ETH and UN jointly address global problems


Zurich/New York – The UN and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) are jointly driving the development of technology-based innovations to address global challenges. ETH will contribute its expertise in conflict research and food security, among other areas.

The UN and ETH want to further expand their cooperation and have signed a corresponding memorandum of understanding. The collaboration is expected to extend to the development of technology-based, social innovations to address global challenges. This cooperation opens “avenues for collaboration with ETH Zurich researchers and partners in developing countries to make research findings applicable to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” Guy Ryder, UN Under-Secretary-General for Policy, is quoted as saying in an ETH media release.

“ETH Zurich has been at the service of society since its foundation,” said ETH President Joël Mesot. “It is an honorable task for us to increasingly contribute our know-how to the United Nations’ commitment to peace, security and sustainable development. A commitment that is also indispensable for Switzerland.”

Specifically, ETH’s expertise in conflict research, development cooperation, and food security will be combined with its expertise in artificial intelligence-based analysis of large data sets and increasingly put at the service of the UN. In a joint research initiative, for example, a tool is to be developed that can predict the probability of violent outbreaks using machine learning.

ETH researchers will also put their skills directly at the service of various UN groups as needed. In addition, scholarship and internship programs are to be expanded. ce/mm