NIST to establish disaster resilience Center for Excellence

The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently announced plans to establish two new research Centers for Excellence to work with industry and academia on issues in disaster resilience and forensic science.

NIST Centers for Excellence seek to provide multidisciplinary research centers that bring together experts from industry, academia and the NIST to work on high-priority research topics. In December, the agency established its first center, which was dedicated to advanced materials research.

One of the new centers would focus on tools to support community disaster resilience by working on developing integrated, systems-based computational models to assess community infrastructure resilience. The proposed center would develop a data management infrastructure that would enable public access of disaster data, tools and best practices to improve how disaster and resilience data are collected.

Both centers will seek to provide technical resources and expertise to support NIST's ongoing efforts in the two areas.

The other proposed center would support NIST's efforts to strengthen forensic science by developing best practices and standardized methodologies to improve evidence reporting and interpretation.

The NIST plans to hold merit competitions to establish the two centers, which are tentatively planned to be funded at up to $4 million annually for five years. Details of the application process will be posted on during the summer.