Improving content quality of sustainable technology databases

Quality technology databases are a vital instrument

What facilitates access to technological solutions is knowing where they are and how to get them, having the means to obtain them and the capacity to use them, having access to relevant user experience, and being able to adapt these solutions and further develop them for local needs.

A good technology database caters for all or most of these needs. While technological solutions are a vital element of achieving the SDGs, technology databases provide the structure that is critically important for facilitating access to these solutions.

Quality of sustainable technology database contents

When it comes to technology databases, the policy makers’ attention is often more on the structure, ownership, and cost than on the quality of its content. There is often little checking of credentials, and very limited requirements for certification of claims. But there are examples of organisations that use criteria to decide which technologies to include in their databases. Potential criteria include

• Applicability in developing countries,

• Competitive advantage,

• Technical maturity,

• Circularity potential,

• Reliability,

• Availability of Life Cycle Analysis data,

• Availability of user feedback,

• Impact on equality, …

Improving the content of sustainable technology databases

The issues surrounding content quality of technology databases will be explored during a plenary Expert Panel Discussion on day 3 of G-STIC 2018. This discussion aims to produce tangible proposals on how database content can be improved to achieve the SDGs and serve their philosophical underpinnings of universality, inclusion, human rights, and leaving no one behind.

Respondents from the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development and Ubuntoo will share their experiences. Panellists from the G-STIC Strategic Partners WIPO GREEN, Innovation DB, Engineering for Change and the Solar Impulse Foundation will discuss any lessons learned on improving the content of technology databases, including the acceptance criteria for database entries, the review and selection processes and the methods used to determine validity and credibility of database entries.

WIPO Green, established in 2013 by the decision of World Intellectual Property Organization Member States, is a “marketplace that promotes innovation and diffusion of green technologies … by connecting technology and service providers with those seeking innovative solutions.” It provides free and open access for both technology providers and seekers, and its content covers the fields of transportation, building/construction, farming/forestry, energy, water, chemicals, pollution/waste, and green products.

Innovation DB is “the world’s leading database of innovative technologies developed by academic and private commercial research

laboratories working in all fields of science and technology.” The database has 10,000 registered users for whom the organisation provides networking events, in-depth reports, and online discussion forums. The technologies listed in the database are available for license or purchase, and relate to energy, food and agriculture, health, and ICT.

Engineering for Change (E4C) describes itself as a “knowledge organisation” with a mission “to prepare, educate and activate the international engineering workforce to improve quality of life of underserved communities around the world by providing resources and platforms that accelerate the development of impactful solutions.” The E4C Solutions Library contains 600 technology solutions in the fields of agriculture, energy, habitat, health, ICT, sanitation, transportation and water.

The World Alliance for Efficient Solutions, established by the Solar Impulse Foundation, brings together the main actors involved in developing, financing or promoting products, services, processes and technologies that protect the environment in a profitable way. To this end, the World Alliance will assess the solutions submitted by their Members, and select 1000 of the most promising ones with the help of independent technical and financial experts. These solutions will be labelled as Efficient Solutions and will be presented to governments, businesses and institutions to encourage them to adopt more ambitious environmental targets and energy policies.

Join our plenary Expert Panel Discussion

Join us on November 30 at 9:00 AM during our plenary Expert Panel Discussion. The discussions will aim to produce tangible proposals for the international process on the Technology Facilitation Mechanism for the SDGs.


Posted By Dietrich Van der Weken on 29 October 2018