Earthquake agency sets direction for research funding

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The National Earthquake Commission (EQC) has said it wants to ensure its research funding is focused on studies that give the agency the best results for its mission and for its resilience goal of see New Zealanders have stronger homes on better land, connected by resilient infrastructure – and access to home insurance.

EQC has released its latest Research Priority Investment Statement (RIPS) for the research funding cycle that begins in June.

Future investment in research

The areas that will guide CQE’s research investments aim to improve understanding of:

  • How people perceive and manage risk (empowering people)
  • Performance of buildings and infrastructure (resilient buildings) •
  • Land use management (smarter land use)
  • The governance and economics of disaster risk and disaster risk management
  • Quantification of the size and frequency / likelihood of hazards and their impacts. In addition to these areas of interest, we have identified three lenses that we encourage researchers to apply to their projects:
  • Matauranga Maori (Maori knowledge)
  • Climate change
  • Social science.

The EQC says it is not its priority to fund basic research on climate change, such as modeling or forecasting, but it is interested in how climate change can influence the frequency and the seriousness of the natural risks covered by the EQC, and any subsequent impact on the achievement of the CQE. its resilience goals.

Funding

EQC funds approximately NZ $ 20 million ($ 14.5 million) of research and data each year, of which approximately NZ $ 14 million goes to GeoNet, a collaboration between the Earthquake Commission and GNS Science, a New Zealand Crown research institute focused on geology and geophysics. and nuclear science. The remaining NZ $ 6 million is used to fund specific science and data projects, partnerships and prizes.

“But deciding which of the many possible projects to fund is never easy,” said Dr Natalie Balfour, EQC’s research director.

She said the RIPS “gives researchers a very clear idea of ​​what the EQC will and will not consider”. She added: “For example, even though we know that climate change will make some of the risks we cover – like flooding or landslides from storms – more likely, we will not fund basic research on climate change. , such as modeling and forecasting. “

The EQC is a New Zealand state entity that invests in natural disaster research, education and provides insurance to residential property owners.



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