The Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence serves as a key catalyst for the enhancement of NATO’s crisis management and disaster response capabilities by providing timely education products, research, and policy recommendations.
Allied Command Transformation is working to better understand the global threat environment across the spectrum of conflict to ensure that NATO remains ready and able to effectively respond to crises by out-thinking adversaries and potential threats. The Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence furthers these efforts by acting as a hub of information and expertise for crisis management and disaster relief.
The Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence is located in Sofia, Bulgaria, and received official accreditation as the 21st NATO Centre of Excellence on March 15th, 2015. Its primary area of responsibility, crisis management and disaster response, is coupled with a broad thematic portfolio including relevant cross-cutting topics such as resilience, climate change, protection of civilians, and gender mainstreaming. The Centre aims to act as a catalyst for enhancements to NATO’s, Allies,’ and Partners’ crisis management and disaster relief operations by providing value-added education and training products, research and analysis, strategic policy recommendations, and advice by means of concept experimentation and doctrine development.
The 2023 Programme of Work being conducted by the Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence is a reflection of its comprehensive approach to its subject area and collaborative partnerships. One ongoing area of work is the Space Weather Environmental Modelling project, which is leveraging artificial intelligence to develop an operational space weather modelling and simulation framework to assess the probability of space weather events and their effect on space-based capabilities. Germany, Denmark, Italy as well as NATO Partners Australia and Sweden are participating in this project, which will conclude in September 2023. The Centre is also conducting another modelling and simulation project that aims to predict, monitor, and control the movement of large masses of people to improve national and Alliance resilience, particularly during crises and disasters. Three Allied nations are currently participating in this project, which is set to conclude in November 2023.
Beyond these projects, the Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence hosted its 11th Annual Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence Conference from May 31st to June 1st, 2023. The topics of this year’s conference centred on the evolving security environment and the multiple challenges that the Alliance must meet, such as climate change. The conference also discussed the potential adaptive and comprehensive approaches towards these security challenges in the area of crisis management and disaster relief.
Falling under the coordination authority of the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, the Crisis Management and Disaster Response Centre of Excellence plays an important role in identifying capabilities, shortfalls, policy gaps, and possible ways to address the corresponding issues through its research, analysis and contribution to the development and validation of concepts within its functional remit. It has also contributed its subject-matter expertise to the development of the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept, the Layered Resilience Concept, the NATO Operational Energy Concept, and the NATO Cognitive Warfare Concept. In addition to contributing to the development of these concepts, the Centre also implements their ideas and principles into its education and training activities.