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On 7 May, Minister Steven Joyce and the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) announced funding for four new Centres of Research Excellence (https://beehive.govt.nz/release/four-more-centres-research-excellence-funded), including  QuakeCoRE: Centre for Earthquake Resilience.  This announcement is the culmination of a nearly two-year national effort to secure a CoRE addressing challenges in earthquake engineering and resilience.  The original proposal, developed as a strong collaboration between University of Canterbury and University of Auckland, was unsuccessful in the first competition in 2013-14.  A second proposal, led by Ken Elwood and Brendon Bradley and including researchers from across NZ, was submitted in October 2014 in competition with several existing CoREs and proposals from across all health, science, and engineering disciplines.  QuakeCoRE was the only new research centre awarded this year.  The success of QuakeCoRE signifies the recognition of the importance of earthquake resilience research to NZ and our history of research excellence.

The QuakeCoRE mission is to place NZ at the worldwide forefront of earthquake disaster resilience by utilizing NZ as a natural earthquake laboratory, producing new knowledge on the seismic response of the built environment, developing models to understand vulnerabilities within this environment, and designing innovative technologies and decision-support tools enabling rapid recovery of NZ communities.

Starting January 2016, QuakeCoRE will receive $21.5M over 5 years from TEC to support research, education, industry engagement, and outreach in addressing its mission. QuakeCoRE will be hosted at the University of Canterbury with researchers from partner institutions across New Zealand, including University of Auckland, Victoria University, Massey University, Unitec, Waikato University, Resilient Organisations, GNS Science, and BRANZ.  Ken Elwood and Brendon Bradley will serve as the Director and Deputy Director, respectively.  Using a model of short-term enabling funding, QuakeCoRE will provide a focal point for research on earthquake resilience and leverage significantly on existing related research programmes in the Natural Hazards Research Platform, Resilience to Natures Challenges, EQC, NZTA, MBIE-Building Performance Branch, and BRANZ, among others.

QuakeCoRE will host a national symposium in September 2015 to engage NZSEE members and end-users on funding directions for 2016.  Further announcements on this and other QuakeCoRE activities will be provided by NZSEE in the coming months and via a website (quakecore.nz) currently under development.