The Center for Integrated Disaster Information Research (CIDIR) was founded in 2008 as a result of cooperation among three institutions in the University of Tokyo: the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, the Earthquake Research Institute and the Institute of Industrial Science. Intending to open new horizons in comprehensive information research on disaster prevention, CIDIR combines research fields such as economics, sociology, psychology, seismology, volcanology, disaster prevention engineering, socio-information studies and communication studies, CIDIR is creating an active disaster prevention network of researchers at the University of Tokyo. CIDIR aims to be a new research institute which functions as a hub for cooperation among researchers, government, private business, mass media and NPOs.
The primary mission of CIDIR is to reduce disaster loss through the application of information studies. The Japanese Archipelago is thought to be entering into a period of increased seismic activity. Moreover the effects of global warming will lead to an increase in large-scale typhoons. These changes require a new approach to disaster management and the role of information studies is becoming highly important. Studies on disaster assessment, advance forecasts, early warning, evacuation information and social recovery systems are motivated in terms of reducing both human and economic loss.
Research at CIDIR is divided into 3 fields:
(1) Disaster information and behavior analysis,
(2) Comprehensive analysis on earthquakes and volcanoes,
(3) Disaster mitigation engineering.
Major topics of research are as follows:
1. The management of disaster information
2. Disaster information education programs
3. Design and operation of disaster-prevention systems
4. Total understanding of expected damage due to Tokyo Inland Earthquakes
5. Development of university SCM (Service Continuity Management) models
CIDIR is composed of faculty from the center proper, special faculty appointed by outside funding and also faculty from other institutions. CIDIR is funded by outside grants, joint research funding, contracted research funding, and donations from cooperating businesses. In addition, CIDIR will start a program for training general disaster information specialists as part of the curriculum at the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies. CIDIR also organizes various classes open to the public including government officials, and journalists. The CIDIR Operation Committee is composed of key members from the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, the Earthquake Research Institute and the Institute of Industrial Science.