Skip to main content

UNIDO promotes innovation standards and digital transformation to achieve SDGs

30 June 2022

UNIDO promotes innovation standards and digital transformation to achieve SDGs

VIENNA, 30 June 2022 – In collaboration with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) successfully hosted in hybrid format the ‘UNIDO–ISO Innovation Seminar’ and the ‘UNIDO–ISO Innovation Labs’ at its Headquarters, on 27 June 2022 and 30 June 2022 respectively.


“UNIDO and ISO are committed to further strengthen the promotion and dissemination of standards for innovation and sustainable development, including by making available the newly launched ISO-UNIDO Handbook in other UN official languages”, said Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, UNIDO Managing Director for Digitalization, Technology and Agri-business. “We also believe that innovation must be increasingly promoted – particularly through capacity-building initiatives – across all our projects and programmes pertaining to innovation standards, and beyond”.


Representatives from Member States and standardization bodies as well as experts in the field of innovation standards came together for the ‘UNIDO-ISO Innovation Seminar’ on 27 June 2022 to further explore standardization within the framework of innovation, with an emphasis on mainstreaming innovation standards in African countries. This allowed to also highlight partnership opportunities, as exemplified by case studies from UNIDO’s network of Investment and Technology Promotion Offices (ITPOs) where innovation was fostered in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups. In addition, the Seminar further presented UNIDO’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Working Group as well as its ongoing ‘SDG Innovation Centre’ project, which is being implemented in collaboration with the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU).


A highlight of the Seminar was the launch of the ISO-UNIDO Innovation Management Handbook, which expands upon the standard ISO 56002:2019, Innovation management — Innovation management system — Guidance, and which aims at providing guidance for organizations wanting to innovate. In addition to the Handbook, UNIDO and ISO presented an online course on Innovation Management that they developed, which is currently available in both English and Spanish on UNIDO’s Knowledge Hub.


On 30 June 2022, the ‘UNIDO-ISO Innovation Labs’ provided for high-quality discussions among innovation standard experts that focused on the relevance of digital transformation; innovation ecosystems; and standards toward sustainable development. In particular, the Labs highlighted the important role of standards in governing digital transformation and innovation.


“Taking into account the considerable impact that digital transformation has on people, the economy, and the environment, it is of utmost importance to implement standards governing digital transformation in order to maximize its benefits and minimize its drawbacks”, said Natascha Weisert, Senior Coordination Officer within the Office of the UNIDO Director General.


Following the success of the sessions, UNIDO and ISO have reiterated how important it is to facilitate the engagement with other agencies and global institutions towards strengthening linkages between innovation management standards and the global innovations initiatives. As such, increasing cooperation also to design and develop pilot initiatives to advance innovation management standards in developing countries, and particularly in Africa, represents another area in which both organizations’ interventions would be very relevant.


UNIDO promotes innovation standards and digital transformation to achieve SDGs-2

For more information, please contact:

Alejandro Rivera-Rojas

Executive Officer



Agenda of the Events: download

Brochure: download

Recordings of the sessions: Innovation SeminarInnovation Labs

UNIDO knowledge Hub:

Online course on Innovation Management: