Conference: The Red Cross innovates in humanitarian habitat

27 October 2023

The “Innovation in Humanitarian Habitat” conference at Neumünster Abbey on 27 October brought together researchers, engineers, architects, humanitarian workers and students from different countries to study and present innovative and sustainable solutions for more efficient humanitarian habitat that respects people and the environment.

After introductory speeches by Michel Wurth, Director of Arcelor Mittal and Vice-President of the Luxembourg Red Cross, Dirk Fransaer, Director General ad interim of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology and Max Lamesch, Deputy Director at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the day began with the presentations of scientific works.

At the same time, a panel of experts discussed the subject of “Hi tech – low tech: innovation for sustainable humanitarian habitat”. In the afternoon, discussions continued at a round table highlighting the challenges facing humanitarian habitat efforts in Ukraine.

Three innovative shelter prototypes designed by students were also exhibited at the conference. After selection by the jury, the “HopeScape – Rebuilding resilient shelters” project by Anubhav Ghimire (Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay) and Bhawana Bhandari (Department of Civil Engineering, Kathmandu University) won a €5,000 grant and will be tested in 2024 under field conditions in a country where the Luxembourg Red Cross is active.

As part of the event, the work of the Ukrainian Red Cross teams in helping the victims of the conflict was showcased in a photo exhibition.

We are delighted with this conference, which has enabled us to create synergies between the humanitarian, industrial and academic worlds so that together we can find innovative solutions to meet the growing habitat needs of vulnerable populations,” said Daniel Ledesma, in charge of the Shelter Research Unit of the Humanitarian Aid of the Luxembourg Red Cross.