The heads of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) issued a joint statement this afternoon affirming a commitment to foster multi-national, multi-disciplinary research collaborations on disaster response, particularly in light of the opportunities being enabled by ‘Big Data’:
The catastrophic consequences of natural and human disasters have been demonstrated repeatedly in recent years, most notably in the Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster but also in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Hurricane Katrina, and regional droughts, floods and fires. These events clearly demonstrate the urgent need for basic research to advance fundamental knowledge and innovation for disaster prevention, mitigation and management. The big data revolution holds the potential to mitigate the effects of these events by enabling access to critical real time information.
We met in Tokyo on June 5, and agreed that U.S.-Japan collaboration in disaster research would yield important mutual advantages, leveraging our respective experiences and expertise to reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience in our societies. We agreed in principle to support broad-based research collaborations among computer scientists, engineers, social scientists, biologists, geoscientists, physical scientists and mathematicians that strengthen our understanding of disaster robustness and resilience through big data.
Among the topics we agreed had potential for research collaboration are [following the link]: