The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will establish a trust fund to promote the integration of high-level technology (HLT) and innovative solutions in the design and implementation of its projects in Asia and the Pacific. The Government of Japan will be the first donor to the fund.
The High-Level Technology Fund will provide grants for technical assistance projects, investment projects, and recruitment of technology experts to promote the integration of HLT and innovative solutions throughout the project cycle — from identification to implementation — of ADB-financed and administered sovereign and nonsovereign projects. It will encourage more widespread adoption of HLT to address development challenges in ADB’s developing member countries.
“Enhancing the quality of infrastructure is important in realizing sustainable economic growth. Japan welcomes and supports ADB’s initiative to incorporate advanced technologies into projects,” said Taro Aso, Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister and ADB Governor in his speech during the opening session of the 50th Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors in Yokohama. “Japan has been promoting quality infrastructure in Asia, collaborating closely with ADB. To further strengthen the partnership, Japan will provide $40 million over 2 years to the new trust fund for HLT.”
The HLT Fund will be operational by July. It will support a broad range of technologies and innovative solutions that are either new or need scaling-up, not only to improve project impact but also to develop the countries’ technological capability. The fund may be used for feasibility studies, detailed designs, knowledge transfer, policy advice, pilot and demonstration activities, among others.
“Many developing member countries find it challenging to introduce HLT in their countries due to lack of resources and limited institutional experience,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao. “ADB appreciates Japan’s support in the establishment of the much needed HLT Fund. This will pave the way for promoting more advanced and cleaner technology in our operations.”
ADB intends to enhance its use of HLT in areas such as climate change, smart grids, mass energy storage, energy efficiency, renewable energy, toll/ticketing systems, intelligent transport systems, mass transit, smart cities, waste-to-energy technology, desalination, and remote sensing technology. A new procurement framework, approved by the ADB Board of Directors on 12 April, will place more weight on quality and help promote HLT facilities in ADB-financed projects.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.