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Brussels Conference shows innovative solutions in health


Julia Dias (CCS)


Four years after the launching of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by the United Nations (UN), there is a consensus among specialists that the expected progress is not taking place. This means it will not be possible to achieve the goals agreed by the countries without changing things.

With the goal of accelerating the progress in the search for solution against today’s great problems, the Global Sustainable Technology & Innovation Conferences (G-STIC) took place between 20 and 22 November in Brussels, Belgium. The event is organized by the Flemish Institute of Technological Research (Vito), together with six other independent research institutes from different continents. Fiocruz was the only Latin-American representative in the event and oversaw its Health axis, one of the six main themes identified as priorities by partner institutions.

The idea of the event is to identify, bring together and present examples of integrated technological solutions that are ready for the market. The organizers believe that many of these solutions already exist, they just need to be implemented on a large scale to have great impact towards sustainable development.

“If we wish to change the production and consumption patterns and have opportunities of development and growth for everyone, the implementation of integrated technological solutions that are ready for the market is a crucial step”, stated Vito’s representatives. “The solutions face multiple challenges of sustainable development, through different disciplines and sectors, and also take into account the environmental, social and economic dimentions”.

In the health area, some of the solutions presented involve the solutions of use of data in health, remote health, technologies for emergencies control, and education. The session was coordinated by former Fiocruz president, Paulo Gadelha, and the senior consultant of the European Center of Politics, Lieve Fransen, and also aimed for a large vision of health, linked to social and economic determinants, as well as environmental and food safety.

“Fiocruz’s participation in the G-STIC draws attention to high-impact, scalable and accessible technologies that may give resilience to universal health coverage and contribute to the main goal of the 2030 Agenda: promote sustainable development without leaving anyone behind”, explains Paulo Gadelha.

The other thematic axis identified as priorities were climate, education, energy, water, and oceans. In addition, circular economy, geospatial data, gender, youth and CT&I were transversal themes that were present during all discussions.

Copernicus Hackathon
Three great challenges related to the SDGs were also part of a paralel G-STIC event, the Copernicus Hackathon. In the health area, Fiocruz has launched a challenge for a healthy life for farmers. In the challenge, participants should’ve developed a prediction system for draughts in the Brazilian North-East, aiming to improve the life and health of small farmers in the region.

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