How to track innovations that support UN Sustainable Development Goals

3 min readJan 24, 2020


The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 goals that aim to “achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. The SDGs include topics such as “clean water” and “providing basic infrastructure”, but also “education” and “strong civilian institutions”, for example. Here is a description of all SDGs.

When you look at SDGs, some of them are probably more “technology oriented” than others. For example, I find it more straightforward to see how technological innovations can help with SDG 6, “Clean Water and Sanitation”. By contrast, for SDG 16, “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions”, I find it a lot more difficult to see how technology could help. So in this post I decided to focus on some (not all) of the more “technological” SDGs:

  • SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation.
  • SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy.
  • SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities.
  • SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production.

How can you track technological innovations (R&D, companies, etc.) that support UN SDGs?

Mergeflow has a tool for that: Weekly360s. Weekly360s are machine-generated, weekly email update reports. They tell you what happened over the past week in relevant venture fundings, market estimates, R&D, and news & blogs.

Here, for example, is what a “venture capital” Weekly360 for SDGs looks like (this one is from January 20, 2020):

A Mergeflow ‘Venture Capital Fundings‘ Weekly360 for SDGs.

This example Weekly360 shows you companies that Mergeflow’s algorithms identified as relevant to our SDGs. For example, Leap is a distributed energy marketplace that lets energy resources (e.g. battery storage or electric vehicles) access and sell to wholesale energy markets. Naïo Technologies builds autonomous agricultural robots. These robots use machine vision to distinguish weeds from crops, for example.

What does “found in…” mean?

“Found in…” means that the contents of a finding (VC-funded companies in the example above) match with one or more of the Mergeflow search queries to which I subscribed. For example, here I subscribed to updates from my four SDG queries, plus some other queries from other technology fields. My other technology fields include topics from agriculture, buildings and infrastructure, computing technologies, energy, manufacturing, and materials. For example, I subscribed to updates from a “Machine Vision” search. This query matches the description of what Naïo Technologies does, so it shows up in my Weekly360.

Can I try this out?

Yes! If you want to receive real Weekly360s with updates on the latest SDG-relevant innovations, you can subscribe for free:

Get SDG Innovation Updates

When you sign up, Mergeflow will send you four Weekly360s per week: Venture Capital Fundings; Market News; R&D; and News & Blogs.

Let us know what you think!

Originally published at on January 24, 2020.




Inventors, technologists, and entrepreneurs use our software to discover and track emerging technologies, markets, and business developments.