Minister Dr. Ashwathnarayan during UNLEASH-22 global event at Infosys
Mysore/Mysuru: The State Government has accorded top priority to promote sustainable development, said Minister for Higher Education, IT/BT Dr. C.N. Ashwathnarayan.
In his welcome address at the opening ceremony of a week-long global event UNLEASH-22 (innovation lab to realise United Nations sustainable development goals), attended by talents from more than 100 countries at Infosys premises last evening, he said that sustainable development was the greatest challenge that the world was facing today.
The Government’s intention is to achieve sustainability in all the possible sectors including healthcare, renewable energy, clean water, etc. “Governments, businesses, innovators need to work together to make sure that technology is actively managed to align with societal needs and address its most urgent goals ‑—Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he added.
It goes without saying that innovation and technology is the solution to major challenges today. Agriculture, health, education, social impact or governance — name a challenge and there will be an innovative solution out there for each use case, he said.
No. 1 in India’s Innovation Index
Claiming that Karnataka, which had emerged as No. 1 in the India’s Innovation Index for the last three years, was the innovation gateway for the world into India, the Minister said the State Government had started a unique innovation programme to achieve SDGs – Grand Challenges Karnataka. The programme aims to channelise innovation for social impact.
“The Government identifies societal problems that are linked to SDGs. The problem statement is given to start-ups and innovators to propose potential solutions. We have conducted challenges related to mobility, water, clean environment, education, primary health among other areas,” he said.
New Age Innovation Network
With an aim to encourage spirit of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, New Age Innovation Network (NAIN) has been established in the districts, beyond Bengaluru. “A network of incubation centres has been set up in 30 engineering institutions to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in cities beyond Bengaluru. All such incubators will be networked and connected to facilitate exchange of thoughts, ideas and collaboration across institutions and disciplines,” he noted.
New technologies are rapidly transforming all aspects of our society, sectors and markets. Innovators are re-imagining how we innovate, create, distribute and capture value in the new systems that are emerging, the Minister added.
About the event
UNLEASH – 22 is aimed at developing new, innovative and scalable solutions to address the United Nations’ SDGs and accelerate positive change towards SDGs by mobilising young talented people in community leadership, problem-solving and launching social and environmental solutions.
It will focus on seven SDGs including good health and wellbeing under which talents will find solutions to improve diabetes awareness, access to healthcare and prevention with focus on non-communicable diseases, besides finding solutions for prevention, diagnosis and accessibility of mental healthcare for all.
In addition, the focus will be on clean water and sanitation under which talents will co-create solutions to address current water and sanitation challenges, focussing on new initiatives to protect clean water sources and to better manage water use. Under the SDG for affordable and clean energy, talents will develop energy solutions needed for energy transition.
Chairman of UNLEASH Flemming, Executive Vice-President and Global Chief Marketing Officer, Infosys, Sumit Virmani, Mission Director of Atal Innovation Mission Chintan Vaishnav, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of IT and BT Dr. E.V. Ramana Reddy, Director IT and BT Meena Nagaraj and titular head of Mysore royal family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar were present.