Munich – This is a first: a non-governmental organisation has set up an innovation centre that is to come up with digital solutions to help us achieve a world without hunger. In Bavaria’s capital Munich the World Food Programme, WFP, has just opened a new innovation centre. The centre will also receive funding from Germany’s federal government and from the Bavarian regional government. The centre’s task is to work with digital start-up companies and entrepreneurs on finding new ways to fight hunger.
At the opening in Munich of the “Innovation Accelerator”, as the new centre is called, Dr Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, said:
“We can do it! A world without hunger by the year 2030 is possible. We have the know-how and the technological means at our disposal to provide food for the more than seven and a half billion people on this earth. However, this requires that we share our knowledge and harness the power of digital technology. That is why this is a landmark occasion: the World Food Programme is making it possible for science, business and non-governmental organisations to network so that they can explore entirely new ways of fighting hunger.”
The WFP is a UN organisation. At its location in Munich, experts from the research institutes, universities and aerospace centre based in the region can work together with industry and small to mid-sized businesses to find solutions to the problem of supplying the world with food. The centre will be involved in everything from transferring knowledge to farmers as well as maintaining apps for charitable donations. For example, the “Share the Meal” app which the WFP launched last year has already helped to supply 6.5 million daily food rations to hungry people around the world.
Germany’s Development Ministry has been active in this sphere too, having launched thirteen green innovation centres in Africa and Asia, where innovative solutions are being sought to improve agriculture and end hunger in the world. Commenting on the work of these centres, Minister Müller said: “We intend to link up, via digital networks, the knowledge we are transferring to our green innovation centres overseas with the new avenues being opened up by the WFP centre in Munich.”
The WFP innovation centre, which is based in Central Munich, will start with a staff of twelve. The centre will be co-funded by the Federal Government of Germany, the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development as well as the Bavarian regional government to the tune of 25 million euros until the end of 2020.
Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development in Africa