Cristina Azevedo (Fiocruz News Agency)
The annual meeting of the Global Sustainable Technology and Innovation Conference (G-Stic) will take place for the first time in the Americas, from February 13th to 15th, more precisely in Rio de Janeiro. Co-hosted by Fiocruz, the theme of the event will be “For an equitable and sustainable future: Innovative technological solutions for a better post-pandemic recovery”, gathering important names in the fields of science, technology, and innovation. And, as the Foundation is the main co-host, health gains even greater importance in this sixth edition of G-Stic.
Considered the largest global conference on Science, Technology, and Innovation to accelerate the 2030 Agenda (which deals with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN, the SDG), G-Stic had been held in Belgium since its inception in 2017. To increase its capillarity, it started to be held in other countries, and last year it took place during Expo Dubai. Fiocruz, co-host of the event since 2018, then suggested that the 2023 edition take place in Brazil, which was well accepted.
“This G-Stic takes place at a crucial moment”, explains Paulo Gadelha, coordinator of the Fiocruz Strategy for 2030 Agenda (EFA 2030). “In the global field, it comes at a time of worsening planetary crisis in view of climate change, loss of biodiversity, pollution, and the need to rebuild the post-COVID-19 pandemic world. In the Brazilian case, it happens at a time of reconstitution of the country's commitments to the 2030 Agenda, with the recovery of social instruments and the reconnection with public policies aimed at social inclusion”, added the former president of Fiocruz.
Participants range from the Belgian Princess Marie-Esmeralda, journalist and environmental activist, and Macharia Kamau, secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, who was the UN Special Envoy for the Implementation of the SDGs, to “home” characters, such as the former president of Fiocruz and new Minister of Health, Nísia Trindade Lima, and Marco Krieger, vice president of Production and Innovation in Health. The list goes on with important figures such as the Indian Amandeep Singh Gill, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Technology; Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and recently appointed as chief scientist of the World Health Organization; and the indigenous activist Samela Sateré Mawé. Held at Expo MAG, in downtown Rio de Janeiro, the event will be divided into plenary sessions, in-depth sessions, special sessions, and high-level special sessions.
For Gadelha, the moment Brazil is experiencing has become an extra attraction, as many governments, institutions, and companies seek to assess what this reintegration of Brazil in the international scenario means with the commitment to matters related to the 2030 Agenda, in the fields of geopolitics and in the inclusion policy processes in the country.
The purpose of the event is to accelerate the development and application of technological solutions to achieve the SDG. Panels are divided into six themes: Health, Education, Water, Energy, Climate, and Oceans. Initially led by the Belgian technology institute Vito, which holds significant importance in the event, G-Stic gathers a group of institutions with representations in all regions of the world. The entry of Brazil in 2018, through Fiocruz, gave even greater relevance to the theme of health, which is clear to see in the February schedule.
In this edition, the Immunobiological Technology Institute (Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz) will organize panels on the local production of vaccines and immunization, a deficiency that became evident with the difficulty in access to vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is a priority theme for the UN and WHO. Fiocruz and Brazil have a central role given the importance of the productions of Bio-Manguinhos and Farmanguinhos [Institute of Drug Technology] in this process”, said Gadelha. As the meeting is brought to Latin America, regional themes such as inequalities are strengthened.
Gadelha hopes that G-Stic Rio will contribute to building a strong relationship between representatives of the various organizations, Fiocruz, and the Brazilian government. “It is an opportunity to open up and strengthen cooperation, to distribute new lines of joint action, including in the business field. Entrepreneurs from Europe, who wish to re-establish partnerships and relationships in Brazil, will be attending the conference.” Another expectation is the G-Stic Final Charter, which is usually broadened in the next international forums, especially in the UN Science and Technology Forum. “My expectation is that of great articulation, which will produce long-term effects. And hopefully, with that, a great strengthening of Fiocruz”, he said.
The G-STIC conference is hosted jointly by VITO (the prime research and technology organization on cleantech and sustainable development in Belgium) and 7 other not-for-profit independent technology research institutes: Fiocruz, CSIR (The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa), GIEC (Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, China), GIST (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea), NACETEM (National Centre for Technology Management, Nigeria), TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute, India), and SDSN (the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network).
In Brazil, G-Stic Rio has Petrobras as its master sponsor, but is sponsored also by the companies Aegea, IBMP, Instituto Helda Gerdau (Helda Gerdau Institute), Klabin, Enel, Firjan, Sanofi, and Engie, with the support of the Institute for Climate and Society.
The event takes place from February 13th to 15th at Expo MAG, in four auditoriums, and it will be streamed online. Registration is required. To consult the schedule and register, please access G-Stic Rio.