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Remarks at 4th Disaster Resilience Workshop

I am very pleased to be here today with an announcement concerning the new NIST-sponsored Center of Excellence for Community Resilience Research.

First, I would like to thank all the workshop participants for your efforts to develop the disaster resilience framework. The framework is an exceptionally important effort for NIST and a significant component of the President's Climate Action Plan.

Helping to build more resilient communities is one of NIST's top strategic goals. The framework is an integral element of the broader NIST effort to deliver foundational research and tools for communities to use as they implement the framework.

As your participation confirms, this kind of effort can't be undertaken in a vacuum. It requires collaboration across many disciplines and across many types of organizations.

This is why NIST is sponsoring the creation of a Community Resilience Center of Excellence as part of the NIST Centers of Excellence program.

The Community Resilience Center of Excellence will focus on tools to further community disaster resilience implementation. The center will work on developing integrated, computational models to assess community infrastructure resilience. It also will develop a data management infrastructure, as well as tools and best practices to improve the collection of disaster and resilience data.

I am pleased to announce today that after a robust competition that saw proposals from 28 different teams from leading institutions across the country, we have selected a team led by the Colorado State University (CSU) to establish the Center of Excellence for Community Resilience research. The new center will receive $20 million in funding from NIST over the next five years.

Members of the CSU team include the University of Oklahoma, Rice University, Texas A&M University, the University of Washington, the University of South Alabama, the California Polytechnic University in Pomona, and Texas A&M-Kingsville.

The launch of this new center represents a major milestone in advancing resilient communities.

The new center will partner with NIST to achieve our goal to develop tools that individual communities can use to assess and improve their resilience. This includes evaluating the effectiveness of alternative measures intended to improve performance and minimize post-disaster disruption and recovery time. These tools will improve decision making so that communities can build a "business case" for the measures they take.

Research at the center will provide the scientific basis for developing resilience metrics and decision tools to support resilience of the built environment. In addition, new models and tools will integrate social systems vital to the functioning and recovery of communities. We anticipate that the center will stimulate and advance research for resilience of the built environment across the entire research community.

Now, I would like to introduce our new partners: John W. van de Lindt, CSU's George T. Abell Distinguished Professor of Infrastructure, who is the center's principal investigator and co-director. Dr. Bruce Ellingwood, member of the National Academy of Engineering, will serve as the co-director and a researcher within the Center. Associate directors are Paolo Gardoni, associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Daniel Cox, professor of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University.

Created May 11, 2015, Updated December 29, 2016