Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden University involved in new UN institute

The United Nations has chosen The Hague as the location for a new data centre for humanitarian aid. Leiden University is involved in developing the digital knowledge to be used by the centre.

The data centre will be set up in The Hague in 2017, and will fall under the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). 

The United Nations has chosen The Hague because of the opening of The Hague Humanity Hub on 3 June 2016. This hub will bring together different organisations to cluster knowledge and expertise in the area of technology, peace and justice. In the coming years the organisations - which from 2017 will also include OCHA - will work together on innovative solutions for current humanitarian issues. 

Centre for Innovation

The Centre for Innovation (CFI) at Leiden University took the initiative of bringing the data centre to The Hague and is proud of the result. Director Gideon Shimshon commented, ‘It is fantastic that international organisations are coming to The Hague for innovation. This means that Leiden University is now seen as the key player in a broad network of innovative players in this field.'

Over recent years, the CFI has put together an interdisciplinary team that assists organisations such as the Red Cross and the World Food Programme find innovative solutions to issues in the field of humanitarian aid, peace and justice. This expertise is a close match for the issues that OCHA is dealing with and contributes to software development programmes with short lead times. The CFI has been working on these programmes since 2013, together with researchers from the Leiden and The Hague locations of Leiden University.

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