AIM Global: AI for Sustainable Development Goals in Industry and Manufacturing

UNU, Macau – China 25 April 2024, 15:10 to 16:40 

Background: As the world paces towards a sustainable future, the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in catalyzing the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has become increasingly significant, especially in the sectors of industry and manufacturing due to their significant energy consumption and CO2 emissions. This panel session, organized under the auspices of the UNIDO initiative AIM Global (the Global Alliance on Artificial Intelligence for Industry and Manufacturing,, seeks to explore the transformative potential of AI in these sectors, showcasing how technological innovation can bridge divides, enhance efficiency, and drive sustainable practices across the global industrial landscape.

Objective: The session aims to highlight innovative AI applications that support sustainable development in industry and manufacturing, addressing challenges such as resource efficiency, carbon footprint reduction, and inclusive economic growth. It will also focus on establishing dialogue between key stakeholders to identify collaborative strategies that can accelerate the integration of AI towards achieving the SDGs. 

Discussion Points:

  • AI for Sustainable Industrial Growth: Discussion on the potential of AI technologies to revolutionize manufacturing processes, enhance productivity, and promote sustainable industrial practices. Explore case studies where AI has led to innovation and sustainable growth in the industrial sector.
  • AI-Driven Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability: How AI applications in industry can optimize resource use, reduce waste, and lower emissions, contributing to more sustainable production patterns. Discuss strategies for implementing AI to achieve these goals.
  • Bridging the AI Divide in Industry: Addressing the challenges and opportunities in ensuring equitable access to AI technologies across industries of varying scales and geographic locations. Explore mechanisms to ensure small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not left behind in the AI transformation.
  • Ethical AI in Manufacturing: Examination of the ethical considerations in deploying AI within manufacturing, including data privacy, algorithmic transparency, and bias mitigation. Discuss the role of regulatory frameworks and ethical guidelines in safeguarding against misuse and ensuring justice and fairness.
  • Global Collaboration for AI and SDGs: Highlight the importance of international cooperation and partnerships such as AIM Global in sharing knowledge, technology, and resources for AI implementation in industry and manufacturing, aimed at achieving the SDGs.


  • Strategic Insights into AI and SDGs: The panel aims to outline how AI technologies can significantly advance Sustainable Development Goals within industry and manufacturing, with a special focus on innovation, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability.
  • Global Collaboration Initiatives: An emphasis on global partnerships, such as UNIDO’s AIM Global, to share knowledge and resources for AI implementation, underlining the importance of international cooperation in achieving the SDGs through AI technologies.
  • Commitments to Scaling AI Innovations: Discussions from various stakeholders to support policies, investments, and partnerships that can scale AI innovations for a global impact, aligning with the SDGs.

The panel composition:

  • Keynote Speech by Mr. Tshilidzi Marwala, Rector, UNU.
  • Keynote Speech by Mr. Gerd Müller, Director General, UNIDO (video message).
  • Moderator: Ana Paula Nishio, Chief, TCS/DAS, UNIDO.
  • Panelist on Governance: H.E. Mr. Yeshurun Alemayehu ADDE, State Minister, ICT and Digital Economy Development Sector, Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Ethiopia.
  • Panelist on Private Sector: Yanhui Geng, Director, Huawei Hong Kong Research Centre. 
  • Panelist on Academia: Professor LIU Hao, Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT).
  • Panelist on Academia: Drazen Kapusta, Principal of COTRUGLI Business School Europe. 
  • Panelist on International Organization: Ms. Jingbo Huang, Director of UNU Macau.