What an amazing week it’s been, with so many people from around the globe gathered in one place, intent on finding ways to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  To do so, we need innovators to dramatically change the way development is done.

Today, at a forum co-hosted with the New York Academy of Sciences, USAID is spotlighting the use of science and technology to solve some of the greatest development problems of our times.  S&T has transformative power and will be key to meeting the MDGs.

Many of the biggest challenges require solutions that cross borders, sectors and disciplines.  It will take all of our insights and creativity to address them in collaboration with partners around the globe.

Facing these shared problems means creating opportunity for people living in extreme poverty:  transforming zones of conflict into zones of opportunity and security;  addressing the reasons why infectious diseases emerge;  strengthening the resilience of nations to adapt to global climatic disruption;  tapping new sources of energy and finding better ways of distributing it;  applying new technologies creatively to traditional development challenges;  narrowing global inequities by expanding markets;  and in the end, giving people the capacity to solve their own problems.

Our S&T Forum stands apart from the standard UN General Assembly event.  Engineers, researchers, and development experts are gathered in one place to demonstrate their work in an interactive science fair featuring innovations that can improve lives and livelihoods throughout the developing world.  The science fair will highlight game changing innovations from more than 20 entrepreneurs  from the U.S. and abroad in the areas of health, water, agriculture, environment, energy, and IT.  Some of their solutions include the Jaipur Knee, a root hydration system that delivers clean water from any source, a technology to generate energy from dirt, and a pedal-powered phone charger.

USAID and our partners are intensely focused on harnessing S&T to tackle the toughest development challenges. We’ll double, even triple, our efforts to integrate the Agency’s use of S&T for development.

We’re thrilled at the growing momentum for S&T in development. It’s great to see the kind of unbridled entrepreneurial spirit that it takes to achieve the changes the world needs and USAID intends to be there leading the way.