What Is SDG 9?: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure Goal With Easy Explanation

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What Is SDG 9?: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure Goal With Easy Explanation

Sustainable Development Goals in a Nutshell

The SDG 9 is one of the goals of “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

The Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) provides substantive support and capacity-building for the SDGs and their related thematic issues, including water, energy, climate, ocean, urbanization, transport, science and technology, the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), partnerships and Small Island Developing States. DSDG plays a key role in the evaluation of UN system wide implementation of the 2030 Agenda and on advocacy and outreach activities relating to the SDGs. In order to make the 2030 Agenda a reality, broad ownership of the SDGs must translate into a strong commitment by all stakeholders to implement the global goals. DSDG aims to help facilitate this engagement.

Sustainable Development Goal 9 Explanation

In this article, we’d like to introduce you Sustainable Development Goal 9 as the focus of this article for better understanding through the easy explanation. This goal is based on three interconnected pillars: industry, innovation, and infrastructure. The main goal of SDG 9 is to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive, and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation. As The UN explains: Investments in infrastructure – transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology – are crucial to achieving sustainable development and empowering communities in many countries. It has long been recognized that growth in productivity and incomes, and improvements in health and education outcomes require investment in infrastructure.

Sustainable Industry

OMV Oil refinery in Vienna, Austria.

Achieving sustainable industrial development means that business and industry will have to adjust production structures and its product mix. Industrial policy should contribute to supporting such an adjustment process. This objective calls for an integrated approach to sustainable development, encourages increased interrelationship between environment and industrial policies and promotes the role of business and industry for the achievement of sustainable development.
Building on the scientific rationale that the management of natural resources should be consistent with the preservation of its reproductive capacity, this concept has been broadened to incorporate economic, social and environment concerns. Environmental protection, economic development and social development are thus the three pillars of sustainable development.

Among the features of sustainable industry offered were energy efficiency, resource conservation to meet the needs of future generations, safe and skill-enhancing working conditions, low waste production processes, and the use of safe and environmentally compatible materials. Some of the benefits, however, would be offset by higher prices (due to labor costs) and a theoretically larger population needed to perform the same amount of work, increasing the agricultural and other loads on the system.

R&D and Innovation

ZARA promises all its clothes will be sustainable by 2025 to support SDG 9.

Research and development (R&D) is a general term for activities in connection with corporate or governmental innovation. Research and development is a component of Innovation and is situated at the front end of the Innovation life cycle. Innovation builds on R&D and includes commercialization phases. R&D expenditure is a key enabling factor for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Introducing new ideas to the market promotes job creation, labor productivity and efficient use of resources.

Highly skilled human resources are imperative for keeping the industry’s research and innovation capacity and competitiveness up to date. Innovative products and services, often as a result of R&D activities, contribute to smart growth and sustainable industrialization. R&D and innovation are also essential for finding solutions to societal and environmental challenges such as climate change and clean energy, security, and active and healthy ageing.

Meanwhile, Innovation is defined as a “new idea, device, or method”. However, innovation is often also viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs. This is accomplished through more-effective products, processes, services, technologies, or business models that are readily available to markets, governments and society.

Sustainable Infrastructure

Solar panel innovation for more sustainable energy of infrastructure.

Sustainable infrastructure preserves, restores, and integrates the natural environment, including biodiversity and ecosystems. It supports the sustainable and efficient use of natural resources, including energy, water, and materials. It also limits all types of pollution over the life cycle of the project and contributes to a low-carbon, resilient, and resource – efficient economy. Sustainable infrastructure projects are (or should be) sited and designed to ensure resilience to climate and natural disaster risks. Sustainable infrastructure often depends on national circumstances, where the overall performance will need to be measured compared to what could have been built or developed instead.


The United Nations has defined 8 targets for SDG 9. The first five targets are “outcome targets“: Develop sustainable, resilient and inclusive infrastructures; promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization; increase access to financial services and markets; upgrade all industries and infrastructures for sustainability; enhance research and upgrade industrial technologies. The remaining three targets are “means of achieving” targets: Facilitate sustainable infrastructure development for developing countries; support domestic technology development and industrial diversification; universal access to information and communications technology.


Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and trans border infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.


Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries.


Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets.


By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities.


Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending.


Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States.


Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities.


Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020.

How to Get Involved? and Things to Do

We can reach this goal together. Here you can see what you can do to contribute. Find organizations to support, information to share and some useful tips for your everyday life that can really make a difference. 

  • Find a Goal 9 charity you want to support. Any donation, big or small, can make a difference!
  • Spread the word. You can spread the word of supporting Global Goals SDG 9 through your social media or any platforms you most prefer.
  • Create a hotspot map. There are a lot of public spaces with free Wi-Fi access. by mapping them out in your neighborhood and spreading awareness through social media, flyers or announcements you can help more people access the internet.
  • Does your company invest in clean and resilient infrastructure? It’s the only way to keep workers safe and protect the environment.
  • Organize or participate in a Think Tank contest. You can foster your and your colleagues’ entrepreneurial spirit by organizing a local idea contest and inviting companies or startups to mentor the winners.
  • Stay informed. Follow our latest articles here in comuniti.org and stay in touch with the Global Goals social media at @TheGlobalGoals.

This is the end of SDG 9 explanation. If you still want to know more about the Sustainable Development Goal 9, you can read our other article related to SDG 9 here.

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