Technology for Global Development (TGD)

What is TGD?

TGD stands for Technology for Global Development. It is a University-wide forum supported by the TU/e Board of Directors to promote awareness in the TU/e community about how its students and staff can contribute effectively to the design and implementation of innovative technological solutions for major global problems, with a special focus on the developing countries.

The inspiration for setting up TGD came from a group of students at the TU/e who were concerned about the declining interest in development issues, both in the Netherlands as a whole and at our university in particular. In 2001, an action committee was formed, which drew up a manifest entitled "Technology for Development". This manifest states that technological improvement holds out great potential for improving poor people's living and working conditions in developing countries. Technological universities are uniquely equipped to contribute to the realisation of such potential. The manifest was well received by the TU/e community. It was signed by no less than fifteen hundred students and staff members. The Board of the University then instituted TGD as a University Committee.

TGD's Focus

Many of us are concerned with the global problems of today, such as climate change, armed conflicts and terrorism. Also scarcity of energy, water and food, a lack of education, poverty and social exclusion as well as deadly diseases and inadequate health systems. In developed countries these issues receive much attention, including the important role that scientists and engineers can play in addressing such problems through smart technological innovations using the latest advances in technological knowledge.

However, in developing countries, forming the largest part of the world, there is a dire lack of local technological capacity and resources to develop locally appropriate solutions to these problems. In these cases, combining local knowledge and technologies with western knowledge and resources can be very fruitful. Western inputs can range from relatively simple, low-tech solutions to high-tech innovations developed by scientists and engineers who operate at the global technological frontier. Varied as these inputs may be, what they all share is the requirement of effective support based on the knowledge of local circumstances and needs, and close cooperation between local and foreign stakeholders.