HeiGIT and German Red Cross representation at DLR Humanitarian Technology Days 2019

Last week, Michael Schultz (GIScience Research Group) attended the Humanitarian Technology Days 2019 that was organized by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR) as a representative of the GIScience Research Group/ HeiGIT and of our collaboration with German Red Cross.

For two days, around 80 scientists, humanitarian actors and funding organisations gathered in Oberpfaffenhofen to discuss and exchange latest research and technologies, all with the focus on supporting humanitarian practice. The main aim of the event was to connect and facilitate exchange of academia, tech providers and developers, humanitarian organisations and funding agencies- to enable the development of innovative solutions to current challenges and to improve current workflows and approaches.

Michael Schultz presented the work of the HeiGIT/ GIScience Research Group and the collaborative projects with the German Red Cross around the use of open geodata for international humanitarian practice in the World Cafe. Due to the great interest of the participants, he furthermore lead one of the Demo sessions the following day to further discuss potential collaborative project ideas. See the full program here.

During the event, DLR and representatives of the World Food Program signed a Memorandum of Understanding to “develop and implement key technologies in order to defeat global hunger by 2030.” and “to establishing a common ‘Thought Leadership’ to connect research and development activities with the development of new, future-oriented projects.”(DLR 2019)

These aims are very much in line with objectives of the HeiGIT and GIScience Research Group in Heidelberg and we are looking forward to seeing further exchange and collaboration of humanitarian actors, academia and decision makers – and to be part and to support through our expertise, skills and experience.

We thank all participants for their interest and great exchanges and are hoping to start turning the discussed ideas into action soon!