Threats to infrastructures research and impacts

Under this theme the Research Councils bring together a wide range of research related to resilience of infrastructure, including human (data, transport, buildings and services to users) and natural (eg water, food systems) components. It includes research exploring the understanding of risk and resilience by individuals, community, organisations and states when infrastructure is disrupted by events such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks or pandemics. Other projects aim to develop approaches and technologies to address vulnerabilities created by connected infrastructure across borders and different sectors, or other sources of disruption such as diminishing natural resources or climate change.

Increasing Resilience to Natural Hazards
This interdisciplinary programme, supported by NERC and ESRC, aims to build resilience in earthquake-prone and volcanic regions by reducing risks from multiple natural hazards, increasing population resilience to high impact events, particularly as they increase in severity and frequency.

Probability, Uncertainty and Risk in the Environment
NERC supports this initiative to increase the impact of natural hazards research, and to take a national leadership role in changing the way in which uncertainty and risk are assessed and quantified across the natural hazards community. This initiative has two elements: a research programme - the PURE programme, and a research and knowledge exchange network - the PURE network.

Next Generation Resilience of Critical Infrastructure
EPSRC and ESRC supported this £3 million initiative to develop innovative approaches to enhance the resilience of infrastructure to disruptive events - such as natural disasters, terrorism or issues related to security mechanical breakdown and systems failure. It explores the concepts of risk and resilience, as well as issues of dependencies between sectors of UK critical infrastructure.

Long Term Dynamics of Interdependent Infrastructure Systems: UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium
The aim of the UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium is to develop and demonstrate a new generation of system simulation models and tools to inform analysis, planning and design of National Infrastructure. The research will deal with energy, transport, water, waste and ICT systems at a national scale, developing new methods for analysing their performance, risks and interdependencies. 

Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR)
ESRC supported this £3 million centre to investigate the organisational and institutional settings for risk management and regulatory practice, including issues of reputation, security and trust.

Social Contexts and Responses to Risk (SCARR)
Funded by the ESRC, this £2.8 million network examines how the risks people perceive and respond to in everyday life often differ from the risks identified or assumed to be high priorities by business, planners or policymakers.

Natural and environmental risk centre
This is a £3.5 million strategic partnership funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), EPSRC, ESRC and NERC, which provides strategic natural and environmental risk support to government, industry and international partners, drawing on research within the themes of strategic risk appraisal, organisational maturity and knowledge exchange.

Re-Engineering the City 2020-2050 (RETROFIT 2050)
This is a major new EPSRC funded interdisciplinary project aiming to deliver a 'step change' in current knowledge and capacity to underpin the transition to urban sustainability. It will explore realistic, eventhough challenging, social and technological options and pathways for the systemic retrofitting of two core UK city regions: Greater Manchester and Cardiff/South Wales.

Space, Technologies and the Design of the Built Environment Platform
EPSRC supported £1.7 million group to address issues related to radical urban agglomeration and future building needs. The work of the group involves fundamental research, which is coupled with applications research on live industry and community projects and is delivered through its company, doctoral and masters training as well as a thriving international network of researchers using its methodology and software.

MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling
The £2m MRC centre aims to undertake research in epidemic modelling and apply the tools developed for giving insight into the spread of disease outbreaks and how we can try and control the transmission of a new disease. 

Flu Watch
This is MRC supported community study of behavioural & biological determinants of transmission to inform seasonal and pandemic planning. The study commenced in 2006 and has now followed the cohort of participants through several influenza seasons. 

A Primary Care Trial of an Infection Control Website to Modify Influenza-Like Illness and Respiratory Infection Transmission
This programme will address the public health need to provide evidence for more rationally targeting antibiotics to those most likely to benefit and to develop better antibiotic and non-antibiotic strategies. Acute infections are the commonest conditions managed in primary care, and most people still receive an antibiotic despite limited evidence for their effectiveness. The overuse of antibiotics creates a major threat to the public health - antibiotic resistance.

Infrastructure and the 21st Century Infectious Diseases
This EPSRC supported project will explore how to transform and design new infrastructure to combat the 21st century infectious diseases in the environment. One of the biggest threats from infectious diseases in the world is from the pathogens which can be transmitted via the airborne and surface contact routes. Surveillance and containment are at the centre of the response strategies; however engineering of infrastructure is not prominently featured despite its potential to provide some of the solutions.

Intelligent Energy Aware Networks (INTERNET)
EPSRC funded this £6 million project to study current limits on ICT performance due to known environmental concerns and develop new ICT techniques to provide enhanced performance. It will explore whether substantial advances can be achieved through the innovative use of renewable sources and the development of new architectures, protocols, and algorithms operating on hardware which itself will allow significant reductions in energy consumption. 

Electricity Policy Research Group
This ESRC funded group explores the policy options available to retain the benefits of liberalised energy markets and international energy trade without compromising energy security and foreign policy objectives, through evaluation of exposure to international energy security risk and international dimensions of energy security.

Sussex Energy Group
Funded by UK Energy Research Centre, the aim is to identify ways of achieving the transition to sustainable, low carbon energy systems whilst addressing other important policy objectives such as energy security.

Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics (Innogen)
Part of the ESRC Genomics Network, the centre studies the evolution of genomics and life sciences and their far-reaching social and economic implications, including the potential to transform health care and food production systems in developed and developing countries and to provide one of the main platforms of economic growth and global competitiveness.

End-to-end Quantification of Uncertainty for Impacts Prediction (EQUIP)
This three-year consortium project, supported by NERC, brings together the UK climate modeling, statistical modeling, and impacts communities to work closely together for the first time on developing risk-based prediction for decision making in the face of climate variability and change.

FRACAS: a next generation national flood risk assessment under climate change scenarios
This project headed by The NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology aims to develop the new methodology required to make a step-change in our ability to quantify fluvial flood risk at large scales, and explore the potential impacts of climate change. This will combine existing and emerging technologies, to improve national and regional flood risk assessment.