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Reversing desertification through innovation

An estimated 2 million people live in areas susceptible to desertification. Desertification is largely a man-made problem caused by urbanisation, overfarming, deforestation and climate change. Reforestation is the most natural way to halt the process and replenish depleted soil. Trees also absorb CO2, thus slowing down climate change. Together with its partners, the Dutch Land Life Company is on a mission to reforest the world’s 2 billion hectares of degraded land.

Smart software speeds up COVID-19 triage

Speed is vital when triaging COVID-19, as quick detection saves lives. When the WHO declared the SARS COV-2 outbreak a pandemic in early March, Delft Imaging Systems realised their CAD4TB technology used to detect tuberculosis could easily be adapted to triage COVID-19. By the end of the month, they had adapted their artificial intelligence software to be able to detect COVID-19 abnormalities in the lungs.  

First Dutch digital trade mission kicks off in Silicon Valley

Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Sigrid Kaag, will kick off the first Dutch digital trade mission in Silicon Valley. This way, Dutch and American experts can continue to share knowledge and explore opportunities to innovate together in addressing societal challenges, in spite of the corona crisis.

Combatting corona with soap and water

Few products are more essential in the race to stop the coronavirus than soap. Today, with no vaccine against or cure for COVID-19, it forms the first line of defence in the battle against the spread of the virus.   While they are considered the most basic hygiene products, soap and water are still not always readily available in some parts of the world. In 2010, Anglo-Dutch company Unilever joined forces with governments and NGOs to launch its Sustainable Living Campaign in developing and emerging countries. As part of that campaign, Unilever’s Lifebuoy soap brand set itself the ambitious aim of getting 1 billion people to improve their hand-washing habits by 2020.

The Ocean Cleanup turns ocean trash into treasure

Plastic waste is not only a threat to marine life, it is also entering our food chain. More and more studies indicate a possible connection between plastics and their impact on human health. Since plastic soup was first discovered in the 1990s, we have all become aware of the gyres of plastic waste circulating in our oceans. Dutch non-profit Ocean Cleanup is seeking solutions to resolve the problem of plastic soup, its latest initiative is to set a standard for recycled ocean plastic, turning it from trash into treasure.

Consortium builds PPE production lines to fight corona

The corona crisis has set companies scrambling to contribute to the effort to save lives. Across the world businesses from different sectors and knowledge institutions have joined forces to help where they can, even if it means switching production lines to manufacture a totally different product. One of many examples is science company Royal DSM, circular mattress manufacturer Royal Auping and Afpro Filters. Together they formed a consortium to counter the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by making certified medical face masks.

An inclusive alliance to secure corona vaccine for all

In the search for a vaccine against the coronavirus, the Netherlands has joined forces with Germany, France and Italy. Together, the four European countries will select high potential research programmes, negotiate jointly with developers and producers, and broker deals with various pharmaceutical companies. Where possible, production will take place on European soil.