USAID Begins Mapping New Science, Technology, and Innovation Strategy

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 15, 2010
USAID Press Office
202-712-4320

Washington D.C. - This week, Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) gathered many of the world’s leading scientists and development thinkers, along with leaders of key federal science agencies to help map out a bold new Science, Technology and Innovation strategy for USAID. The conference, entitled “Transforming Development Through Science Technology and Innovation” was the first step in helping USAID to identify “grand challenges” and explore how science, technology, and innovation can be used to solve them.

More than 60 experts from around the world spent two days engaged in lively and thought-provoking discussions to address today’s most pressing development challenges and how we can resolve them. Keynote speakers included Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Dr. Holdren gave high marks to Administrator Shah and the timeliness and importance of the event.

“We need to get more creative about applying science, technology, and innovation to the great challenges of sustainable development,” said Dr. Holdren. “Administrator Shah clearly is giving high priority to this focus, and this conference has been a great step forward in mobilizing support and ideas for his efforts from across the many relevant Federal agencies and the wider science, technology, innovation, and development communities.”

Science, technology and innovation are essential to solving today’s most pressing development issues and are critical drivers of economic growth around the globe. This conference marked a major milestone in USAID’s efforts to advance this goal.

“Science, technology and innovation can help us leapfrog past development problems that can otherwise take generations to tackle,” said Dr. Shah, USAID Administrator. “It can bridge the divide between the public and private sector and bypass obstacles previously considered impasses. New technologies alone won’t be a silver bullet for development—we also need to ensure that our implementation, distribution, and communication with partner countries are strategically coordinated at all levels of our work.”

A global leader in development, USAID is pioneering scientific, technological, research- motivated and innovative approaches to traditional development challenges. Science and technology is one of four key priorities for USAID and as an example of the Agency’s focus on this, the Administrator has appointed the first science advisor the Agency has had in 19 years as well as established a new dedicated Science and Technology office. This commitment will revitalize and strengthen USAID’s institutional capacity to utilize research, science and technology to solve key development issues throughout the world.

Last updated: April 16, 2014

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