Building on the experience of previously funded projects, the Security Research Event (SRE2017) in Tallinn will focus on the future of security research. The EU’s on-going multi-annual research budget, Horizon 2020 – launched in 2014 – is investing some €77 billion in research and innovation projects to extend the frontiers of human knowledge, support Europe’s economic competitiveness and find potential solutions to societal challenges in areas such as health, the environment, transport, food and energy. Over the same period, Horizon 2020 is allocating €1.7 milliard to security research, which represents about 50% of all public funding for civil security research in the EU.
The Commission adopted on 27 October its work programme for Horizon 2020’s final period two-year period (2018-2020). Security research will receive more than €200 million in funding for each of these two years. Money will go to projects involving infrastructure protection, disaster resilience, the fight against crime and terrorism, border management and digital security. There will also be a research stress on emerging security challenges such as the protection of people in public spaces or the exploitation of big data to fight criminal activities.
A cross-cutting "focus area" to boost the effectiveness of the EU's Security Union will bring the security research programme together with relevant activities from other parts of the Horizon 2020 programme (ICT, space, health, energy, inclusive societies). This will benefit from €1 billion in research and innovation support during 2018-2020 to help develop a genuine and effective Security Union.
The results of this final two-year period of Horizon 2020 funding will pave the way for subsequent funding via the EU’s next multi-annual research programme, starting in 2021.
Pursuant to the adoption of the European Agenda on Security in April 2015, the Commission has supported the Member States by creating the right framework to better protect EU citizens. Decisive action has been taken to deny terrorists the means to carry out attacks, share intelligence between Member States, protect Europeans online and better manage the EU’s external borders.
The Commission regularly reports on the progress towards an effective and genuine Security Union. On 18 October it presented its 11th progress report which sets out a package of operational and practical anti-terrorism measures, which will be rolled out in the subsequent 16 months.
Those measures will:
support Member States in protecting public spaces;
close the space in which terrorists can operate by further restricting access to explosive precursors, while improving cross-border access to terrorist-related financial information;
enhance preparedness, resilience and coordination at EU level for incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) substances;
support law enforcement and judicial authorities who deal with encryption by criminals in criminal investigations;
set out the next steps for countering radicalisation;
reinforce the EU's external counter-terrorism policy and actions.
The Commission encourages the Member States to implement these measures as a matter of priority and will keep the European Parliament and Council informed of their progress.
Among the innovative projects, financed through the Secure Societies part of the EU Framework Programme (Horizon 2020) that are showcasing of their major achievements in the SRE exhibition are:
It is a three year project developing a serious game platform for single- and team-based training of security end-users for multi-agency response to terrorism, organised crime and other threats. The platform will automatically generate non-linear scenarios and learning outcomes to improve emotional management, analytical thinking, problem solving and decision making skills.
Its game scenarios will embrace advanced simulations of operational environments such as critical infrastructures, a diversity of players (e.g., crowds, first responders, police units) and threats (explosives, cyber-attacks, etc.). These will be based on virtual reality and mixed reality environments with multimodal interfaces. AUGGMED’s “automated game scenario engine” – its primary product – will adapt the scenarios’ parameters in real-time to finely hone trainee skills according to each situation.
ABC4EU tested how to improve the speed, security and automation of border crossing procedures by, for example, reducing false-rejection rates. During its four-year life, the project assessed the feasibility of a “Registered Travel Programme” and “Entry/Exit System” for the EU regarding the design and operations of ABC gates, including how to fully exploit second-generation EU passports and other accepted travel documents.
Concluding its work by December 2017, the project will have validated the upgraded air, sea and land ABC systems of several Member States and their integration with prototype Registered Travel and Entry/Exit systems. Lessons learnt from ABC4EU should lead to new requirements and guidelines for all border policy stakeholders.
Celebrating 10 years of using virtual reality
Estonian Academy of Security Sciences has always been eager to search and implement modern and innovative training solutions. Nowadays the usage of different virtual reality and serious gaming methods are a vital part of security and safety related trainings. However, it was not the case 10 years ago. It all started with the support of European Framework Programme 6 in 2007 when the Project called ”Safe and Secure, (JLS/2007/CIPS/003)” started using virtual reality-based training environments to improve National Authorities’ and Law Enforcement Agencies’ readiness, capabilities, decision-making and flexible co-operation.
According to our experience, the major benefit of using virtual reality training environments comes from the added value it brings to students and practitioners in terms of intensive cognitive experience in a context of real life challenges. At the same time, the new solution appeared to be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly since no real fuel, collisions or fire is used.
At the moment, there are more than 3000 users from the Academy and services who are training their operational competencies in virtual reality. One of our recent projects is called ”Asylum EX”. Its main objective is to increase the professionalism of officials dealing with the international protection procedure and related activities. The project is being developed in close cooperation with a Dutch company e-semble and it is co-funded by the European Fund on Asylum, Migration and Integration (AMIF) and the Ministry of the Interior. You can find out more information and test this training solution at stand of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences located at the Innovation Room of SRIEE2017.
WEB STREAMINGWeb streaming of SRE 2017 is available at www.sriee2017.com
on the following dates:
14 November 2017, 9h15 - 18h00
15 November 2017, 9h00 - 13h00
DG for Migration and Home Affairs