NORDRESS, the Nordic Centre of Excellence on Resilience and Societal Security, is a network of scientists and emergency management experts who join forces to increase societal resilience to natural hazards. The consortium comprises experts from 13 leading Nordic institutions spanning expertise in geophysics, geography, hydrology, engineering, meteorology, social sciences, history, law, physical and mental health, psychological trauma and emergency management. The consortium will maximize the benefit of the diversity of expertise to seek novel interdisciplinary solutions to generic problems.

For geological and geographical reasons, natural threats vary greatly from one Nordic region to another. Yet social similarities of the Nordic countries, their existing emergency management systems, and the tradition for communication, co-operation and understanding within and between the countries, facilitates transfer of knowledge and skills and makes it feasible to treat natural hazard management as a mutual Nordic task.

In terms of disasters caused by natural hazards, societal resilience must permeate the entire cycle of emergency management: prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. Resilience implies a view of societal security as a property that cannot merely be built into technological or socio-economic systems but derives from the intricate interplay between individuals, communities, institutions and infrastructures. NORDRESS will therefore study the nature of and interplay between these main dimensions. A variety of novel research projects will be conducted in 11 work packages, each of which comprises experts from different fields and countries. This ensures an interdisciplinary approach from the start. Furthermore, communication and interplay between the work packages will be encouraged to maximize the interdisciplinary benefits.

NORDRESS emphasizes education through the Nordic Societal Security Academy, that funds mobility grants and courses that will be organized by experts in each field and held in a location provided by them. The courses will serve researchers and others concerned with safety, such as government officials, policy makers, disaster management teams, and media people.

The NSSA will provide a wide selection of courses for different groups of stakeholders, by encouraging and enabling the best Nordic experts to organize and host courses in their fields of societal security.