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Embedding innovative tools for assessing coastal risk and vulnerability in UK flood management: learning from the RISC-KIT project.

A special worshop took place between members of the RISC-KIT Consortium and the UK Environment Agency on 10 June 2016 with the aim of promoting the uptake of RISC-KIT tools among End Users.



Dr. Tom Spencer, University of Cambridge, and Ms. Eleanor Heron, UK Environment Agency (EA), recently joined forces to organise a meeting dedicated to promoting the use of RISC-KIT tools among coastal managers and other end users.

Dr. Spencer is the Case Study Owner (CSO) for the RISC-KIT Case Study site of North Norfolk, while Ms. Heron has collaborated with RISC-KIT as an engaged End User since the beginning of the project.

RISC-KIT has produced fully-developed prototypes for a set of new, innovative methods, tools and management approaches to reduce risk, and increase resilience, to extreme events on coasts. The interdisciplinary research team has synthesised natural and social science research to create user-friendly tools of value to coastal managers and decision-makers. To make a difference, however, it is now important that these innovative tools are properly disseminated to organisations charged with the protection of people, infrastructure and economies in the coastal zone and embedded within their working practices. 



Discussions during the first joint UCAM/EA workshop, 10 June 2016.


The Cambridge Coastal Research Unit, directed by Dr. Spencer, has secured funding from a UK Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), under their Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), to explore how the EA and others ‘buy in’ to these new tools. The EA has its own methods and tools for assessing coastal flood risk. It is, therefore, important to establish how these new tools might be incorporated into existing flood forecasting and assessment methods and which of these new tools might complement existing EA provision. 

To this end, a special workshop was organised on 10 June 2016, Westminster, London, to bring together the EA and other interest groups and the project’s tool developers (the RISC-KIT PIs from Deltares, The Netherlands, and the Flood Hazard Research Centre, Middlesex University and the Cambridge CSOs) to look at the range of tools developed in RISC-KIT and to see which are likely to be of greatest interest to the EA. Deltares was represented by Dr. Ap van Dongeren, coordinator of the RISC-KIT project, and Dr. Robert McCall; Middlesex University by Dr. Christophe Viavattene and Dr. Sally Priest; and University of Cambridge by Dr. Tom Spencer and Dr. Elizabeth Christie. Themes up for discussion were current approaches to risk management as well as the capabilities of the RISC-KIT toolkit. The meeting involved presentations as well as interactive discussion that allowed all those present to contribute to the debate.

This workshop was just the first step in a process during which the most interesting aspects of the RISC-KIT tools will be identified by End Users, a roadmap of activities to encourage use of the tools will be developed, and future plans for partnerships and ongoing collaborations will be explored.


For further information on the RISC-KIT tools, please visit the Project Results page.

For more information on End User engagement in the project, see the End User Events section of this site.


Ms. Heron and Dr. Spencer work together during the 2nd RISC-KIT End User Day,

Brussels, Belgium - October 2015.