Workshop on the Validation of Technology Needs Assessment (TNA): Bangladesh Perspective

The Validation of Technology Needs Assessment (TNA): Bangladesh Perspective workshop was successfully held on June 22, 2023. This workshop, organized by the United Nations Technology Bank for least developed countries, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and Aspire to Innovate – a2i programme, aimed to evaluate and validate the Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) specific to Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh TNA, anchored under the Aspire to Innovate – a2i programme, strives to design an optimal strategic plan for the expansion and development of technology innovation and diffusion in the country. The primary objectives of the TNA are to gain insights into national frameworks on science, technology, and innovation, identify priority development challenges that can be addressed using technologies, and prioritize suitable technologies that meet the country’s specific needs. Additionally, the TNA aims to identify barriers and challenges hindering the application of technologies in least-developed countries (LDCs) and evaluate the enabling environment for technology utilization. The ultimate goal is to present recommendations on how to enhance technological development in Bangladesh, promoting structural transformation, poverty reduction, and sustainable development.

The online workshop brought together key national stakeholders with the purpose of validating the Bangladesh TNA. This validation process provided an opportunity for participants to review and verify the information presented in the report, ensuring its consistency and alignment with the country’s needs and priorities. The event commenced with opening remarks by Mr. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor at Aspire to Innovate – a2i. Subsequently, Mr. Taffere Tesfachew, Acting Managing Director of the UN Technology Bank for LDCs, and Mr. Joshua Setipa, Senior Director of SPPD, Strategy, Portfolio, Partnerships, and Digital Division at the Commonwealth Secretariat, shared their perspectives on behalf of their respective organizations. The guest of honor, Mr. Mohd. Monirul Islam, Additional Secretary (SDG Affairs) at the Prime Minister’s Office, Bangladesh, graced the opening session.

The TNA report was presented by Ms. Federica Irene Falomi, Economic Affairs Officer at the UN Technology Bank for LDCs, who highlighted the strategic framework proposed to enhance innovation maturity in Bangladesh. The report emphasized a focused technology innovation stack comprising ICT technologies, industry 4.0 (frontier technologies), sector and domain-specific technologies, and traditional knowledge-based innovations.

The closing session was facilitated by Mr. Stefan Liller, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh, as the guest of honor. Dr. Dewan Muhammad Humayun Kabir, Project Director (Additional Secretary) of Aspire to Innovate – a2i, chaired the event, ensuring its progression.

Mr. Abhik Sen, the Head of Innovation and Partnerships at the Strategic Planning and Evaluation Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, and Mr. H.M. Asad-Uz-Zaman, a Strategy & Innovation Specialist at Aspire to Innovate – a2i, moderated the workshop.

This workshop provided valuable insights and recommendations on how to strengthen Bangladesh’s technological development and maximize the impact of technology as a tool for progress. By leveraging the findings from the TNA, Bangladesh is well-positioned to advance its innovation ecosystem, foster structural transformation, reduce poverty, and promote sustainable development. The collaboration among the United Nations Technology Bank for LDCs, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and Aspire to Innovate – a2i has been instrumental in facilitating this significant step toward a technologically empowered future for Bangladesh.