News and events Tilburg University

Grant for Data Science for Zero Hunger Lab

Published: 02nd September 2019 Last updated: 09th July 2020

Tilburg University and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs will invest 2.5 million euro’s for a period of 3 years to elevate the research to end hunger and enable Africa to feed itself. Researchers of Tilburg University have already helped to save the lives of millions from starvation through the smart application of data science. For instance by improving nutrition measures of food aid and laying more emphasis on local and regional agro and logistics.

Humanitarian workers of the UN World Food Programme in Yemen, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Iraq are already using the algorithms of Tilburg University to feed 15-20% more people affected by war or natural disaster with the same (and often limited) amount of money.

Rethink food and nutrition security world-wide

Professor Hein Fleuren of the Tilburg School of Economics and Management explains that the lab will be an open platform that will fact-track the collaboration between universities, government, ngo’s, business and local communities to rethink food and nutrition security world-wide. ‘Globally 1 billion people suffer from malnutrition, one third of the food produced gets lost or wasted and 2 billion people are overweight. It is crystal clear that the world is not feeding itself in a healthy nor sustainable way. By initiating this project we want to change the situation by enabling local farmers, communities, logistics service providers and government to fight hunger.’

 Science with a soul

The aim of building the Zero Hunger Lab to deliver innovative data science to achieve zero hunger by 2030, fits in the research vision of Tilburg Science with a Soul. It is a prime example of Tilburg’s IMPACT research programmes. The president of the Executive Board of Tilburg University, Prof. dr. Koen Becking is ambassador of the project. The project underlines the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.