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Data Science Center Tilburg

Data Science for Social Good (DS for Social Good)

Tilburg University is challenging data scientists to work on social data science projects that really matter, data science for social good (DS for Social Good). Our professors, PhD-candidates, students and external data scientists collaborate, explore and try to find solutions for various social challenges, working in small teams. We team up with governments and non-profits, to help them gain insight in their data sets en answer the questions raised. Questions concerning difficult social challenges of today’s society: issues like health, human rights, education, and unemployment.


Can you help us make a difference? We are looking for funding partners that will give young talented students the opportunity to commit to social programs with impact. By partnering with us, you will collaborate with the Data Science Center Tilburg and get connected to the Brabant Data Science Initiative in which The Data Science Center Eindhoven and the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science in the city Den Bosch are participating.

Project partners


Together with Greenpeace we are working on a system to track vessels at open sea. Tracking vessels helps Greenpeace reveal illegal activities.

All seaworthy ships have a public tracking system (AIS). However, crews with shady intentions can  turn it off manually. Can one use existing tools like satellites, radar or GPS to detect or predict the ships' course and reveal their dirty deeds?

Jeroen Bosch Ziekenhuis

My child is ill so often, is that normal? Or is something wrong? A lot of parents struggle with this question and visit their doctor, but for the doctor it is not so easy to answer this question either! Children often have a bout of flu or a runny nose, but sometimes there is an underlying disease that has to be treated. However, there are hardly any data that show what is 'normal'. Therefore, the Jeroen Bosch Hospital started collecting data: for 2 years, parents weekly reported online about the physical state of their child.

World Food Programme (WFP)

Tilburg University has been closely involved with WFP’s operation in Syria through Hein Fleuren,

professor of Operations Research, who was supported by the Tilburg Center of Sustainability (TSC), and one of their PhD-students: Koen Peters. Koen is supervised by Prof. Hein Fleuren and Prof. Dick den Hertog.

Koen is researching how advanced analytics (such as optimisation) can be used to make humanitarian operations more efficient and effective. With the software he develops, WFP’s officers are improving the design of food baskets, sourcing plans, and delivery networks in several of WFP’s biggest operations. The optimisation of Syria’s food basket has resulted in significant cost savings, without affecting the nutritional value that the beneficiaries receive.

By becoming more efficient through the application of advanced analytics, WFP can make sure that it supplies as many beneficiaries with nutritious food as possible from the donations it receives.

Tilburg University is supporting the World Food Programme in Syria.

DS for Social Good events

In addition to data challenges DSC/t organises DS for Social Good events. The very first event took place September 2015. Speakers from both Tilburg University and project partners informed the audience on social data event they are working on. Summary of DS for Social Good event September 2015


Are you interested in particpating or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact professor Dick den Hertog, Scientific Director of the Data Science Center Tilburg, at:

Tilburg University
Data Science Center Tilburg
PO Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg
The Netherlands
T: +31 13 466 2430