Concept of the Forum

The world is on the cusp of major paradigm shift as there is a growing necessity in new economic and social models able to address challenges of globalization and rising interdependences. Rapid technological progress driven by digitization could be further accelerated. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, 3D printing, etc. are changing society at an ever increasing pace.

For instance, the capacity of artificial intelligence for transmission to exponential growth could lead to profound economic, social and environmental change, affecting enterprises, consumers, governments, research institutions, industry organizations and society as a whole. Biotechnology is transforming agricultural practices while advances in nanotechnology are providing new methods in medical diagnostics and treatment.

The convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and cognitive science (NBIC) has the potential to create machines, tools, methods and business models that can significantly enhance economic performance, while reducing or even reversing harmful environmental impact. Among others, augmenting human performance, reducing environmental pollution and rebalancing natural cycles and processes is at the core of NBIC convergence. This fusion of new technologies is blurring the boundaries between the physical, digital, and biological spheres and will fundamentally change the way we live and work in the coming decades.

Global Forum on Naturally-Based and Convergent Technologies will bring together various stakeholders such as experts on technologies, policymakers, representatives from government, international development organizations, financial development institutions and the private sector to share best practice and discuss the key issues:

  • Key concepts and issues behind naturally-based and convergent technologies: current state and future projections.
  • Impact of naturally-based and convergent technologies on the environment and on material, energy and human resources.
  • Implementation of innovative approaches towards restoring balance between biosphere and technosphere trough convergent and naturally-based technologies.
  • Barriers to the uptake of naturally-based and convergent technologies in industry.
  • Lessons learned from enterprises and relevant institutions conducting in-depth R&D and application of the emerging technologies in industry.
  • Benefits of standardization to interoperability in industry.
  • Addressing skills mismatches at the national level, such as the lack of digital skills and science, technology, engineering and math qualifications.
  • The role of development financial institutions and international organizations, such as UNIDO, in supporting the design and implementation of strategies to promote naturally-based and convergent technologies and their application in industry; Cooperation in risk assessment, management and communication mechanisms.
  • Follow-up actions to be taken to raise awareness on the potential of naturally-based and convergent technologies for realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and related SDGs.

Objectives of the Forum are to:

  • Increase the awareness about the potential of convergent and naturally-based technologies and Industry 4.0 to foster inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID);
  • Bring together different stakeholders, e.g. experts on convergent and naturally-based technologies, policymakers, representatives from government, international development organizations, financial development institutions and the private sector;
  • Create a platform to exchange knowledge and technologies in the field of convergent and naturally-based technologies and their applications in innovations, industrial policy and programs;
  • Facilitate exchange of best practices and gained experience in application of convergent and naturally-based technologies in industries;
  • Provide a space for discussions to young innovators and professionals.

The Global Forum is organized in cooperation with the Government of the Russian Federation under the project elaborated by the National Research Centre “Kurchatov Institute” and UNIDO following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Decree №PR-1500 of 29 July 2016.