The Innovation & Competitiveness Task Force is at the heart of the United Nations system to promote STI (Science, Technology & Innovation) for Sustainable Development.
In 2012 the ESCAP Sustainable Business Network (ESBN) was set up under the guidance of the ESCAP Business Advisory Council (EBAC), to promote the active engagement of the business sector in addressing the issues of environmental sustainable and social inclusiveness in business, in the Asia and Pacific region.
The ESBN was established bases on three pillars of sustainability: namely (1) an economic pillar, which encompasses the need for sustained economic growth; (2) an environment pillar, which refers to environmental protection and development; and (3) a social pillar, which describes the need for poverty reduction and enhanced development of local communities and disadvantaged social groups.
To achieve its objectives under this framework, ESBN currently consists of ten task forces, these include task forces on: (1) Green Business; (2) Disaster and Climate Risk Reduction; (3) Banking and Finance; (4) Digital Economy; (5) Innovation and Competitiveness; (6) Youth and Women Entrepreneurship; and (7) Agriculture and Food.
Since long STI has been recognized as one of the main drivers behind increased productivity, economic growth & prosperity and in the context of post 2015 Agenda the STI plays an even more crucial role. Hence the establishment of Task Force on Innovation & Competitiveness.The goal of the task force is to foster businesses across Asia & Pacific for implementation of the SDGsin key business areas to strategically extend its support to the businesses in improving their innovation and design capability thereby resulting into development and economic growth. In this regard, the present Task Force will collaborate with other Task Forces of the Asia-Pacific Sustainable Business Network (SBN).
To work with the representative countries in the APAC region to advise on formulating policies and initiatives that encourage, recognize and reward Technology/Product/Business Model Innovation and facilitate adoption of Innovation and Design for ensuring competitiveness for SMEs and gain competitive edge through innovation (and design improvement), thereby influencing the economic development in the region.
The action plan of the Task Force is structured under below mentioned strategic areas for action: