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Events & Publications on the topic: Frontier Technologies

ESCAP 74th Commission Plenary: Frontier technological innovation: policies to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals

Against this backdrop, the Asia-Pacific region and the world are moving steadily into the fourth industrial revolution. The scale, scope and speed of this transformation could be unlike anything the region has experienced before. A key concern is that this revolution, especially the uptake, adaptation and distribution of benefits generated by frontier technologies, such as artificial intelligence, could magnify inequalities through anticipated losses of certain lower-skilled job categories.

Frontier technologies for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific

As we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a revolution defined by frontier technological breakthroughs such as AI, robotics, 3D printing, and the Internet of Things amongst others, it will be critical that these technologies work for society and the environment as well as the economy if we are to achieve the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Digital and Virtual Currencies for Sustainable Development

Despite operating inefficiencies and security concerns, digital currencies are becoming a popular method of payment around the world. Digital currencies are not only the domain of developed nations. They also offer opportunities for developing countries pursuing sustainable development. Digital currency can allow for cheaper and more efficient money transfers, thereby alleviating global remittance costs. In addition, digital currency can foster favorable conditions for e-commerce, promote entrepreneurship, and facilitate small-scale international trade.

Artificial Intelligence in Asia and the Pacific

Frontier technologies could have significant positive impact for society and the environment. For example, data suggest that improved application of information and communication technologies to smart grids and transportation will reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 4.5 billion tons by 2020. This paper reviews the status of a specific frontier technology, artificial intelligence (AI), in the Asia-Pacific region and discusses the policy implications. The paper points out that a new “frontier technology divide” should be the primary concern for the region.

Innovative Development of Bottom-Up Nanotechnology-Based Value-Added Products for Enhancing Competitiveness in the Asia-Pacific

This report focuses on bottom-up synthesis of nanomaterials from the ‘poor man’s nanotechnology’ or ‘low-tech nanotech’ point of view– ‘poor man’ and ‘low tech’ in the sense of limited resources available to conduct cutting-edge nanotechnology research and development. At the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok (AIT), Thailand, for example, nanotechnology research was conducted on a shoestring budget and the program was built from there. However, if enough bottom-up potential is marshaled and integrated properly, the high entry barrier to nanotechnology can be mitigated.

Manual on Critical Issues in Nanotechnology R&D Management: An Asia-Pacific Perspective

APCTT has developed a “Manual on Critical Issues in Nanotechnology R&D Management: An Asia-Pacific Perspective” to help various stakeholders involved in the research and development (R&D) and innovation management activities in the area of nanotechnology. The Manual addresses the following issues that were identified at the Expert group Meeting (EGM) held in December 2011: