Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 September 2009
The Risk Prediction Initiative (RPI) has been working with companies active in the catastrophe reinsurance market since 1994. The goal of the RPI is to support scientific research on topics of interest to its sponsors and to provide connections between the scientific and business communities, mainly through science–business workshops on a variety of topics. The major topics of RPI-funded research include paleotempestology, the relationship between tropical cyclone activity and climate, improvement of best-track data, and European storms. A workshop sponsored by the RPI in Bermuda in October 2005 catalyzed the compilation of this volume. This chapter provides an overview of RPI's history, its efforts at making science on natural hazard risk available and understandable to its sponsors, and suggestions for similar endeavors.
Extremes in climate and weather have a wide range of societal consequences. Many examples are offered in chapters throughout this book. This chapter focuses on an indirect consequence of an extreme event: the formation of a unique science–business partnership, the Risk Prediction Initiative (RPI), which is part of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS; formerly known as the Bermuda Biological Station for Research). The RPI was formed, in part, as a consequence of the unexpectedly large insured losses caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Here we provide a short history of the Risk Prediction Initiative and an overview of its activities as a science–business partnership that has survived for more than 10 years and proved beneficial for both scientists and business.