27 July 2018, Technology Bank for least developed countries inaugurated

It is time to celebrate a new member of the UN family, the Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries which was recently inaugurated in Gebze, Turkey. The Bank’s establishment marks the first SDG target achieved – SDG 17.8.  

Many UN staff, across the system have worked hard to make this ambitious project a reality since the Fourth UN Conference on Least Developed countries was held in Turkey in 2011.

What is the Technology Bank? – It’s a new UN body tasked by the General Assembly to strengthen the knowledge capacity of the world’s 47 least developed countries so that they can foster development of their innovation ecosystems to attract outside technology, generate homegrown research, and promote their integration into the global knowledge-based economy. The challenge was how to implement it with no resources allocated to its establishment.

UN-OHRLLS negotiated a host country agreement with Turkey, mobilized additional resources from Norway, received pledges from Sudan, Bangladesh and Philippines. A UN inter-agency task force consisting of experts from Facilities Management, Legal Affairs, Safety and Security, Administration and ICT worked collectively to prepare the premises with their Turkish counterparts.

“The Technology Bank truly represents what the UN can do when it works together as one. From building the new facility up to UN standards, setting up security protocols, building the ICT infrastructure, recruiting staff and negotiating the host country agreement, this inauguration represents a tremendous effort from staff across the UN system. I hope that everyone can feel very proud for the work they have done in making this valuable resource a reality for the world’s least developed countries”, said Heidi Schroderus-Fox, Acting Managing Director of the Technology Bank and Director of UN-OHRLLS.

The Tech Bank is starting its work by conducting science, technology and innovation reviews in Guinea, Haiti, Sudan, Timor-Leste and Uganda. It is also facilitating digital access to research in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda, and Tanzania.

And this is just the beginning…