MEXT and NSF Statement on Big Data and Disaster Research Collaboration From NSF Director Dr. Subra Suresh and MEXT Minister Mr. Hirofumi Hirano
The catastrophic consequences of natural and human disasters have been demonstrated repeatedly in recent years, most notably in the Great East Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster but also in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Hurricane Katrina, and regional droughts, floods and fires. These events clearly demonstrate the urgent need for basic research to advance fundamental knowledge and innovation for disaster prevention, mitigation and management. The big data revolution holds the potential to mitigate the effects of these events by enabling access to critical real time information.
We met in Tokyo on June 5, and agreed that U.S.-Japan collaboration in disaster research would yield important mutual advantages, leveraging our respective experiences and expertise to reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience in our societies. We agreed in principle to support broad-based research collaborations among computer scientists, engineers, social scientists, biologists, geoscientists, physical scientists and mathematicians that strengthen our understanding of disaster robustness and resilience through big data.
Among the topics we agreed had potential for research collaboration are:
We agreed to develop a plan of action at the working level, with the aim of announcing a more detailed agreement before the end of 2012.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
Useful NSF Web Sites: