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The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ¹), UN DESA and UNDP’s RIO+ Centre in Brazil are co-organizing a three-day meeting on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the achievement of the health- related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets. The meeting will be funded by FIOCRUZ with support from the UN project on mobilizing STI in developing countries for the SDGs. The meeting’s main objective is to strengthen the capacity of public-health sector stakeholders in Brazil and other developing countries on harnessing STI for SDGs. It will contribute to the implementation of the technology facilitation mechanism (TFM) and the development of its online platform. The meeting will have the participation of 50 to 60 experts, including 10 to 15 international participants, from government, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, and research institutions. It will include a one-day segment dedicated to STI-Health platform developed by FIOCRUZ as contribution to the global initiative.



The holistic nature of 2030 Agenda and SDGs demands an integrated and systematic approach while dealing with the specificities of each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The relevance of social and environmental determinants in health outcomes and the strong role of the health sector in the productive and economic development, make the health-related goals a unique case that needs intensive interdisciplinary analysis and multi-sectoral expertise on their implementation.

Health is an integral part of Sustainable Development. It is an individual and collective right, articulating innovation and the productive basis to human rights, equity and social inclusion. The health sector is also a platform where new paradigms on science, technology and innovation (STI) in areas such as microelectronics, nanotechnology, fine chemicals, biotechnology, and information technology are evolving based on important partnership among public, private and academic sectors. World health is the force behind more than 30% of research and is responsible for around 10% of GNP of OECD countries. Health also contributes in different roles, as it is a prerequisite and an indicator of progress on sustainable development. Thus, synergies among Health, STI and the SDGs are crucial to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Harnessing STI to meet the 2030 Agenda is the main goal of the Technology Facilitating Mechanisms (TFM). Science, technology and innovation have a crucial role in providing solutions for public health problems. However, there still prevails a great divide between STI and health needs and governance. The effort to achieve SDG 3 (ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) shall rely on a good understanding of health priorities and its determinants, with special attention to the social and environmental factors, confronting these to STI solutions and strengthening global and local governance to address the challenge to foster this virtuous connection.

The development and diffusion of innovation that affects health occurs in many ways independently from the health sector. On the other hand, especially on individual and collective health care, we find very specific characteristics such as a strong dependency on health professionals, organizations and systems; role of governments in shaping health care planning and financing; strong regulatory mechanisms; non-linear relation between innovation and health-care costs; and particular features of mainstream, disruptive, and social innovations. The 2017 HLPF Thematic Review on SDG 3 noted that “Universal Health Coverage (UHC) acts as a key driver for achieving all targets”. Thus, to deal with innovation, especially in the health field, there shall be an equal attention to hard, soft and social technologies and the recognition that they are closely intertwined.

This meeting shall be an opportunity to establish a better understanding of the relevance of STI for the achievement of SDG 3 and its contribution to the health sector, from the standpoint of human rights, equity and sustainable development. This high-level interchange of ideas will facilitate the establishment of a collaborative mechanism of health-related issues with experts and a broad range of stakeholders, including under the TFM and its online platform, which will enable relevant contributions for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the SDGs.



To strengthen the capacity of public-health sector stakeholders in developing countries on science, technology and innovation to accelerate the implementation of the health-related sustainable development goals and targets.

The meeting will contribute to the development of key components of the TFM’s online platform and will improve STI capacities of stakeholders in developing countries to use and contribute to the online platform on the area of STI for health-related SDGs. The meeting will aim to achieve the following specific objectives:

  • Raise awareness of STI community, particularly in the Latin American region, on the TFM and the importance of online access to STI for the health-related SDGs;
  • Mobilize action by FIOCRUZ and other partners in support to the operationalization of the TFM’s online platform, including by launching a STI-Health platform developed by FIOCRUZ as part of this global initiative;
  • To facilitate the dialogue among existing networks and initiatives that share the interest on health and sustainable development;
  • Propose recommendations to the effective implementation of the online platform;
  • Share information, knowledge, experience, best practices and lessons learned on STI policies and initiatives for the achievement of the health-related SDGs and targets;
  • To propose the elements and principles of a specific agenda for action on STI for health-related SDGs with a focus on the region of Latin America and the Caribbean, that can attract and engage the health sector to contribute for the advancement of the 2030 Agenda;
  • To contribute to develop evidence-based studies on health, especially from a system analyses and prospective approach, supported by indicators and reliable data systems and directed to concrete solutions for the SDGs achievement;
  • To analyze STI role and propose means for its development and implementation, at all levels, vis-à-vis the existing evidences on health determinants, priorities and governance and the advancement of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs;
  • To discuss health related goals in the context of industrial and innovation policies to face the pervasive market failures for health universal access;
  • To discuss the relevance of traditional knowledge and social innovation and suggest implementation mechanisms to strengthen their role on health-related goals.



The meeting will be attended by 50 to 60 experts, including 10 to 15 international participants, representatives of government institutions, existing networks, research institutions, and other stakeholders.

Participants can expect to benefit from a fruitful exchange of ideas and experiences and to contribute to the establishment of a partnership around STI, health and 2030 Agenda. The meeting also intends to strengthen the roles of participants in informing public policy through evidence-based research and the translation of best practices to their national contexts, contributing to the national authorities in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs.



FIOCRUZ, UN DESA, RIO+ Centre with support of other institutions.


Division of labour:

FIOCRUZ serves as Secretariat and Host for the meeting. It will organize a meeting venue, identify and invite local expert and high-level participants, organize local logistics (e.g., hotel information, social event/reception), and facilitate entry visa for international participants if needed. It will also fund the travel of local research persons. FIOCRUZ, with the collaboration of UN DESA and Rio+ Centre, will be responsible for the production of background notes for each main theme, which will be distributed to the invited participants prior to the Seminar. It will be responsible for moderating the meeting (or key portions thereof), for mobilizing expert inputs from various sources, for synthesizing inputs into a substantive background note, as well as for preparation of the meeting report.

UN DESA will serve as co-organizer for the meeting. It will work closely with FIOCRUZ in finalizing the meeting programme, and identification and invitation of participants. It will support the participation of selected international resource persons as part of the implementation of the project on mobilizing STI in developing countries for the SDGs (activities A1.1, A2.1 and A2.2).

Rio+ Centre will also serve as co-organizer of the meeting. It will participate actively in the substantive preparations for the meeting, the meeting itself and in mobilizing expert inputs from Brazil. It will also provide additional local support.

The meeting will avail itself of the host country agreement of the Rio+ Centre with the Government of Brazil.

¹FIOCRUZ, an institution under the Ministry of Health of Brazil, is considered the most prominent institution in Latin America on science and technology in the area of public health.