The Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are engaging more and more Swedish actors – from government agencies and municipalities to companies and civil society. But what do they mean for Swedish scientific research? What are the critical knowledge gaps for goal achievement that research can contribute to filling? When is it rather about improving the utilisation of research than initiating new research? And what structural changes in research funding and communication could contribute to the implementation of Agenda 2030?

SEI will conduct the study “Science for Agenda 2030: review of research needs and opportunities ahead” for the Swedish research council Formas. The study has several parts:

  • We review international debate and practice regarding how the science sector can contribute to Agenda 2030.
  • We have selected three goals (with some other relevant goals and targets) for which we conduct general literature reviews, to map out where prioritised research needs exist:
    • SDG 12 Responsible consumption and production
    • SDG 14 Life below water
    • SDG 17 Partnerships for the goals
  • With these three goals as examples we identify opportunities and challenges in assessing research needs in relation to the 17 SDGs, including the connections and interactions between them.
  • For the three example goals, we invite scientists and experts to workshops in May 2018 in order to do a joint assessment of research needs, on the basis of the preliminary literature reviews.
  • We analyse possible structural changes in Swedish and European research funding and communication, and discuss them with scientists and experts in the workshops.

The study will be reported to Formas and all collaborating experts and scientists in June 2018. The overall aim is to provide a robust basis for a strategic discussion around the future role of scientific research for sustainable development.