Emergencies are typically complex problems with serious consequences that must be solved in a limited amount of time to reduce any possible damage. Big data technology leads to more assured decision making and better decisions can mean greater operational efficiencies, cost reductions and reduced risk.
The Transnational Partnership for Excellent Research and Education in Big Data and Emergency Management (BDEM) coordinated by Western Norway Research Institute. The project aimed through a cooperation between Western Norway Research Institute, University of Bergen and six world class universities from the USA, Japan and Hong Kong, to establish a long-term partnership where excellent education was embedded in exceptional research in big data and emergency management.
During 2017-2021, we designed and launched a course on Big Data for Emergency Management at the University of Bergen. We also organised annual creative workshops entitled 'Emergency Management in Big Data Era' and online seminars during the project period. We established networking activities with public and private sector in Norway, Hong Kong, Japan and the USA. Master and PhD degree students with relevant backgrounds integrated into Vestlandsforsking's and the project partners' ongoing research with academic publications as the final goal. A high-quality student-researcher collaboration was established. It has also resulted in formal research collaborations with the BDEM partners and some advisory board members. A textbook for the BDEM course was prepared by the BDEM team and published in 2020.
The BDEM partnership facilitated the mutual development and enhancement of unique and desirable knowledge, as well as the promotion of an international recognition for an increasingly important field of data-driven emergency management in a global context. Master's curriculum established within the framework of the partnership. Students and researchers developed a common understanding of knowledge gaps, practices, technologies and data analysis needs in disaster management. This collaboration built sustainable relationships between the institutions by exploiting the experience, resources, infrastructure, and complementary expertise of all partners. The BDEM strengthened data-driven emergency management as an academic field at partner institutions. The collaboration has enhanced access to data, use cases and knowledge in BDEM in Norway, USA, HK and Japan. This partnership has now reached a certain maturity to be ready to take more far-reaching steps, like joint projects and education.
The utility and potential of big data for emergency management is growing but integration of big data into existing workflows and practices is far from seamless. To fulfill the potential benefits of big data for emergency management, the BDEM project will share best practices among the project partners in order to build and strengthen research and training that leverages big data and data analytics to transform emergency management for citizens and for society at-large. This will result in a more consistent, enhanced and professionalised level of research and education in the domain in Norway.
The BDEM research and education network will be coordinated by Vestlandsforsking and will run for a term of three years. In cooperation with university partners in Norway, USA and Japan, it concentrates on exploring issues related to big data and emergency management. The BDEM project application is relevant to the thematic focus of the qualifying EU Framework project- EmerGent.
BDEM will develop and implement innovative curricula on big data and emergency management as a research and innovation space where national academics and students work with international partners to co-create new knowledge and practices to address real world emergency management challenges.
BDEM will establish visiting positions with staff from partners, paving the way for more joint applications of research funding for PhDs and students to perform research and being co-authors on papers.
BDEM will develop and implement three creative research focused workshops in Norway. As part of this platform, joint papers of high international standards will be produced, the publication of which will further motivate the development and continuation of a long-term, international consortium.
BDEM consortium will not only communicate within the BDEM related research community but also with other related businesses and public sector organisations with the impact to give the BDEM more visibility.