The CIEM centre at UiA was recently granted NOK 11 million from the Research Council of Norway for an international research project about information sharing within emergency preparedness and management.
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The funding to the research project Sharing incident and threat information for common situational understanding (INSITU) comes from the Research Council of Norway's programme SAMRISK which will contribute to increased knowledge and understanding for handling public safety.
"It is great that we made the cut. It means that our centre's research is considered relevant and important," Professor Bjørn Erik Munkvold says, who is the director of CIEM – Centre for Integrated Emergency Management at UiA – and manager of the research project.
CIEM also has previous experience with international projects, such as the EU project Smart Mature Resilience: We are smarter, stronger and more secure (Norwegian)
Despite increased access to digital information services that may be relevant for emergency preparedness and management, the outline of how this information can be efficiently gathered and combined is still lacking. The same applies to what needs exist for sharing information between the different agencies that cooperate in a state of emergency.
The different agencies also use different terms, which creates challenges regarding efficient emergency communication and resource coordination. Furthermore, there is today a lack of standardisation of digital map services that can support inter-agency cooperation within emergency preparedness and management.
"With this basis, the INSITU project will contribute to better coordination and sharing of information, threats and events, unification of the systems of concept and integration of map resources as a basis for common situational understanding between emergency agencies. The solutions that will be developed in the project can also be used for evaluation of and learning from events and practices," Bjørn Erik Munkvold says.
Behind the project proposal from CIEM is a consortium of collaboration partners from academia and the practical field that covers the different focus areas in the project:
"Contributions from the international partners will also offer possibilities for comparisons and transferring experience with practical training from other countries," Munkvold emphasises.
To make sure the research is relevant, the project has also established a comprehensive reference group consisting of agencies responsible for different areas of public safety and emergency preparedness, both nationally and regionally:
"The project is carried out in the period May 2019 – September 2022 and will emphasise involvement of the 'emergency preparedness family' through workshops with the reference group, as well as evaluations of the project's results from practices and discussions with emergency preparedness agencies," Bjørn Erik Munkvold says.