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Center COVID-19 Research

Contribution of the National Knowledge and Research Center in Emergency Preparedness to Coping with the Corona Crisis in the Mid, Short, Medium and Long Term

Background on the Center:

The National Knowledge and Research Center for Emergency Preparedness was established at Haifa University in January 2018 by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Emergency Management Authority (RACHEL) at the Ministry of Defense. The core institutions involved are Haifa University, the Technion and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, together with researchers from the Center for Military Studies in Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Rambam Hospital, Tel Hai College, and the School of Humanitarian Aid, as well as partners from the Haifa Municipality and Natan-Humanitarian International Assistance Association.

The Center is headed by Prof. Deborah Shmueli of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Haifa. The Knowledge Center includes around 90 researchers with expertise in a variety of emergency areas. The added value of the center is that it is multidisciplinary. The Center's research frameworks are organized into eight research groups: Social Sciences; Public health and emergency medicine; Welfare and social work; Engineering, technology and planning; Risk assessment and management; Law;  and Public Policy. The mission of the Center is to serve as a research body that will also serve as a thinking team for decision makers.

Corona epidemic efforts:

The Center's contribution to the effort is in two strata: 1) Streaming insight, data, and recommendations for Decision Makers and Supporting Teams, based on research on coping with epidemics in general, and Covid-19 in particular. 2) Characterizing issues that require addressing and answering decision-makers' questions (in the National Security Council (NSC) and other think tanks).

In addition, the Center's website ( collects up-to-date knowledge including information sources, articles, lectures, position papers and various publications.

1) Research -  short and medium term

A.  The Knowledge Center is conducting a number of studies on preparing and dealing with the Corona crisis. Some deal in the short and medium term, and some in the long term. Some began before the outbreak of the crisis and expanded / changed to engage in Corona, and others began with the outbreak of the crisis.

List of Research Projects:
(In parenthesis - leading/coordinating PI)

B. bi-weekly summary of insights, key findings, and action suggestions from 70 studies funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology (Center and non-Center research):

The Ministry of Science and Technology has chosen to fund 70 studies on a variety of topics that have been found to be crucial to addressing the short and short-term corona crisis. In order to streamline the gathering of insights from these studies and to inform the Ministry of Science and Technology of information gathered and to assist in dealing with the crisis in real time, the Center will provide decision makers with a bi-weekly summary which includes:

  •  Interesting statistics and findings that emerge during the research
  •  Findings that seem surprising or contradictory to accepted beliefs
  •  Key insights that have crystallized up to the point in time of the report
  •  Action suggestions that have crystallized up to the point in time of the report

2). Short answers to questions that arise from decision-makers and others

The Knowledge Center employs around 90 researchers with expertise in a variety of emergency areas. These researchers are able to characterize issues that need to be addressed in the NSC and other entities, as well as to answer questions from the NSC and other think tanks.

3). Information on the Center website

The Center's website has two special pages added to the Corona crisis in English and Hebrew, which include: links to data sites, articles, research and recent events, as well as articles and videos of the Center's staff.  In addition, the Center Library on the site is being updated and expanded with new scientific articles.