What we do

A participatory process

There are five main areas in which we focus our efforts. Looking at how we are organised, you can see how the activities carried out mutually reinforce each other.

Global Projects

Leadings experts are developing best practice, datasets, models and tools through international collaborative projects. Working groups are formed to address topics of relevance on an ad-hoc basis. We also partner with international projects that contribute to our mission.

Regional Collaboration

Local experts are best placed to characterize the seismic hazard, exposure and vulnerability for their region and can also contribute to the validation of global standards and data. In Europe, the Middle East and most of Asia we work with existing regional programmes that aim to bring experts from all countries in the region together to address cross-border issues, share knowledge and data and build up regional best practice. In other areas we facilitate collaboration through knowledge exchange and technology transfer (training) workshops and stimulate the set up of new programmes.

Open-Source Software Development

The code of our platform and the various software tools is stored on a public code repository that can be accessed openly, whilst development documentation facilitates contributions by external collaborators. All development is carried out by the Model Facility, which has an office at the Secretariat in Pavia and in Zurich and is comprised of a vibrant mix of scientists and developers.

Testing and Evaluation

A Testing and Evaluation (T&E) Facility has been set up in Potsdam Germany, as part of the collaboration between public participant Germany and GEM. Testing and Evaluation within the scope of GEM  focuses on the models and their robustness, as well as the modelling process, to ensure the highest degree of scientific rigour.

The Facility will therefore mainly do prospective testing, whereas the Model Facility will take care of retrospective testing, where past data is used to test the models as they are being built. The three main activity areas are: testing of the seismic rate model, prediction of ground motions and hazard testing of risk forecasts.

Learning, knowledge exchange and technology transfer

Knowledge exchange

International meetings, GEM's community platform (Nexus) and this website play a central role in promoting knowledge exchange and in facilitating it directly. From 2014 learning and knowledge exchange will focus around the OpenQuake platform, where users with backgrounds can calculate and explore risk and share their findings, working together to advance seismic risk.

Technology transfer

Transfer of technology is key to empowering organisations and individuals, building on capacity or creating new capacity where that did not exist before. In this development stage of GEM, focus is on technology transfer sessions and training workshops targeted at regional collaborators in use of GEM tools and application of data. At the moment such trainings and sessions are very much customised (following the latest developments in the tools, and attuned to the regional context), but the experiences from these exercises are increasingly being used to work towards standard curricula and exercises, which will increasingly feature online modules.