The Big Data Joint Laboratory between the United Nations Development Programme in China and Baidu was launched to pioneer new methods and frameworks for using big data to support development goals.
"Big data needs big partnerships; we are pleased to launch our Joint Lab as testament to our conviction that great change can only come about through new and innovative thinking," said UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Regional Bureau of Asia-Pacific of UNDP Xu Haoliang.
This lab aims to research and use big data technology to solve global issues like environmental protection, health, education, and disaster relief.
This lab will focus on using Baidu's big data technology to analyze and process industrial data and make trend prediction to provide suggestions for development strategy formulation at the United Nations. For the current stage, the lab will mainly research environmental protection and health sectors; while the future subjects will include education and disaster management.
The first environmental protection solution launched by the lab is an e-waste recycling light application named "Baidu Recycle". With this app, users can take a photo of their electronic waste and get the name, category and estimated scrap price for the item. Users in Beijing and Tianjin can arrange e-waste pick-up provided by recycling partner TCL Corporation. This service is expected to be available in more cities soon.
In China, national electronic waste grew at an annual average of 21.6% from 2009 to 2013. However, out of the over 3.6 million tonnes of e-waste being generated domestically, the actual amount of e-waste processed by legitimate channels only accounts for 40% of the theoretical scrap.
In the future, the UN-Baidu big data joint lab will establish an open platform and recruit more partners.
Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.