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NIST-funded Collaboration Featuring NCSA Renewed for $20 Million

Aerial visualization of a spiraling storm with storm severity shown in black, red, yellow, green, blue, and cyan

Since 2015, the Software Directorate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has collaborated with the Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning, headquartered at Colorado State University. Last week, the Center was awarded a five-year, $20 million extension to continue their research.

This center, which is funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is tasked with developing tools, practices and expertise to aid communities and their resilience to extreme natural events. As part of this collaboration, NCSA staff have been integral in the Center’s software efforts, including the recent launch of the IN-CORE Platform, which models both the impacts of natural hazards in a given community and the community’s resilience to those hazards.

The initial round of funding from NIST provided us with the resources to design and deliver the first version of the IN-CORE community resilience platform, a platform that enables scientists and engineers to run end to end analyses modeling various extreme hazard events and understand the communities’ resilience to these different disruptions. This extension represents the next step, which is bridging the gap between the output of scientific models and what communities need to understand the impacts and make informed decisions to improve their own communities’ resilience.

Christopher Navarro, NCSA Senior Research Programmer

Thanks to this renewal, the Center will be able to continue modeling natural hazards, and in-turn also help insulate communities from these natural hazards, in line with the NIST’s Community Resilience Planning Guide.

Read the full release from NIST here:

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded a renewal of a $20 million cooperative agreement to Colorado State University (CSU) to continue the work of the Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning.

As it receives $4 million annually for five years, the Fort Collins-based center will bring together NIST researchers and partners from 13 universities to continue developing computer and field study tools, best practices, and guidance that help local governments decide how to best invest resources intended to lessen the impact of extreme weather and other hazards on communities and to recover rapidly.

Over the last five years, the center has supported the implementation of the NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide, released in 2015, which provides planning guidance to communities as they consider pre- and post-event actions and investments to prevent future hazards from inflicting devastating consequences. The NIST guide focuses on buildings and infrastructure systems and addresses how to maintain social and economic functions. Work at the center will continue to support this sustained resilience effort at NIST.

Another significant result of the center’s efforts is IN-CORE — the Interdependent Networked Community Resilience Modeling Environment. Released in December 2019, this tool enables community resilience planners to model the physical and socio-economic systems of a community and assess the effectiveness of measures aimed at minimizing post-disaster disruption and recovery time.

NIST and the center are currently conducting a longitudinal field study on Lumberton, N.C., following Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. Integrated assessment of damage to homes, businesses, schools, and the water system was initially conducted. The study is collecting data on recovery of the affected residents and systems in the community. This research has led to development of novel survey instruments that integrate physical, social, and economic community impacts.

The center’s multi-disciplinary team includes experts in engineering, economics, data and computing, and social sciences from the California Polytechnic University in Pomona, Georgia Tech, Stony Brook University, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Rice University, Texas A&M University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Kansas, University of Oklahoma, University of South Alabama, and the US Naval Academy.


The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign provides supercomputing and advanced digital resources for the nation’s science enterprise. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students and collaborators from around the globe use these resources to address research challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing many of the world’s industry giants for over 35 years by bringing industry, researchers and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

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