Within the diversity of players in a converged ICT ecosystem from telecommunications, health, finance, education to agriculture etc., there is growing recognition of the importance of bringing the Academic wealth of knowledge and scientific expertise through innovative partnerships. Academia fosters innovative and sustainable solutions by providing a space where talent, research and technology come together to solve the world's most pressing problems. This is already happening in several academic institutions where high potential projects are being nurtured such as UNLP's e-Waste Project, recognized by the ITU.
Today, ITU has a large involvement of academia and research institutions, with a network of some 150 ITU Academia members. As the portfolio of Academia members continues to grow, various other types of collaborative platforms or products such as ITU Academy, ITU Journal, development projects are being explored with active engagement of Academia members and partners. In particular, recognizing that ICTs are a key enabler towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially through multi-stakeholder approaches, the ITU Development Sector (ITU-D) carried out a joint research with renowned experts from the academic community on "ICT-Centric Economic Growth, Innovation and Job Creation". This publication was launched at WTDC-17 as part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations of the ITU‑D Sector.
Furthermore, Argentina has been a key ITU partner in fostering the involvement of over 20 national academic institutions in the work of the ITU, aiming to encourage information sharing and cooperative relationships between universities and their associated research establishments and manufacturers, operators and public authorities from ITU Membership.
This joint side event showcased existing and new pilot ITU-D platforms for Academia engagement and other Academia-led projects and initiatives in ICT④SDGs.