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Open Data Hub Launches with Aims to Narrow $125 Billion Natural Hazard “Protection Gap”

A pioneering global data community, Oasis HUB, was formally launched today with a mission to open up the catastrophe risk modelling market – enabling insurers, financiers, academics, policy makers and those in industry to respond to the severe and increasing climate-related and natural hazards faced by society.  

Speaking from the launch at Willis Towers Watson, Dickie Whitaker, Chief Executive of the Oasis Loss Modelling Framework and Chairman of the Oasis HUB, says:

“Traditionally, the wealth of data models produced within academia and the modelling community have not been made widely available to the organisations needing them most.  Also, prohibitively high costs have prevented “black box” data from the catastrophe modelling market incumbents from being employed on a wide scale.  Now, with Oasis Hub as a gateway, scientific theory and data can be made focused and actionable, to meet the huge market demand for climate risk adaption strategies.” 

The insurance protection gap (the difference between insured and uninsured losses when natural catastrophes strike) can set vulnerable economies back years, yet is growing inexorably – especially in Asia.  Since the 1980s, the global number of registered weather-related loss events has tripled.  Total economic losses to property and infrastructure from natural disasters have averaged around USD $180 billion annually in the last decade, 70% of which are uninsured[1].

The insurance industry needs a clear understanding of rising climate-related and natural hazard risk in order to allocate capital, meet regulatory requirements and price risk in specific regions.  By catalysing the rapid uptake of transparent and affordable new data, models, software, tools and services, the Oasis HUB offers the insurance sector improved understanding of future uncertainty around climate change and natural hazards. 

Over the next three years, the priorities of the Oasis HUB are to call to action all of those institutions globally who have data that can be used by organisations looking to understand their climate risks, including from reinsurance, critical infrastructure, cities and agriculture. The Oasis Hub seeks to engage with universities, research institutes and the commercial sector to overcome the barriers to sharing data. Anyone can now register with Oasis HUB to input their data and models and share their views of risk with the market at https://oasishub.co/user/register

Tracy Irvine, Managing Director of Oasis HUB, says: “We believe in a world where knowledge is open, shared and is accessible to people everywhere, and we encourage groups to collaborate to continually accelerate the ability of communities to adapt and protect themselves against the worst disasters. Oasis HUB will act as a global window to much of the world’s environmental and risk data. What makes the HUB unique is that it caters for the public, academic and commercial sectors, bringing all communities and crucial data together for the first time.”

Climate-KIC and Horizon 2020 have allocated Oasis a combined funding pot of €11m; (awarding €6m and €5m respectively) in order to assist Oasis HUB, as well as the wider Oasis community of scientists, SME’s and (Re)insurers with a range of risk innovation initiatives over the next three years. 

Kirsten Dunlop, Chief Executive, Climate-KIC, Europe’s major climate innovation agency, says: “Climate-KIC upholds the principle of open market exchange as an agent for transformational change and disruption that, in this instance, produces a timely and much needed benefit to many. To this end, we have been a strategic partner of Oasis from the outset, and remain committed to attracting new partners and funding for Oasis, to catalyse and scale the global market for adaptation goods and services.”

Andrea Tilche, European Commission, DG Research and Innovation, Head of Unit Climate Action and Earth Observation, says: “The main objective of H2020 is supporting outstanding research and innovation which provides solutions to the main challenges of our societies and our economies. The Oasis project is a good example of how knowledge and information on climate change may be translated into innovative services, providing effective means to make societies more resilient to climate-related risks. The project also promises to show how an approach based on open science and innovation can deliver results that would be hardly achievable without the free sharing of knowledge among different communities.”

The Oasis community was launched in 2011, and since then has forged a wealth of partnerships with organisations from Lloyds of London, Swiss Re and the World Bank, through to regional authorities.

About the Oasis Family:

The Oasis community comprises companies and projects inspired by the power of data to help communities adapt to the changing world. These include Oasis HUB, Oasis Loss Modelling Framework, Oasis PalmTree and Oasis Consortium. All are united by their mission to empower people to know more about the changing world around them. They do this by facilitating the development and utilisation of high quality, future-focused environmental data and models to enable insurers, businesses, governments and other institutions to model risk and the potential damages of catastrophic events. By propelling the rapid uptake of transparent and affordable new data, models, software, tools and services, the Oasis community improves human understanding of future uncertainty borne of climate change and natural hazards. Launched in 2011, Oasis Loss Modelling Framework (LMF) is a plug-and-play, open source catastrophe modelling platform, developed by around 150 member organisations from the global insurance community. Oasis Consortium was formed in 2015 by over 20 academic institutions and SMEs to test new models in real-world scenarios.

About Oasis HUB:

Oasis HUB is a joint initiative of EIT Climate-KIC, Oasis Palm Tree Ltd, Betterpoints Ltd and the Oasis Consortium.  The initiative was launched to increase the availability of information on catastrophe and climate change risk and to assist the development of evidence-based climate adaptation planning.  The founding members bring together expertise from throughout the EU, including financial and prestigious academic and research organisations, including Imperial College London, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Danish Technical University, who seek to encourage the development of a broader market within the modelling and services sector in catastrophe and climate change risk and climate adaptation.  To date, the Oasis Community has received over €15m of received and pledged funding.   The Oasis Platform was endorsed in June 2016 by the G7-backed Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance in light of its transformative potential as a climate finance instrument. 

About Climate-KIC:

Climate-KIC is a pan-European climate innovation partnership working to build a climate-resilient society and zero-carbon economy. We develop multi-stakeholder projects to stimulate system change in four strategic areas: Urban Transitions, Land Use, Production Systems, and Decision Metrics and Finance (DMF).  

The OASIS project is supported by Climate-KIC’s Decision Metrics and Finance team, through the Climate Risk Information Flagship programme. Other projects supported by DMF include Low Carbon City Lab (LoCaL) and Climate impact rating for investment funds (Climpax).

Find out more about the Decision Metrics and Finance team and their platform for finance innovation at http://www.climate-kic.org/themes/decision-metrics-finance/

Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the European Union funding programme for research and innovation. It has a budget of nearly 80 billion euro funding over 7 years.

For more info:https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/what-horizon-2020

 

For more information contact:

Nick Hay               Nick.Hay@Edelman.com

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