On 10 November, CERN and the World Food Programme (WFP) took a significant step in formalising their partnership by signing a memorandum of cooperation (MoC). This MoC paves the way for joint initiatives in which CERN’s cutting-edge technologies – including artificial intelligence and quantum computing – will be made available to support WFP’s worldwide efforts in the fight against hunger.
Today more than ever, our understanding of how hunger develops and evolves relies on technological innovations, in particular to analyse the large amounts of data needed to monitor situations and prepare humanitarian responses. Having access to the most appropriate computing technologies can make a huge difference and, ultimately, lead to a more efficient and accurate decision-making process, enabling early actions to be taken that save lives.
“We are grateful for CERN’s collaborative spirit and forward-thinking vision, which enable us to harness the potential of technology and innovation in our ongoing battle against hunger,” says Dominik Heinrich, Director of Innovation, Change and Knowledge Management at WFP. “WFP has always embraced innovation and partnerships like the one with CERN to further empower our mission, ultimately benefiting millions of people worldwide.”
The areas that could benefit from the new cooperation framework are broad. They span food and drought monitoring, analysis and visualisation, and innovative Earth observation techniques for crisis indicators and early warning signals.
“WFP has, for a long time, been investing in ways to improve its work by embracing innovative technologies and processes and I am happy that our expertise will contribute to this effort,” says Enrica Porcari, Head of CERN’s IT department. “I am confident that by making premier technological innovations available to WFP, CERN will effectively contribute to saving and changing the lives of so many people worldwide.”
This article was first published on 14 November by CERN.