The European Union (EU) has launched a €5 million challenge designed to accelerate the development of technologies that can support humanitarian efforts.

The EU is offering financial backing to the best ‘proven cost-effective tech-based solutions’ for humanitarian aid; and will be welcoming applications until the first quarter of 2020.

It is part of a growing trend where organisations are looking to use frontier technologies to be more effective in dealing with emergency situations.

In June the Government of Malawi and UNICEF announced they were working on a new drone project to test how effective unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are as a tool in  communities in need of help.

And in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, a ‘drone pilot program’ was put in place through a collaboration between UPS Foundation, the American Red Cross and drone manufacturer CyPhy Works. It saw tethered drones gather data on the changing conditions that key stakeholders could use to speed up thei responses.

There are lots of similar examples – and now the new EU challenge seeks to inspire even more.