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In 2004, during the 11th OECD-GFS Meeting, realising the lack of a venue to discuss earthquake science, the German delegation proposed to hold a workshop to discuss the issue. Over the next two years, a series of workshops and meetings culminated in the identification of a need to create a Global Earthquake Risk Mapping and Monitoring Programme or GEM in 2006.

GEM’s financial feasibility received a critical boost in 2007 after MunichRe agreed to become its first and main private participant through a 5M Euro contribution for a period of five years. In the succeeding year, the OECD Global Science Forum selected EUCENTRE in Pavia, Italy as the host institution for the GEM Secretariat. 

Following two significant milestones, the GEM Foundation was incorporated in Pavia, Italy as a non-profit organization in 2009, giving the Foundation a legal identity with a vision of a world that is resilient to earthquakes.

GEM Meeting, Zurich 2008

Key Events

Hover mouse on side arrow or mouse scroll up or down to view GEM's timeline

Early Supporters

Four scientists played a particularly relevant role in bringing GEM to fruition during the early years: 

  • Jochen Zschau (GFZ Potsdam, Retired)

  • Ross Stein (USGS, Retired)

  • Domenico Giardini (ETH Zurich)

  • Anselm Smolka (Munich Re, Retired)

The contribution of the following individuals in the early stages of GEM is also acknowledged: Frederic Sgard (OECD-GSF), Kate Stillwell (UC Berkeley) and Conrad Lindholm (NORSAR).

Founding Members


  • Italy - Department of Civil Protection (2009)

  • Turkey - Bogazici University (2009)

  • Belgium - Belgium Science Policy (2009)

  • Singapore - Nanyang Technoligical University (2010)

  • Switzerland - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (2010)

  • Germany - GFZ Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (2010)



  • EUCENTRE (2009)

  • MunichRe (2009)

  • Zurich Insurance Group (2009)

  • Air Worldwide / Verisk (2010)

  • Willis (2010)



  • OECD - Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2009)

  • UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2012)

  • WB - The World Bank (2012)

  • IASPEI - International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth’s Interior (2009)

  • IAEE - International Association of Earthquake Engineering (2009)

Global Components Coordinators


  • Global instrumental catalogue (ISC-GEM) - Dmitry Storchak (ISC)

  • Global Earthquake History - Paola Albini (INGV) and Roger Musson (BGS)

  • Global Strain Rate Model - Corne Kreemer (University of Nevada)

  • Faulted Earth - Kelvin Berryman (GNS Science)

  • Global GMPEs - Yousef Bozorgnia (Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center)



  • GED4GEM (Global Exposure Database) - Paolo Gamba (University of Pavia)

  • GEM Earthquake Consequences Database (GEMECD) - Emily So and Antonios Pomonis (Cambridge Architectural Research)

  • Inventory Data Capture Tools - Ron Eguchi (ImageCat)

  • Ontology and Taxonomy - Svetlana Brzev and Charles Scawthorn (AGORA)

  • GEM Vulnerability Consortium - Keith Porter (University of Colorado at Boulder)

GEM Outstanding Contribution Awardees

  • 2012: Kishor Jaiswal (US)

  • 2013: Laurentiu Danciu (Switzerland)

  • 2014: Dimitry Stochak (UK)

  • 2016: Svetlana Brzev (Serbia)

  • 2018: Ana Acevedo (Colombia)

  • 2019: Murray Journeay (Canada)

  • 2022: Peter Pazak (Slovakia)

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