Despite the remarkable scientific advances of earthquake engineering and seismology in many countries, earthquake risk is still growing at a high rate in the World’s most vulnerable Countries. Succesful practice experiences have shown that a Country’s capacity to manage and reduce its earthquake risk relies on capitalization on policies as well as technology and research results, and on strengthening technical curricula for future practitioners and researchers through university and higher education programmes. Cooperative international academic research and training is always key to reducing the gap between industrialized and more vulnerable regions.
Representatives of the EU-NICE consortium from Asian and European universities at the initiative kick-off meeting.
Based on these premises, the Sapienza University of Rome has taken the lead in a major scientific cooperation effort with asian partners. Representatives from 5 European Universities, 8 Asian Univerisities, and 5 Associate organizations and NGOs gathered in Rome on October 18-19 to launch EU-NICE initiative. The meeting was attended by Rector Prof. Luigi Frati who signed the Consortium Agreement, and by the Vice President of the European Parliament Mr. Gianni Pittella who addressed the international gathering through a videoconference speech. EU-NICE is an international cooperation and aid project under the Erasmus Mundus mobility scheme of the European Commission. The project focuses on capacity building and curricula strengthening in the field of earthquake mitigation and is targeted to University located in Regional Asian Countries.
Researchers, future policymakers and practitioners will build up their curricula over a wide range of disciplines in the fields of engineering, seismology, disaster risk management and urban planning. Specific educational and research activities will focus on earthquake risk mitigation related topics such as: anti-seismic structural design, structural engineering, advanced computer structural collapse analysis, seismology, experimental laboratory studies, international and developmental issues in disaster risk management, social-economical impact studies, international relations and conflict resolution. Cooperation will take place between leading European and Asian universities involved in advanced research on seismic mitigation, centers of excellence for higher education training on disaster risk management.
The Eurasian consortium comprises 5 European Universities: Sapienza University of Rome (Coordinator), (Italy), University "G. D'Annunzio of Chieti-Pescara (Italy), University of Basilicata (Italy), University of Partas (Greece), University of Aveiro (Portugal); 8 Asian Universities: Nangarhar University (Afghanistan), Tribhuvan University (Nepal), National Society for Earthquake Technology (Nepal), NED University of Engineering and Technology (Pakistan), University of Dhaka (Bangladesh), Prince of Songkla University (Thailand), Hunan University (China), Chongqing University (China); and 5 Associate Organizations and NGOs: Geohazards International Society (India), Rotary Club of Jalalabad (Afghanistan), Rotary International District 2080 Lazio-Sardegna (Italy), Italian Association of Earthquake Engineering ANIDIS (Italy), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand).
Speech of the Vice President of the European Parliament Mr. Gianni Pittella.
The Erasmus Mundus Action Two Partnership programme is a cooperation and mobility scheme in the area of higher education launched by Europe Aid Cooperation Office and implemented by the Executive Agency Education, Audiovisual and Culture (EACEA).
The European Commission has launched this initiative to foster cooperation between higher education institutions. It aims to boost exchanges of students, researchers and academic staff and to support mobility, in particular from non-EU countries to EU member states. The European Commission launches call for proposals for different regions in the world and then funds partnerships between universities to implement the exchanges. Students, researchers and staff from the area can apply to the selected consortium for scholarships.
The EMA2 objective is to achieve better understanding and mutual enrichment between the European Union and Third Countries in the field of higher education through promoting the exchange of persons, knowledge and skills at higher education level. This will be achieved through the promotion of partnerships and institutional co-operation exchanges between European Higher Education Institutions and Third Country institutions and a mobility scheme addressing student and academic exchanges.