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Inauguration address
NIED (National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience) has been operating E-Defense (three-dimensional full-scale earthquake testing facility) for 12 years since its commencement in April 2005. We are very pleased with accomplishments of 80 experiments without any accidents and human injuries. We will further make efforts to contribute to disaster mitigation and resilience, by disseminating the test data to research institutes, governments, companies and society as well as publishing the outputs on various academic journals and community.

NIED has started a medium-long plan for the coming seven years on the 1st April 2016 under the leadership of President Haruo Hayashi. According to the preface in the plan, the principal purpose of NIED is mentioned as scientific and engineering approaches for the enhancement of technology and knowledge associated with disaster mitigations. All staffs at E-Defense; maintenance, management and research staffs, are fully engaged in their individual works for this purpose.

The details of the medium-long plan are as follows.
1) Promotion and maintenance of E-Defense
NIED will manage and operate E-Defense efficiently and effectively. For its safe and reliable operation, the institute will maintain its equipment. For research progress to enhance earthquake-disaster-mitigation techniques and strengthen social resilience, the institute will promote the utilization of the facility by other institutes, and provide the E-Defense testing data to others. Furthermore, the institute will work on maintenance and improvement of function and performance of E-Defense and other research resources, contributing to development of research on earthquake-disaster mitigation as well as service for research and development.

2) Research based on experiments and facilitates at E-Defense
We utilize the shaking table and other facilities at E-Defense, for a current project gResearch and development for improvement of social resilienceh. In this project, we examine the performance of earthquake-resistant structures, verify the new technology and the methods associated with seismic mitigation and develop of new computational techniques.

This institution is built for developments, improvements and examinations of hardware for seismic mitigation. Thus, we are working on developments of new construction materials using wood, improvements of base isolation systems, earthquake-resistant structures and examinations of soil, pipelines and nonstructural components. In order to support experimental examinations at E-Defense, a high-performance numerical tool is also being developed for the sake of examinations of structuresf collapse mechanism and residual performance after large earthquakes. In addition, we also develop tools for visualization and demonstration of catastrophic situations at seismic disaster, to support education toward disaster mitigation. Based on these research subjects and active collaboration with external institutions (e.g. universities and companies), we will publicize innovative research outputs and enhance the resilience of social infrastructure.

Future probable megaearthquakes such as Tokyo Inland Earthquake or Nankai Megathrust Earthquakes, has been pointed out to repeatedly and strongly excites structures for a couple of minutes or more. Thus, it is still fundamentally important to development new devices, testing methodologies, monitoring techniques, especially for the huge earthquakes. For this purpose, soil-structure interaction, liquefaction and evacuation planning under the disastrous situation also will be important subjects.

Based on the current and past activity at E-Defense, we will further contribute to enhance resiliency of infrastructure, by developing and utilizing innovative shaking testing methods.

E-Defense has been supported by Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and national and international research institutions, Japanese local governments and companies. We sincerely appreciate the supports.

Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center
Earthquake Disaster Mitigation Research Division