Tilburg University and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will invest 2.5 million euros for a period of 3 years in research to combat hunger in Africa and enable people to feed themselves. Tilburg researchers have already contributed to saving millions of lives by using innovative data science analysis. For example, by improving the composition of food aid and by making more use of the possibilities of local and regional agriculture and logistics.
Aid workers from the UN World Food Programme in Yemen, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Iraq already used Tilburg University's algorithms to feed 15-20% more people affected by war or natural disasters with the same (and often limited) amount of money.
Rethink food and nutrition security world
Professor Hein Fleuren of the Tilburg School of Economics and Management explains that the lab will be an open platform that promotes cooperation between universities, government, NGOs, businesses and local communities to rethink food and nutrition safety worldwide. Worldwide, 1 billion people suffer from malnutrition, a third of the produced food is lost or wasted and 2 billion people are overweight. It is crystal clear that the world does not feed itself in a healthy or sustainable way. With this project we want to change the situation by enabling local farmers, communities, logistic service providers and the government to fight hunger'.
Science with a soul
The goal of establishing the Zero Hunger Lab to provide innovative data science to eradicate hunger in 2030, fits in with the research vision of Tilburg Science with a Soul. It is part of Tilburg's IMPACT research programmes. Prof. Koen Becking, chairman of Tilburg University's Executive Board, is the project's ambassador. The project is an example of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the VSNU (University Association).