The European Commission is pleased to announce the 2017 Security Research Event (SRE2017) which will take place in Tallinn, Estonia, on 14 – 15 November. The event is co-organised with the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences and the Estonian Ministry of the Interior.
The event will mainly focus on measures that could help bridging the gap between research outputs and the market. The aim is to ensure that innovative solutions find application in products and services meeting the needs of practitioners and end-users.
High-level speakers will share their views in dedicated panels on subjects like the future needs of practitioners, the EU's post-2020 research framework programme, perspectives and challenges of market uptake of security research. Other panel discussions will examine the role of research and education in identifying the needs of law enforcement agencies; responses to terrorist attacks; security research requirements and potential solutions for managing borders as well as issues of cooperation and information (including from research programmes) for an improved management of multi-country disaster situations.
The Security Research Event 2017 will also host an exhibition of security research projects.
Policy Area – Security Union
In recent years new and complex threats have emerged highlighting the need for further synergies and closer cooperation at all levels. Threats are becoming more varied and more international, as well as increasingly cross-border and cross-sectorial in nature. These threats require an effective and coordinated response at European level.
To meet this objective, the Commission set out, in its 2015 European Agenda on Security, the framework within which the Union can support Member States in ensuring security in the EU. In the last years, the EU has made significant progress in delivering on the priorities of the Security Agenda, towards an effective and genuine Security Union. However, such a Security Union will become reality only if and when the national authorities can work effectively to tackle shared challenges the EU is facing.
The role of security research
The vast majority of Member States do not have national security research programmes and, as a result, heavily rely on funding provided at EU level through the European Framework Programme (FP) for Research and Innovation for security research (Secure Societies). As such, the current level of financing being covered through the current FP (HORIZON 2020) represents 50% of the overall public funding for security research in the EU (€ 1.7 billion over the period 2014-2020).
The exhibition of a number of running projects in the framework of the Security Research Event will demonstrate the EU's commitment towards delivering innovative security solutions to the security and civil protection practitioners. Such exhibition aims to help boost innovation and cooperation between governments, the private sector and Europe's research community.
Among the different projects that will be exhibited are:
TARGET is designing and developing a pan-European platform for hybrid serious gaming. This 42-month project ending in November 2018 will include training content, development tools, standard interfaces and mechanisms for integrating third-party technologies and content.
Improvements to existing components (augmented reality, competence assessment, decision support, non-linear simulation) as well as new components will fit into its platform. For example, TARGET’s training content will cover single and multi-command level exercises involving CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) response, mass demonstrations or cyber-attacks. Offering the ability to electronically simulate emails and social media, the platform will be customisable to local languages, national laws, organisational structures, standard operational procedures and legacy IT systems.
The research goal of FASTPASS was to create a harmonised, modular reference system for Europe’s “automated border crossing” (ABC) points for land, sea and air. A five-year project that ended in early 2017, its aim was to make border crossings more convenient and faster, thus enabling higher passenger flows while improving security against terrorism, irregular immigration and crime.
FASTPASS’s technology protects against fraudulent travel documents and biometric identifiers such as fake facial images or fingerprints to minimise the chances of “piggybacking” through ABC gates. Its design concept was built around automatic background checks that notify border guards of suspicious crossings – a technological innovation that will boost the competitiveness of Europe’s security industry as well.
News from the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences
Forests cover some 2 million hectares of Estonia - or about 55% its territory. A valuable natural and ecological resource, the timber that forests provide is a traditional building material with great usability and numerous benefits for health (i.e. indoor climate, moisture control) and the environment.
This sustainable material is often discredited, however, for its high fire safety risks and resulting costly solutions (i.e. automated sprinkler systems) for managing the risks. Strict fire safety regulations and standards discourage the use of wood in construction.
Are we able to pave the way for using wood as a safe, eco-friendly and cost-efficient alternative to man-made substances for constructing large public buildings?
The Estonian Academy of Security Sciences (EASS) together with private sector players, aims to break the stereotype of wood as a hazardous building material. A public-private partnership of EASS, local entrepreneurs, international consultants and researchers will carry out a demonstration in late October to test the self-extinguishing capabilities of cross-laminated timber (CLT).
A two-storey wooden building will be constructed on the EASS Rescue College to training grounds and setting it on fire. Simulating a contemporary office building , the module will have 150 sensors installed across its interiors, cables, pipes, ventilation systems and other points to monitor the effects of the two-hour fire.
To learn more about this ambitious experiment's outcome, visit the EASS stand at SRE2017's Innovation area where you can meet the researchers and review their results.
DG for Migration and Home Affairs