Digital transformation, innovation and industrial recovery

Image Cover


Digital technologies are a game-changer and are critical to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, responding to and overcoming the COVID-19 crisis. However, the pandemic has compounded the implications of the growing digital divide and has exacerbated existing inequalities between the developing and the developed world. It has demonstrated and reinforced our reliance on digital technology in almost every facet of our daily lives, including remote education, working and health services, as well as for e-commerce and market access. The crisis has compounded and shed greater light on the need to promote and safeguard digital technologies to bridge the technology gap and help all people.

Following the Abu Dhabi Declaration of November 2019, UNIDO introduced a new approach to make the Fourth Industrial Revolution work for all, resting on four pillars: innovation, digital infrastructure, digital skills, and digital cooperation and partnerships. UNIDO is driving towards mainstreaming a digital, gender-responsive, sustainable transformation and the upscaling of digital capabilities in developing countries.

Research & articles

  • COVID-19: Long-term support for biotech yields vaccine promise in Cuba
    Is Industry 4.0 driving the backshoring of manufacturing activity?

    The potential for bringing production back home crucially depends on local innovation ecosystems.

    Learn More
  • COVID-19: Long-term support for biotech yields vaccine promise in Cuba
    Capturing the ‘digital dividend’ in developing economies

    Digitalization holds promise for less industrialized economies but also underlines the need for increasing efforts in developing human capital. 

    Learn More
  • Preparing accreditation for the new digital age
    Preparing accreditation for the new digital age

    Learn More
  • COVID-19: Long-term support for biotech yields vaccine promise in Cuba
    Leaders and laggards in the diffusion of industrial robots

    Differences between data sources make it challenging to identify the leaders and laggards in the adoption of industrial robots.

    Learn More
  • COVID-19: Long-term support for biotech yields vaccine promise in Cuba
    Digitalization and product upgrading in Indian firms

    Embedding digitalization as part of the wider industrialization strategy can enable developing country firms to climb up the value chain ladder.

    Learn More
  • COVID-19: Long-term support for biotech yields vaccine promise in Cuba
    The impact of frontier technologies on inequalities across countries

    To mitigate the risk of being left behind, developing countries should adopt frontier technologies while diversifying their economies.

    Learn More
  • COVID-19: Long-term support for biotech yields vaccine promise in Cuba
    Standards and Digital Transformation: Good Governance in the Digital Age

    The world is in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) powered by digital technologies that are transforming society, economies and the environment.

    Learn More

Training modules

  • A training course designed to provide a strong foundation on the basis of Industry 4.0 and the 4IR (here)

A training course that aims to support innovation activities within organizations, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (here)

A training course that aims at providing a strong foundation on the basics of e-commerce and to promote increased e-commerce adoption among SMEs (here)


  • 22 - 27 November 2021: Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit
  • September 2021: BRIDGE for Cities - Driving Innovation for Urban Resilience and Recovery from COVID-19
  • 22 September 2021: Learning and Knowledge Development Facility Forum 2021 (LKDF Forum 2021)
  • 5 August 2021: G20 Digital Ministers’ Meeting 2021
  • 27 July 2021: PrepCom2 Side Event on "Technology as a Driver of Structural Transformation in the LDCs"
  • June 2021: High-level Dialogue on Energy under the Topic “Innovation, Technology and Data”
  • Under the theme ‘Rewiring Societies: Repurposing Digitalization for Prosperity’, the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit will convene leaders and industry experts to discuss the best ways to prepare for the post-COVID-19 recovery and determine the role of the industrial sector to accelerate this recovery. The Summit paid particular attention to the role of technology in shaping the future of industries and how to take advantage of the opportunities and solutions it presents to address various challenges, including the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. UNIDO co-chairs the GMIS with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates.

    For more information, please visit the GMIS webpage here.

  • Bridge for Cities 2021 placed a particular emphasis on innovations employed by cities to advance recovery and build resilience in the context of COVID-19, including those employed to accelerate climate action at the city-level. The discussions were tailored around three major themes: 1) Inclusive recovery and technological innovation; 2) Green recovery and climate action; and 3) Public-private partnerships for a resilient economic growth.

    For more information, including video recordings and outcomes, please consult the dedicated webpage here.

  • LKDFThe COVID-19 pandemic has led to a leap in the digitalization of learning, working and connecting with others, but it has also exposed a serious digital divide that reinforces social and economic disparities.

    Under the theme Digital Skills for an Inclusive Future, and through a combination of plenary sessions, expert-led workshops, and networking opportunities, the LKDF Forum 2021 will provide a virtual venue to discuss the future of skills and jobs. In particular, how to seize the opportunities of digital technologies to ensure an inclusive future, empowering the most vulnerable and leaving no one behind.

    Find more information here.

  • UNIDO participation in the G20 Digital Ministers’ Meeting 2021.

    Read more here.

  • At the margins of the second session of the Intergovernmental Preparatory Committee (PrepCom2) of the Fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (UN LDC5), the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), together with the United Nations Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries (UN Technology Bank) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), organized a high-level side event focused on the role of technology as a driver of structural transformation in the least developed countries (LDCs).

    Read more here.

  • UNIDO participation in the high-level dialogue on energy under the topic “Innovation, Technology and Data” (here)

    Read more here.