Antwerp, Belgium – VITO, the prime research and technology organisation on cleantech and sustainable development in Belgium, announced the launch of a Global Science, Technology, and Innovation Conference (G-STIC) series during an exclusive evening session on Sustainable Development Goals at the 5th edition of the international conference on Industry and Innovative Sustainable Production (i-SUP). The announcement was delivered by Dr. Veerle Vandeweerd, a Belgian entrepreneur formerly from UNEP and UNDP, and included a short panel discussion with some of the G-STIC partnership representatives including Dirk Fransaer, Managing director of VITO; Dr. Zitouni Ould-Dada, Head of Technology Unit, UNEP; Surendra Shrestha, Vice President for Development, AIT (Thailand); and Dr. Ibrahim Hafeez Rehman, Senior Director - Europe, TERI (India).

"We need new technologies, new ways of producing and consuming. We need to move our economies to development models that are less carbon and less resource intensive, and pollute less. VITO has the knowledge, the international standing and the expertise to help catalyze such a change, by bringing the best minds together in international conferences to discuss new key technologies that can lead the world on a more sustainable economic/industrial development course. By also inviting the right mix of policy makers to the global conferences, VITO will make this know-how available for global policy setting. The aim is to contribute in a cost effective manner to the technological transitions needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals the global community adopted in 2015, and to keeping global temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius". – Dr. Veerle Vandeweerd, G-STIC senior advisor

The first conference in the G-STIC series will be held in Brussels on November 6-8, 2017. It will be hosted by a consortium of institutes including the Asian Institute for Technology (AIT), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) and the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO).

“This North-South initiative to launch a global conversation on issues concerning science, technology and innovation to meet climate and other sustainable development challenges will be of great benefit by reviewing key existing and emerging possibilities on the technological frontier and by helping develop a better understanding on how to effectively translate these possibilities into practical reality. There is a great need for such conversations that cross national borders, bridge disciplinary and practitioner communities, transcend narrow interests, and promote cooperation to accelerate global action on technology development and deployment to meet the urgent challenges facing humanity” – Dr. Ibrahim Hafeez Rehman, TERI for Ajay Mathur, TERI and Ambuj Sagar, IITD

The ultimate aim of the G-STIC series is to support with the best available science and technological reviews, the several technological discussions, negotiation processes and expert meetings convened under the UN umbrella, including as they relate to the implementation of the 2030 development agenda and associated SDG’s, the climate change convention and the discussions on technology for development, and as a Means of Implementation; all to support the world-wide implementation of the SDGs and transition to less carbon and resource intensive, more resilient, economic and social development models.

"The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) is the operational arm of the UNFCCC Technology Mechanism. It fosters collaboration among climate technology stakeholders, and enables vulnerable countries to take action to address climate change.

Enhancing action on technology transfer is a means to enable economic transformation, particularly in lower-income countries. Collaboration with key technology stakeholders such as the science and innovation communities will facilitate enhanced action on technology development and transfer, which is why the CTCN is honoured to participate in this important G-STIC conference series in support of shared solutions to promote low-carbon economic development." – Dr. Zitouni Ould-Dada, UNEP, also representing CTCN

VITO has a long-standing tradition of organising international conferences on cutting edge technological innovations and solutions with a consortium of Indian technology development and research institutes. These conferences brought together heads of state and government, opinion leaders, policy makers and internationally renowned delegates of industry and academia to debate on global sustainability, climate change, environmental and energy related issues.

“As one of Asia’s leading international graduate institutes focused on the interface between technology and development, The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) has recruited the best students from over 75 countries since 1959, solving Asia’s many challenges with global knowledge, and leading the 23,000 alumni to positions of influence and power across Asia.

AIT is very pleased to co-host the 2017 Global Science, technology and Innovation Conference (G-STIC) and we look forward to an active partnership which supports access to technology (both hard and soft); coherent policies to enhance partnerships (south-south, north-south and triangular); and promotes ICT to connect people and knowledge on technology.” – Surendra Shrestha, AIT

“VITO has a tradition of strengthening the impact of technology in federal and European decision-making processes while also increasing the public understanding of prominent topics including climate change, energy-issues, circular economy, and sustainable chemistry. We have well-established research and technological partnerships in India, China and the Middle East and have organized the i-SUP and BSDS-conferences since 2006. Connecting with the Asian Institute for Technology in Thailand, the Chinese Academy of Science, and the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi further strengthens VITO’s long-standing collaboration with TERI.

VITO is taking the next step in its quest to support a worldwide transition to more sustainable societies and economies in an impacting and effective manner. Launching and supporting the G-STIC conference series is our response to the Paris climate agreement, entering in force on November 4th 2016, and the international community’s adoption of the 2030 development agenda and associated Sustainable Development Goals in 2015.” – Dirk Fransaer, VITO

The first meeting of the International Advisory Committee of G-STIC took place on Monday, October 17th, in Antwerp, Belgium at the occasion of i-SUP 2016, setting G-STIC well on its way to a series of activities, working groups, and partnerships, in preparation for the first G-STIC to be convened in Brussels. Mark your calendars for October 23-25, 2017!


Robby Berloznik - VITO

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