'Dramatic event' response: UKRI unveils £4m centre for climate resilient cities

'Dramatic event' response: UKRI unveils £4m centre for
climate resilient cities
'Dramatic event' response: UKRI unveils £4m centre for climate resilient cities

UK Research and Innovation announces new Centre of Excellence for Resilient Infrastructure Analysis, as it invites academics to apply for share of research funding pot

The UK's largest public funder of research and innovation has today announced a £4m national Centre of Excellence for Resilient Infrastructure Analysis in a bid to catalyse efforts to enhance the UK's climate resilience.

Backed via the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Scientific Computing Department, UKRI's new Centre of Excellence will bring together strands of research needed to better protect cities and key infrastructure against the increased risk of extreme floods, water and food shortages, and energy failures.

The virtual centre is set to launch in April and has been tasked with supporting data analysis and research into resilience in the natural and built environment by providing a reliable, safe, and accessible online space to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Moreover, a funding programme for research projects that can be carried out in partnership with the new Centre of Excellence will open to applications on 12 April 2023. Researchers and academics active in infrastructure research, as well as those working in multidisciplinary areas, are invited to apply for support from a £1.4m pot.

Tom Griffin, director of STFC Scientific Computing, said the new Centre of Excellence will enable government advisors, town planners, and researchers to better share and analyse climate resilience data.

"We need to streamline the way in which research data is collected, stored, and made available to the people who need to use it to plan for, and respond to, dramatic events that affect people and their environments," he said.

The centre also forms part of the DAFNI platform, a near £10m investment to support data analysis, infrastructure modelling, and visualisation. Researchers will be able to collaborate online, scale research, integrate computational models, model workflows, and deposit and share models and data with the wider research community.

Dr Brian Matthews, STFC DAFNI group leader, said the new Centre represented an opportunity to progress research into the resilience of vital infrastructure.

"We have seen threats of energy price rises, issues on ensuring food supplies, and global pandemics, while in the long-term we face the threat of climate change," he said.

"Computer models help us understand how these threats might impact our society and environment, and how we might be better prepared. The Centre of Excellence will form a focus for the world-leading research that we have in the UK."

The news comes weeks after the Climate Change Committee published a damning new report that described the government's climate adaptation efforts as "chronically underfunded and overlooked", warning that urgent reforms and increased investment were required to enhance climate resilience of the UK's critical infrastructure.

* This article was originally published here