unctad.org | CSTD Side Event - 50 Breakthrough Technologies for Sustainable Global Development
CSTD Side Event - 50 Breakthrough Technologies for Sustainable Global Development
13 May 2019
14:00–15:00 hrs., Room XXVI, Palais des Nations
Geneva, Switzerland

Key Issues

A Case Example - Utility-in-a-Box: India’s Next Generation Mini-grid
The Single Largest Electrification Event in History

Join us to learn how an innovative technology and a creative partnership among philanthropists, technology experts, and the private sector are bringing clean, reliable, and affordable power to 20 million of India’s poorest rural households.

Featured Speaker:

Shashi Buluswar is the CEO of the Institute for Transformative Technologies and author of the groundbreaking study to identify the “The 50 most critical scientific and technological breakthroughs required for sustainable global development

Although India has made great strides in electrification infrastructure and connectivity, many rural areas remain either unserved or under-served. The mini-grid project, which lays the foundation for India’s smart grid of the future, combines the talents of ITT, Tata Power, India’s largest power generation company, the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation, and Smart Power India, a Rockefeller Foundation program.

One of the key objectives of the electrification project, in addition to improving health conditions and quality of life – particularly for women, who benefit most from the introduction of clean and reliable lighting – is an economic stimulus. Clean, affordable, and reliable electricity is a key catalyst for small businesses, particularly in rural areas with limited formal employment opportunities. The same is true for the growth of micro-economies that often emerge from the ground up.

Breakthrough Technologies

Buluswar will showcase how ITT’s new model of technology development and deployment can be duplicated across geographies. This model, which fuses rigorous science and engineering to produce technology innovations, is notable for its related objective -- developing attractive business propositions for emerging market companies. Such established, private sector companies are typically wellpositioned to combine profitable enterprise with solutions to social problems at a large scale.

The project’s modular, Utility-in-a-Box combines hybrid solar, battery storage, and diesel/biomass. It is delivered pre-assembled to the site with an installation time of less than one week and is nearly 50% cheaper than the next-best market alternative. Phase 1 will target more than 10,000 villages across five of the most underserved states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkand, Assam, and Odisha.

Related Sites:

Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD)

The United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Commission on Science and Technology for Development 

CSTD Dialogue

The CSTD Dialogue brings together leaders and experts to address what must be done to ensure that the potential offered by science, technology and innovation towards achieving the SDGs is ultimately realized.

CSTD Dialogue
Covid-19 Advisory
In view of the current situation concerning the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it has been decided in the public interest to postpone all UNCTAD meetings scheduled in May 2020, including those listed below. New dates will be communicated in due time.
  • Multi-year Expert Meeting on Trade, Services and Development (5 to 6 May 2020)
  • Short course for Geneva-based delegates - Para 166 (8 May 2020)
  • Multi-year Expert Meeting on Investment, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Productive Capacity-building and Sustainable Development (13 May 2020)
  • UNCTAD ad-hoc meetings
Please consult the information on COVID-19 for meeting participants here.

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