SDG 9: INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Industry, innovation and infrastructure, pillars of social and economic development

#R&D #SDG

Over one billion people do not have access to reliable telephone service (UN, 2017), and there continues to be much basic infrastructure in poor conditions in many developing countries. To spread prosperity and social and economic development we must continue to invest in industry, innovation and infrastructure.

A total of 2.1 billion people don't have access to clean drinking water, more than 1.2 billion live without electricity, between 1 and 1.15 billion have no access to a reliable telephone service... These data provided by the UN in 2017 show us that there's still a long way to go.

The UN sustains that industry, innovation and infrastructure are the three main pillars of sustainable development. They are also essential for business and therefore for social and economic development. The United Nations explains that, for example, every job in the manufacturing sector creates 2.2 jobs in other sectors of the economy.

Facing the current situation and reversing the trend that these data reflect has become a primary objective at the international level. That is why building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and fostering innovation were made the ninth of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in September 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda.

Keys to understanding the lack of R&D investment in the world.#RRSSKeys to understanding the lack of R&D investment in the world.

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Keys to understanding the lack of R&D investment in the world [PDF]

IBERDROLA, COMMITTED TO INNOVATION

Iberdrola is firmly committed to innovation: in 2017, the group's investment earmarked for R&D activities stood at €246 million, an increase of 17% compared to the previous year. And over the last ten years this figure has grown by 237%, demonstrating the company's decisive commitment to this endeavour.

All this has made the company into what is considered to be the most innovative Spanish utility, as well as the third most innovative in Europe and the fourth in the world, according to the classification by the European Commission.

WHY IS THE UN'S GOAL FOR INDUSTRY, INNOVATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE SO IMPORTANT?

Economic growth, social development and action against climate change depend in large part on the investment in infrastructure, sustainable industrial development and technological progress.

But basic infrastructure, such as roads, information and communication technologies, sanitation, electricity, and water, continues to be scarce in many developing countries.

Progress can only be achieved with advancements in technology, and this requires the promotion of sustainable industries and investment in scientific research and innovation. The existence of roads in good condition, reliable electricity, good sea and air connections, as well as a universal Internet connection, are the measures recommended by the UN to remedy this situation.

TARGETS OF THE NINTH SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL

The targets established for 2030 are:

  • To develop high-quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.
  • To promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation.
  • To increase the contribution of industry to employment and GDP, and double this contribution in less advanced countries.
  • To modernise infrastructure and repurpose industries to become sustainable, using resources more effectively and promoting the adoption of clean and environmentally-rational industrial processes and technologies.
  • To bolster scientific research and improve the technological capacity of the industrial sectors in all countries.