Collaborating on Innovation

WFP and Vienna University of Economics & Business Join Forces for Global Impact

WFP Innovation Accelerator
2 min readMar 14, 2024
Group photo with the SIMC students who participated in the 2023 WU x WFP case study. Photo: WFP/Johannes Schade.

By Sara Cuevas Gallardo

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Institute for Higher Education Management, Department for Strategy and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics & Business (WU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize a dynamic collaboration aimed at fostering innovation in the fight against global hunger.

This agreement lays the foundation for multifaceted cooperation between WFP and WU. The collaboration will extend to various domains, including joint publication and thesis collaboration, research projects, knowledge and expertise exchange, innovation research and exchange by leveraging the Innovation Accelerator’s experience, and the integration of real-world problem-solving into the Master’s Programme on Strategy, Innovation, and Management Control (SIMC) at WU.

“Strategic innovation, knowledge management, and partnerships are at the core of addressing current global hunger challenges. This collaboration with WU allows us to tap into fresh perspectives and cutting-edge research and marks a significant step forward in WFP’s efforts to harness knowledge and innovation to reinforce our mission worldwide,” said Brittany Persinger, Knowledge Management Officer at WFP.

The MoU serves as an initial framework for the collaboration, emphasizing the commitment of both parties to address critical issues related to food security, hunger eradication, and sustainable agriculture.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of our work is the opportunity to collaborate with other researchers, educators and institutions. We are excited about the learnings this ongoing collaboration with WFP will yield and the impact it will have on our students, research activities, and society as a whole.”

The collaboration builds on the success of a previous partnership between WFP and WU in which for the past two years, students from the top-ranked Master’s Programme, SIMC, have contributed to WFP’s innovation and knowledge management work through recommendations around crucial areas such as culture, knowledge management approaches, governance, and innovative technology.

The partnership has proven mutually beneficial by offering students valuable opportunities for internships and networking. On WFP’s end, the program’s recommendations have spurred global solutions that enable results and more efficient ways of working at the Country Office level through initiatives such as the Knowledge for Action Working Group.

As part of one of WFP’s flagships Great Enablers partnerships, this collaboration with the University addresses real-life problems with immediate impact and scale in the field. This partnership showcases the potent synergy between academic institutions and humanitarian organizations, driving innovation to reach zero hunger.

For more information on the Vienna University of Economics & Business (WU) and their Master’s Programme on Strategy, Innovation, and Management Control (SIMC), please visit their website.



WFP Innovation Accelerator

Sourcing, supporting and scaling high-impact innovations to disrupt hunger.