PNGK | Propelled by Need, Guided by Knowledge
Meet our Company of the Month March: PNGK, they offer technology and consulting services to the humanitarian and development sector. They see themselves as a bridge connecting the humanitarian sector to the technological resources with the aim to amplify their impact. Their name reflects this mission: PNGK, which stands for Propelled by Need, Guided by Knowledge.
A wide variety of projects
PNGK has a wide variety of projects. Here below you find a selection of the projects to get an impression what they do.
- Testing how a machine translation engine developed together with Translators without Borders, could help the UN World Food Program in understanding the food security of Levantine Arabic (Syrian is part of it) speaker beneficiaries.
- They are working with UN Habitat and TU-Delft to answer the question: “How efficient are machine learning algorithms in detecting dwellings, identifying their construction type, as well as, identifying structural damage from satellite images?” More information about this project can be found here.
- The development of a data-driven, knowledge platform for and together with HiiL.
- The development of smart, novel technology to allow humanitarian teams to accurately assess population density in real time, meaning support can be sent to the right places when it’s needed most. The project is a partnership with another Dutch start-up, Seita B.V., and the International Organization of Migration. More information can be found here.
Urge to do business and to do good
Founders Arpad Rozsas, Eric Bonet both worked for TNO (Arpad still does part time), and the third founder Nils Huiden worked for Dutch civil engineering companies. “We were dissatisfied that much of our work was being utilized to maximize the profits of corporations. We rather wanted to use our technical skills to tackle, what we felt, were more pressing issues facing society.” according to Arpad.
And so they reached out to international and local NGOs working in Lebanon, at the heart of the Syrian refugee crisis. Arpad and Eric had a hypothesis that their skills could be utilized to assist them and wanted to understand their issues and test this hypothesis. In February 2018, they spent 9 days in Lebanon speaking with these NGOs and their hypothesis was confirmed.
Arpad, Eric, and Nils founded PNGK with the mission to be a bridge connecting the humanitarian sector with technological resources. Their aim is to amplify the impact of humanitarian organizations and enable them to focus on things that matter.
Impactful support by The Hague Business Agency
PNGK was founded in May 2018 and it has been operational in the Hague since August 2018. “We first got in contact with Peter Scheffers from the agency who on the very same day of our first e-meeting arranged two spots for us at the grand opening of The Humanity Hub in The Hague. During the opening we met Peter and his colleagues in person and learned about all the support they provide to businesses in The Hague. This first contact and assistance was so impactful that a few months later we moved to The Hague, not only us but the company as well.” says Eric.
The city of The Hague has played an important role in PNGK’s beginning. PNGK moved to The Hague to be closer to the “doing business doing good community”. They tremendously benefited from The Hague’s initiative to become the city of humanitarian action, e.g. the Humanity Hub and the Humanitarian Action Challenge.
What the future looks like
Currently PNGK collaborates and creates partnerships with experts and other companies to work on larger projects where they don’t have the capacity or expertise. At some point they hope to have 10 FTE. They are aiming to continue to develop partnerships with likeminded organizations and businesses. They are continuing to develop their knowledge base in software development, machine learning, and most importantly how the humanitarian/development sector is structured.