CEPS Project

Industrial transformation and the Sustainable Development Goals (IoT 4 SDGs)

What can the private sector do for Agenda 2030?


The primary objective of the project was to write a report, analysing the potential contribution of the Internet of Things (IoT) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To this end, we first conducted a technical analysis of the different components of the IoT and how it interacts with other new technologies. We then analysed the most prominent use cases of the IoT in four sectors: Manufacturing, healthcare, energy and mobility/smart cities. We then analysed the EU’s policy landscape regarding the SDGs and new technologies and developed policy recommendations to help unleash the potential of IoT for the SDGs while mitigating risks. We also developed a methodology for analysing the impact of IoT on the SDGs. We found that the IoT has high potential for contributing to the SDGs, especially through its ability to reduce costs and increase efficiency, for example in the energy sector. At the same time, use cases for the environmental or social goals have so far been neglected. The EU has to create the right policy framework through positive and negative economic incentives and innovation friendly policy to incentivise more investment in environmental and social use cases of the IoT.

Besides this report, we also organised two events: (1) a round table with stakeholders to gather feedback and discuss the potential of IoT for the SDGs, and (2) a training for the client (Hitachi) on measuring non-economic impacts of their projects.

Moritz Laurer

Associate Researcher

+32 (0)2 229 39 71

Andrea Renda

Senior Research Fellow and Head of Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation & Digital Economy

+32 (0)2 229 39 17