The United Nations University-MERIT (UNU-MERIT) and the Enrico Fermi Study and Research Center (CREF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining a framework for a groundbreaking collaboration that will apply physics models to economics. In November, a delegation of UNU-MERIT, led by Director Prof Dr Bartel Van de Walle, visited CREF in Rome to sign the MoU and outline a way forward. Researchers from both institutions presented a sample of their work and co-created the next steps for this cooperation.
CREF is a public research centre which develops original and high-impact research based on physics methods with a strong interdisciplinary character where physicists collaborate daily with specialists in various fields, including artificial intelligence, biology, medicine, social sciences, economics, and much more.
At a time of huge economic uncertainty, this new framework will apply models currently used in physics and adapt them to economic modelling to better predict macro and micro movements in various economies. This ambitious initiative aims to predict and enable sustainable economic resilience and growth for countries across the global north and south.
Solutions to the world’s biggest challenges increasingly require a multidisciplinary approach. Collaboration, for example, between fields in artificial intelligence, medicine, particle physics, economics and social sciences contributed to the rapid, unparalleled and widespread response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As countries across the world are currently grappling with economic challenges associated with the pandemic, war and climate change, UNU-MERIT and CREF have joined forces to bring together their experts in physics and economics to find new, creative and sustainable solutions to global economic challenges.
Prof Dr Bartel Van de Walle, Director of UNU-MERIT, said, “The coming together of UNU-MERIT and CREF is an exemplary model of partnership between two research institutions to build on each other’s strengths and specialisms. We strongly believe that working with CREF will enhance UNU-MERIT’s ambitious research to ensure that technology and innovation support the delivery of the sustainable development goals, including through co-creating research projects and education activities such as summer schools”.
This new partnership will, through the lens of inter-disciplinary exploration, enhance cooperation between UNU-MERIT and CREF by leveraging the expertise of both entities to maximize the impact of research and education initiatives. The two partners will outline a comprehensive joint research agenda in the coming weeks.
The opinions expressed here are the author’s own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.