ICT impact on Disaster Risk Reduction

June 6, 2006
14:00 - 15:30
Hotel Golf - Jupiter Hall 2


Guy Weets, Deputy Head of Unit ICT for the Environment
Information Society and Media Directorate-General, European Commission
Iztok Podbregar, Director Slovenian Intelligence and Security Agency, Government of the Republic of Slovenia
Member and Secretary, National Security Council & EU Fighting Against Terrorism National Coordinator

Jose Lorenzo
ATOS Origin; Spain

Michel Castellanet, Telecommunication Applications Director
Telecom Business Unit, Alcatel Alenia Space, France

Lawrence Sellin, Solution Leader
Public Sector - Defence Industry, Network Centric Operations, IBM Business Consulting Services
EMEA-Nordic/Baltic Region, Finland

Dennis Michael Egan, Adjunct Professor
Institute of Crisis, Disaster, Emergency and Risk Management
School of Engineering and Applied Science, The George Washington University, United States

Edith Wilkinson
Cranfield Defence Academy

Thomas Engel, Professor
University of Luxemburg, Luxemburg


Harold Linke, Director
Hitech SA Luxemburg


Natural and industrial hazards are part of the world we live in and in most instances cannot be prevented. The multitude of hazards facing modern societies combined highly differing vulnerability of the population and the economy makes the mitigation of their impact a very difficult and complex task. ICT has the capacity to deal with this complexity but it requires a radical change in the way we manage disasters. The world bank has declared that every euro spent on prevention save seven in damage; But what is the contribution of ICT, how investment in ICT can further improve the saving, which technologies need to be developed, what are the non technical obstacle to a widespread adoption. These are some of the questions that will be addressed during the workshop

The weak link in today’s disaster recovery effort is a high performance working network and accurate information that enables first responders to know what happened and what is required. Access to all information, without regard to hardware software or location of the user is no longer an option, it is imperative. Unfortunately due to organizational and technological barriers, the multiple actors involved in risk management activities cannot, in general, cooperate efficiently. The main challenges to address in order to solve this problem are: accessibility and availability of data, interoperability (use of standards), common terminology (including multilingualism) and use of semantics, in-spite of the multiplicity of procedures and policies, and diversity of business models. The main goal is to design and develop a technical infrastructure for risk management based on open standards and to validate it in real-life, multi-risk scenarios.