The Islamic Development Bank Launches Digital Platform for Sustainable Development

The IDB launched a digital platform just recently in the UK called Engage, which will promote technological and scientific solutions to speed up the progress toward the United Nation’s sustainable development goals.

President of the IDB, Dr Bandar Hajjar announced the launch at an event hosted by Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London.

He made the announcement alongside the United Nation’s undersecretary-general and executive secretary for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Dr. Shamsad Akhtar and the IDB’s chief scientific adviser, Dr. Hayat Sindi and also business, innovation and development experts.

Hajjar said that the IDB comprehends the need to innovate and collaborate through all sectors to help construct capacity within countries to address their own development requirements. He added that Engage will provide the finest implements and a helpful environment so that innovators and businesses can embrace the great potential of science, technology and innovation as strategic drivers for economic growth among local communities.

Hajjar added that they are grateful to their partners at the Shell Foundation and UESCAP for their support and look forward to partnering with a lot more companies, investors, entrepreneurs, governments, academics and Non-Government Organizations as they focus on the significance of investing in science and technology information.

IDB’s chief scientific adviser, Dr. Hayat Sindi said that there are three main services that Engage offers namely Matchmaking, technology transfer and calls for innovation.

She went on to say that through Engage, innovators, SMEs, private sector companies, governments and NGOs will all benefit custom-made mentoring services and expert knowledge sharing through Engage, which will aid trigger their ideas and proposals to an internationally recognized standard.

The platform will focus on 6 SDGs, these are healthier lives, greater food security, inclusive and equitable education, sustainable management of water, access to clean and affordable energy and sustainable industrialization across developing world.

United Nation’s undersecretary-general and executive secretary for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Dr. Shamsad Akhtar said that Engage will power the policy shifts needed for science, technology and innovation to have a positive effect, not just on our economy but also on our society and the environment.

The IDB has established the new Transform Fund, so as to ensure members have access to financing for innovation. This will finance innovative ideas linked to development solutions.

It will also offer seed money for innovators, SMEs and startups, and corporations between researchers and entrepreneurs that will tackle development challenges in line with the SDGs.

Abdulhakim Elwaer, spokesman of IDB said the launch event saw the signing of a couple of landmark memorandum of understanding by the IDB.

The first is with UNESCAP and the second with the Shell Foundation.

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