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Launch of Smart City Innovation Lab: a new project to channel innovations through smart city action plans

4 speakers

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Asian cities are home both to some of the world’s most dynamic innovation hubs, as well as concentrations of urban poverty exposing the most vulnerable populations to pollution and disasters. Smart cities have the potential to accelerate SDG implementation. Smart city policy goals and action plans are becoming mainstream in Asia, but still lack a robust supply of innovative smart city business models, products and services, especially in the region’s secondary cities. A wide spectrum of innovation programs exists to stimulate the development of smart cities solutions, particularly among multilateral institutions, yet uptake is still lagging. Two barriers are the untapped engagement of large private sector stakeholders, and a fractured innovation ecosystem that makes it difficult to establish a pipeline for smart cities solutions to reach markets. Development agencies and technology companies in the region need to collaborate on supporting entrepreneurs to address smart cities solutions that respond to the different levels of ICT readiness in the region’s cities. This event will be the launch of the Smart Cities Innovation Lab, conducted by UN ESCAP with the support of the People’s Republic of China and in cooperation with the ASEAN Smart Cities Network.