Geneva: United Nations Converence on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
The transition towards a more sustainable world economy is a fact, as the internationally community has realized that business as usual practices will lead to ecological disasters, from global warming, loss of bio-diversity to the contamination of maritime water bodies. Research, development and innovations are powerful tools to align the needs of a growing world population with the necessities of keeping global development within the planetary boundaries. There is, however, a huge and growing - rather than diminishing - divide in both inputs and outputs to the science and innovation systems. Developing countries, which are most severely affected by the multiple ecological crises cannot invest very high financial and human resources to address their specific challenges though research and development. This calls for determined international action and North-South cooperation in science, technology and innovation. The paper analyses the North-South divide in research and development and discusses, how international cooperation may strengthen the capabilities of the Global South to respond to the challenges and, wherever possible, take advantage of new economic opportunities in a world transitioning towards more sustainable growth patterns.