Following an agreement between the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the First Planning Meeting for NEES/E-Defense Collaboration on Earthquake Engineering Research was held in 2004. This meeting laid the groundwork for an initial joint research program related to improving understanding of seismic effects and reducing the seismic vulnerability of bridges and steel buildings. The emphasis of the program was to conduct experimental research using the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) equipment sites and the three-dimensional full-scale earthquake testing facility (E-Defense) of the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED). To formalize the “first- phase” collaboration, two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) were executed, one between NSF and MEXT in September 2005 and the other between the NEES Consortium Inc. (NEES Inc.) and NIED in July 2005. In order to continue the collaboration to the “second phase,” the latter MOU was updated in May 2010 by the NEES Operation Center (NEEScomm) and NIED, to continue collaborative activities through 2015.
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