In recent years, we have seen massive increase of human and economic losses due to catastrophic events. These events are either natural or manmade. This increase of losses is due to globalization, urbanization, and by some accounts, due to global climatic changes. As a result, the nature and effects of these disasters have changed. The high level of economic activities and the inter-relationship of nations to such activities have brought out some unique and non-traditional risk management issues.
In Asia, where the risk awareness is low and the risk is high, the situation poses special problems and challenges. These include understanding and recognizing risk, risk quantification (monetary, social and human) and risk management. NTU's Risk Research Agenda is driven by the principle that catastrophic risk impacts the functioning and effectiveness of the whole fabric of society and businesses. Developing strategies for mitigating these risks will require a robust public private partnership amongst government agencies, academia and industry players.
Understanding, communicating and managing catastrophic risk requires comprehensive methodologies for risk quantification. Institute of Catastrophe Risk Management (ICRM) will be the first multi-disciplinary risk management research institute of its kind in Asia and amongst a handful of such centers in the world. The Institute will focus on catastrophe triggered insurance/reinsurance risks, sovereign risk, societal risk and some non-traditional risks. It will play a lead role in NTU's new wave of integrative research efforts and its strategic vision of Sustainable Earth.
In Asia Pacific, Singapore can take the lead and develop a Center of Excellence to fill this need and to further strengthen its position as a major financial hub. Professor Pan Tso-Chien, currently Dean of Engineering at NTU is appointed as ICRM's Founding Executive Director.
The vision of ICRM is to become Asia’s leading research institute in catastrophe risk management and to help those at risk worldwide in general and Asia in particular.
The mission of ICRM is:
- To undertake multi-disciplinary research projects in science, engineering, finance, technology, economics and socio-political aspects related to catastrophe risk. Drawing strengths in natural catastrophes in the College of Engineering, ICRM will work with NTU institutions such as the Earth Observatory of Singapore, the Rajaratnam School of International Studies, the Nanyang Business School as well as researchers at local institutions. The ICRM will also form collaborative projects with government agencies and leading centers of catastrophe risk management in industry as well as with similar centers internationally.
- To help the community to better understand the fundamental characteristics of risks related to natural and non-traditional disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, floods, droughts, and to non-traditional risks due to food security, infectious diseases and terrorism.