Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Center

Better prepared to face pandemics and disasters that threaten our health and society. An initiative of Erasmus MC, Delft University of Technology, and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The COVID-19 crisis painfully demonstrates how vulnerable our society has become to disasters. Climate change and overpopulation are increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events. This is linked to the risk of new infectious diseases, as we have seen in recent decades.

The Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Center is turning the momentum of COVID-19 into a sustainable investment in scientific and technological innovation. Together, we will reduce risks, and build resilience through effective disaster prevention, preparedness, and recovery management.

Better prepared to face pandemics and disasters that threaten our health and society. During pandemics and disasters, we are confronted with complex interactions between stakeholders from different sectors, disciplines and domains operating at both national and global levels. The many - sometimes even conflicting - interests, administrative fragmentation and lack of a harmonized data infrastructure make sharing and collaborating difficult. This significantly hampers effective and rapid response and mitigation of disasters and outbreaks. These observations provide the foundation for a vision for the future. It reveals the need for a future-oriented, multidisciplinary, action-oriented research institute that focuses on improved preparedness, that invests in the basic knowledge required to deal with future threats, and that provides an ecosystem for multidisciplinary cooperation. Finally, new knowledge, methods and techniques must be translated into concrete preparation strategies, instruments, and education for the Rotterdam region and for other densely populated urban areas and deltas.

We are on a mission to:

  • Conduct top-level research on pandemics and disasters.
  • Establish science-based methods, techniques, and innovation paths relevant to preparing for pandemics and disasters.
  • Train the next generation of scientists and experts in fundamental and translational research on pandemics and disaster preparedness.
  • Develop prevention and intervention measures and translate them into improved pandemic and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery.
  • Co-create, collect, and share knowledge on disasters and pandemics.



Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Erasmus MC once started out as separate institutions. But the great and complex challenges and problems of our time call for new forms of cooperation, whereby the boundaries between these institutes and their disciplines are crossed. Three themes are central to the Convergence: Resilient Delta, Health & Technology and AI, Data & Digitalization. The institutes will work together intensively on sustainable solutions to climate change, more inclusive prosperity, better health for the population, and greater equality, in both research and education. As a result, employment in the Rotterdam region will rise and the attraction for national and international companies will increase. The delta around Rotterdam - with its businesses, port, rivers, and diverse population - offers challenges but also great opportunities and will serve as a living lab. The solutions that emerge from the Convergence can be extrapolated to ports, major cities, and delta regions elsewhere in the world.

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