodologies for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Roadmaps for the achievement of SDGs, with a distinctive localised (place-based) approach and widespread application across EU regions. 

The EU experience in the implementation of STI Roadmaps for sustainability can be an inspiration for Global Pilot Programme countries preparing for the implementation of their STI for SDGs Roadmaps. The efficient Roadmap implementation, at different territorial levels is especially important during the Decade of Action. Moreover, in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is more urgent than ever to have such multi-stakeholder cooperation to help address the current crisis, mitigate its longer-term impacts, and prepare for future challenges that can threaten progress on the 2030 Agenda.  

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