CIMA Research Foundation (hereafter called CIMA Foundation), is a scientific organization under the Italian Legal Regulations governed by public law, which is recognized as a centre of excellence for civil protection by the national Italian regulation.
CIMA Foundation’s mission is to develop scientific and engineering technologies for application in environmental-related fields with focus on disaster risk reduction, civil protection and preservation of terrestrial and water-related ecosystems, always connecting research, operations, capacity development and assistance to the end users. CIMA Foundation’s researchers have a long record in defining procedures and models to assess flood risk. This expertise grew taking advantage of the direct contact with institutions operating on the topic and has been always characterized by the use of the state-of-the-art technologies in order to improve the detail of flood hazard mapping as well as of flood vulnerability assessment.
Specific GIS and WEB-GIS tools developed by CIMA represent the best of the available information on the territory and provide an added value in all the projects developed in this research area and are taken as current global reference for flood monitoring by international bodies such as WMO.
In terms of related expertise, CIMA Foundation has a diversified expertise that is based on the knowledge expressed by more than 100 researchers, post-docs Ph.D. candidates and collaborators. The core expertise of CIMA Foundation aligns along three axes:
Satellite information is heavily used in support of CIMA Foundation modelling approach. CIMA Foundation is official validator of rainfall and soil moisture products for the H-SAF. It has been also contributing to the Copernicus Risk & Recovery service where modelling and satellite observations are properly merged to produce more reliable and cost-effective risk maps.
CIMA Foundation distinctive expertise is in the constant contact with the end users of such scientific products. This contributed to its capacity in producing actionable research that impacts in the everyday life of users and eventually citizens in line with its mandate. In particular the Risk Assessment and Loss Data Department is specialized in modelling risk and impacts linked to natural hazards, with a special focus on floods. Statistical approaches are used to combine hazard information with data describing exposure characteristics (i.e. population, built-up, service and productive systems or the environment), as well as vulnerability, the predisposition of exposed elements to be adversely affected by hazards. Common products for such activities are probabilistic risk profiles or impact assessment studies.
Special effort is dedicated to the integration of global (satellites or non-satellite) information with local data in order to obtain the best representation of exposure and vulnerability fitting to the purposes of the specific study. To this end, specific tools have been developed for use at the national or international level. CIMA Foundation can count also on Acrotec Foundation as an in-house foundation. Acrotec Foundation is specialized in ICT application for Disaster Risk Reduction and specifically in developing space technology application for DRR.
Thanks to a more than a decade’s experience in developing applications for ASI, ESA and Italian Civil Protection department, Acrotec Foundation can contribute a strong expertise in Front end and back end design and realisation with specific attention to service delivery through APIs and dedicated web-services. CIMA Foundation has an ISO 9001:2008 Quality Assurance Certificate provided by AENOR International. This quality assurance certifies CIMA Foundationquality process in conducting scientific research and technological transfer which includes standard procedures and practices assuring the quality of services.
Regarding related experience, since 2010, under a framework agreement, CIMA Foundation provides technical, scientific assistance and technological innovation to the Italian Civil Protection department and the Italian Civil Protection system (including regions) for developing tools and new governance system for the management of climate risk with focus on floods, hydro-meteorological extreme, landslide and forest fires.
CIMA Foundation has assisted the Italian Civil Protection department in international cooperation activities for capacity developing on Disaster Risk Reduction with focus on Climate risks. Recently, CIMA Foundation is working closely with the World Bank DRFI and ESA (SEADRIF & eDrift projects) on a series of project in support of Risk Financing in South East Asia, that merges the early warning system, the impact evaluation and the use of satellite data for parametric insurance activation in Cambodia, Laos PDR and Myanmar. This has resulted in an operational service that will commence by this monsoon season in Myanmar and Laos.
Under the umbrella of the WMO, CIMA Foundation implements the Dewetra platform, a system for real time monitoring, prediction and prevention of flood and wildland fire risks. So far, the Dewetra platform has been operationally implemented in: Albania, Italy, Serbia, Croatia, Lebanon, Bolivia, Ecuador, Philippines, Tunisia, Ecuador among others. CIMA Foundation assists the end-users of the platform with a 24/7 user support.
CIMA Foundation is in the steering committee of the Global Flood Partnership and of the Risk Nexus Initiative. CIMA Foundation participated in the Project PREVIEW, Prevention Global Flood Partnership Information and Early Warning (FP6), and led the project RASOR – Rapid Analysis and Spatialisation of Risk (www.rasor-project.eu): A Copernicus downstream project funded under the FP7 that developed an advanced web-based platform for multi hazard and multi-risk assessment assisted by EO Data (www.rasor.eu).
CIMA Foundation is part of the IMPREX - IMproving PRedictions and management of hydrological EXtremes H2020 project (www.imprex.eu) dealing with real-time impact assessment and its application in EWS and implementing a Pan-European Hydro-meteorological forecasting chain that will be complementing the existing EFAS Copernicus service.
CIMA Foundation is also partner in GEO-CRADLE, Coordinating and integRating state-of-the-art Earth Observation Activities in the regions of North Africa, Middle East, and Balkans and Developing Links with GEO related initiatives towards GEOSS. CIMA Foundation strongly involved in the Heimdall H2020 project led by DLR aiming at developing a platform that exploits modelling and EO data for the management of Emergencies.
CIMA Foundation has been in the lead of the Global Flood Hazard Model contributing at the UNISDR Global Assessment Report (https://www.preventionweb.net). CIMA coordinates the Global Flood Record within the Global Flood Partnership (https://portal.gdacs.org), with the aim of combining satellite, model data, and observation to Loss Data in order to better analyse and predict Flood Impact. CIMA is also Implementer of the DesInventar Loss Data base in many Countries (i.e., Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Belarus, Caribbean Countries) in collaboration with UNDRR and UNDP.
More information is provided on the CIMA Foundation official web-site.