European Union Sets Aside 15 million Eurosfor New Security Research

Terrorist attacks using explosives or chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear substances on mainline or metropolitan railway systems pose a clear and present danger to European Union (EU) citizens, which is why the European Commission has decided to fund a research project to design and demonstrate an anti-terrorist security system design to better detect these terrorist threats and better protect railway passengers.

The project will combine information from sensors, remote control or autonomous cameras, ground penetrating radars and line scanners. This is one of 13 projects selected under the "Preparatory Action for Security Research" to improve the security of EU citizens and strengthen the European industrial base. The eight technology projects and five supporting activities selected will receive EU funding of 15 million Euros. Given the increasing importance of security research, the commission proposed to substantially increase the yearly budget from 15 million Euros to roughly 250 million Euros a year from 2007.

"The recent events in London show how vulnerable public transport systems are to terrorist attacks," said Vice President Günter Verheugen. "The commission is determined to do its part to better protect our citizens and fund EU wide targeted research efforts."

"The findings of the research projects will constitute yet another small but important step in strengthening the EU's capacity to prevent and counter terrorism," said

Vice President Franco Frattini, who is responsible for the coordination of the fight against terrorism.

Other security-related projects will look at improving surveillance of European harbors and coastlines and at integrated protection systems of the complete air transportation system, including aircraft, ground infrastructure and information networks against terrorist attacks, as well as attacks by Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS).

Another project aims to detect earlier suspicious activities by securing computers linked to networks. It addresses the interoperability of intelligence services in order to enable information analysis and consolidation from different sources

The projects aim to define both the required technological solutions and the supporting operational concepts. Commission services are now preparing the third and last call for proposals of the Preparatory Action for Security Research, planned for publication in early February 2006.

For more information about security research, see europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/security/index_en.htm.

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