ETH and UN set to jointly tackle global challenges

13 October 2023 09:10

Zurich CCGreater Zurich

Zurich/New York - The UN and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) are jointly driving the development of technology-based innovations in an attempt to overcome global challenges. ETH Zurich is contributing its expertise in the areas of conflict research and food security to the partnership, among other aspects.

The United Nations (UN) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) are seeking to expand their existing partnership and have signed a corresponding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The cooperation is to focus on the development of technology-based social innovations to overcome global challenges. The partnership will open up “avenues for cooperation with ETH Zurich scientists and partners in developing countries to harness research insights for SDG impact – as envisioned in Our Common Agenda”, as Guy Ryder, Under-​Secretary-General for Policy at the UN, explains in a press release issued by ETH Zurich.

“Ever since its foundation, ETH Zurich has been at the service of society”, comments Joël Mesot, President of ETH Zurich, in the press release, adding that: “We see it as our honorable duty to apply our know-​how more extensively in support of the United Nations’ initiatives to promote peace, security and sustainable development – which are just as indispensable for Switzerland”.

In specific terms, ETH Zurich’s expertise in the areas of conflict research, development cooperation and food security is to be pooled with its know-how in leveraging the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the analysis of large data sets and will increasingly be put at the service of the UN. As part of a joint research initiative, the partners will aim to develop a machine learning tool to predict the likelihood of outbreaks of violence, for example.

Researchers from ETH Zurich will, where necessary, also make their expertise directly available to various UN teams. Fellowship and internship programs between the two organizations are also set to be expanded. ce/mm

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