Technology transfer in the Middle East
The four-day workshop organized by GEM in collaboration with the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute (KOERI) on March 14-18 continues the work carried out by the partners in the region and lays the foundation for long-term collaboration. In the framework of the USAID/OFDA-funded project, the workshop was implemented as part of the process to develop tools and procedures needed to establish a global network of GEM implementing partners.
They will have the capacity to perform risk analyses and provide technical support and training in their regions, while coordinating with the GEM Secretariat in the improvement of methodologies and models according to local needs.Participants came from eight countries in the Middle East area (including Turkey), which had already contributed to the Earthquake Model for the Middle East (EMME) project under KOERI’s leadership. This time they were guided on the use of the OpenQuake-engine to perform urban risk assessments.
The impact of the training was immediate: by the end of the workshop all participants managed to run a large number of hazard and risk calculations and visualize the resulting hazard, damage and loss estimates. Thanks to the training, participants had the opportunity to perform scenario calculations for their own regions and obtain damage and loss statistics for their cities. “This was one of the most successful workshops we have ever organized – said Vitor Silva, Risk Coordinator at GEM – “and I was impressed by the rapid learning ability on the use of the GEM tools”.
This is certainly also a testimony to the improved computational efficiency and usability of the OpenQuake-engine interface and shows that GEM is on the right path in the development of its tools and methodologies, as well as in the adoption of appropriate technology-transfer mechanisms. Moreover, participants were impressed by the wide range of data and models available in the OpenQuake Platform and provided positive feedback on its potential contribution to the reduction of disaster risk around the world. The workshop ended with a short introduction to socio-economic vulnerability and integrated risk assessment and a dedicated session on the way forward.
The participants decided to create a GEM-EMME community to promote long-term collaboration under KOERI‘s and GEM’s leadership. A corresponding proposal was submitted by the participants immediately after the workshop.