We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
On 30 September, the European Commission launched a new in-house centre to help EU Member States respond to emergencies, prevent and reduce the impact of disasters. Among its activities, the Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre will offer EU countries technical and scientific advice on their risk assessment methodologies.
The Centre will help authorities to be better prepared against natural disasters which have caused over 80,000 deaths and €100 billion in economic losses in the EU since 2002 alone.
To facilitate the use of research, the new knowledge centre will consolidate scientific networks on related disaster risk management matters and develop an online repository of relevant research results and operational outcomes. It will also create a network of crisis management laboratories and test beds for conducting experiments and benchmarking exercises on crisis management technologies. Under the umbrella of the Knowledge Centre, networks of scientists and policy-makers will analyse gaps, challenges and recent developments to produce periodic reports on the state of science and technology in disaster risk management.
Increasing resilience to crises and disasters requires the continued development of innovative technologies, tools and methods. These range from models to early warning systems, from new materials for resilient constructions to methods for loss data accounting. Capitalising on the vast amount of existing knowledge and improving the use and accessibility of research results for operational activities is another a big challenge for policy-makers and risk managers. European Commission services responsible for humanitarian aid and civil protection, research and innovation, migration and home affairs, and the Joint Research Centre will contribute to the Knowledge Centre, together with a network of interested EU Member States.
Resilience conference and report
The Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre was launched at a conference "Building a resilient Europe in a globalised world", organised in Brussels by the JRC and the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC). Over 400 experts, stakeholders, policy makers, scientists and academia discussed the concept of resilience and the role of science in the continuous process of building a resilient, stable, competitive and prosperous Europe. During the conference a new report "The challenge of resilience in a globalised world" was presented, in which experts from international organisations, think-tanks, academia, European administrators and scientists discuss various facets of resilience.
The Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre will support the United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction by promoting a more systematic and reinforced science to policy interface. This will also help achieve a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. At a European level, the Centre will contribute to the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) legislation, which puts emphasis on the need to improve the knowledge base on disaster risks and facilitate the sharing of knowledge, best practices and information.