SDG Observatory

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.


Industries, Innovation, and Infrastructure Globally

With SDG 9, the United Nations sets a goal to build resilient infrastructure promote sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation. At face value, the goal seems counterintuitive. However, it asks an essential question: how can we propel innovation and infrastructure in a sustainable and equitable way?

The targets and indicators of SDG 9 [Sustainable Development Goal 9] , focus mainly on building up manufacturing infrastructure in developing countries, as well as propelling investment in sustainable innovation and research. This includes research in the renewable energy sector, improving resource efficiency, and expanding access to the internet worldwide.


Industries, Innovation, and Infrastructure Locally

The DFW [Dallas / Fort Worth] area is a hub for innovation and research. Universities such as the University of Texas at Dallas and nonprofits such as the Dallas Innovation Alliance are working to find sustainable solutions to many current global issues. At UT Dallas, we strive to support students in contributing to SDG 9 [Sustainable Development Goal 9] , in two main areas: entrepreneurship and research. The institution also serves as an innovator in our expansion of LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] -certified buildings and sustainable practices in on-campus laboratories.



Blackstone Launchpad

SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
A lecture in the Blackstone Launchpad meeting room.

Photo Source: UTD News Center

The Blackstone Launchpad powered by TechStars entrepreneurship program was developed as part of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. The project was modeled after a successful program at the University of Miami and is powered by TechStars, a worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Open to all students and alumni in all majors, the campus-based Blackstone Launchpad enables participants to access mentoring, grow their network, and access the resources to accelerate the success of their business. Visit this multi-purpose collaborative co-working space to inspire, accelerate, and support student entrepreneurship.



SDG 1: No Poverty
SDG 4: Quality Education

Enactus is an international non-profit organization that brings together student, academic and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. Since Fall 2006, Enactus UTD has focused on giving back to the local community by educating individuals and doing various projects (e.g., financial literacy and success skills training, business development and entrepreneurship, business ethics, women empowerment, and environmental sustainability). Enactus UTD also takes part in regional and national competitions as part of the global Enactus organization.


Support for Research

SDG 13: Climate Action
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
Three researchers inspect a sample.

Photo Source: UTD Office of Research

The UT Dallas Seed Program for Interdisciplinary Research (SPIRe [Seed Program for Interdisciplinary Research] ) program is an internal funding mechanism designed to stimulate interdisciplinary research collaborations that will lead to external funding. Successful proposals will include faculty members serving as PIs from different UT Dallas departments, programs, or schools. This program is well-suited to support the endeavors of those faculty with STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics] backgrounds and project interests, although there is no limitation for faculty affiliations. Sustainability research is also supported at the University through incentives such as supplies and publication costs, graduate student stipend and benefits, postdoctoral support and benefits, and travel conference/workshop attendance.

UT Dallas has hosted several Workshops on Sustainability in research in order to foster collaboration and idea sharing in sustainability across university departments. As a result of positive feedback from these workshops, in 2023, UT Dallas offered a SPIRe grant specific to research advancing one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


LEED Buildings

SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Engineering & Computer Science West.

Photo Source: UTD Green Buildings

The LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] rating system, developed by the US Green Building Council, awards building projects a rating level based on the number of points they earn. The ratings include platinum, gold, silver, and certified. As the UT Dallas campus continues to expand, our commitment towards growing sustainably through LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] certified buildings is both innovation and infrastructure expansion. Our Green Buildings on campus range from the Student Services Building to the new Sciences building. Many of these LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] Buildings extend beyond just their certification; the Student Services Building, for example, was awarded the Innovation in Green Building Award by AASHEAssociation of Advancement in Higher Education and the Judge’s Choice Award for Energy Efficiency and Conservation in the College Planning & Management journal.


Sustainable Labs

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
A researcher burns a metal sample.

Photo Source: UTD Sustainable Labs

The Research, Campus, and Environmental Safety team is sponsoring campus efforts to facilitate a Green Labs program at UT Dallas. Our goal is to support and empower students and student-led organizations to help lead our campus to green, sustainable ideas and practices in laboratories. Students from all schools and disciplines who champion these efforts are invited to get more involved. Some ways that laboratories on campus can be more sustainable include recycling initiatives, energy and water conservation methods, hazardous waste reduction, green chemistry, and research and academic safety.

Learn more about getting involved in the Sustainable Labs program.


Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

The mission of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is to “enable the next generation’s new ventures.” This is accomplished through educating, empowering, and equipping students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the global UT Dallas community. To support the launch of new businesses, the institute utilizes world-class, academic education, industry-leading experiential training, venture mentorship, advisory support, and other resources. In 2019, for the first time, the UT Dallas Entrepreneur Program ranked Top 15 in both the undergraduate and graduate categories. Some startup projects from the institute include Neuro Rehab VR, Rakkasan Tea Company, Adaptive 3D Technologies, Fifth & Cherry, Code Blue Jewelry, and Survivr.

Learn more about the work the institute accomplished at their website or in their FY21 annual report (PDF [Portable Document Format File] ).


Goals / Future Work

  • Continue supporting student entrepreneurs through the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Expand the Green Labs program to include more on-campus research labs


Learn More

  • Take the online courses regarding Goal 9 from SDG Academy
  • Learn more about the targets and indicators at the UN Global Goals website