4th Community of users meeting on Natural Hazards

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Rob Peters and Frank Wilson (IFV), and Philipp Offermann (TUB) attended the 4th Community of Users meeting on Natural Hazards on the 22nd of June in Brussels. Rob Peters spoke about the Dutch emergency management system, which is universally used (obligatory by law) by all sectors of first responders. It has also been increasingly adopted by various stakeholders (e.g. Schipol airport) and critical infrastructure providers. This level of organisation provides enough stability and basis for a joint innovation roadmap, especially regarding digital information management, given the common EMS system as a reference.

As Chief Information Architect of the region, it is Rob’s role to propose projects that align European H2020 goals with the regional and national innovation agenda. One of the National strategic goals is to improve on mitigating the effects of flooding from rivers. Traditionally, the Netherlands has had success in keeping the sea at bay, but now face a multi-billion investment in their inland dikes in the coming years. However, higher and stronger dikes do not guarantee better emergency collaboration. The theme of Flooding is used to combine knowledge of 5 European FP7 projects (FORTRESS, Sector, Driver, Predict, Intact) with the local initiatives of the Dutch WaterBoards, National Water authorities and Safety Regions. This resulted in the first Domino Conference in 2015 and its formula will be repeated during the second conference in September.


Images from 2015 Domino event


All safety regions send their representative experts to those meetings. Without such collaboration it would be hard to claim any real uptake of results and it would be much more difficult to engage real users/practitioners in cross border demonstrations of digital technology. The same approach is planned for Smart cities –  in the Dutch case with PORTS –  where urban disasters, transport incidents, environmental incidents and economic interests have to be balanced out on a daily basis.

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