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Terrorist Attacks and Tsunami: The EU Researches How to Prepare for the Unexpected

The European Commission is planning a wide-ranging European Security Research Program (ESRP) to help reinforce security measures in Europe.

A first call for proposals for the ESRP attracted more than 170 responses out of which only 12 can be financed. These proposals include the following:

Remote detection of hidden weapons and explosives (TERASEC): The proposal presents a credible technological solution to the problem of detecting hidden weapons and explosives (even at a distance) and biological and chemical weapons in parcels and envelopes during transport. The project also contains technology that will be valuable in non-defense applications, such as for product and quality control.

Integrating European chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear technological capabilities (IMPACT): The objectives of the proposed project are to lay the foundations for an integrated European CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) counter terrorism research and acquisition program and to validate, assess and demonstrate innovative technological capabilities to assist in developing preventive and suppressive crisis management.

Crisis management system (CRIMSON): The proposal is mission-oriented and will enhance the response capability and crisis management. It is multi-purpose and user-friendly, ensuring its wide use. Furthermore, it will add significantly to European competitiveness in the topic area of simulation.

On-demand secure communication provision (SUPHICE): The proposed project will develop and demonstrate the use of on-demand, secure communications service-provision to deliver unplanned, policy-based, reconfiguration of soft-loaded cryptos.

Integration of earth and space observation to support security operations (ASTRO+): This proposal addresses the use of space and supports security operations by integrating earth observation, telecommunication and observation. Experiments are planned to prove the feasibility of the proposed technology. The proposed project is multidisciplinary addressing multi-stakeholder issues.

Surveillance of crowded areas exposed to terrorists attacks (ISCAPS): This proposed project has the objective to improve the surveillance of open and crowded areas. The activities cover research on threat scenarios and operational requirements.

Protection of critical infrastructure (VITA): The objective of the proposed project is to provide a proof of concept for the protection of critical infrastructure (CI). It proposes methods to create awareness and a sense of urgency for CI Protection within European communities. The proposed project will provide a functional demonstrator for a key infrastructure problem.

The selected supporting activities would provide roadmaps, networking and coordination activities, dissemination activities and requirements analyses. These include:

  • Early warning system (CREW): The proposed supporting activity is to specify architecture for a crisis management early warning system.
  • General roadmap for security research (ESSTRT): The proposed study aims at benchmarking existing activities, analyzing gaps and proposing solutions on the basis of detailed research, including proposals for new EU co-operation.
  • Crisis management in the nuclear area (TIARA): This proposed supporting activity will provide with a European network for assessing common R&D needs for the effective management of a potential civil nuclear incident.
  • Strategic plan for security technology research (SENTRE): This proposed supporting activity addresses capability shortfalls on the internal EU security needs; it addresses all relevant issues that refer to the need of a network of users at national and European level and to the need of the identification of technologies required. It is a top-down roadmap approach.
  • Provision of geospatial data for improving situation awareness (GEODATA STUDY): The proposed supporting activity addresses the design of a GeoToolbox, plus a roadmap in the EU for the development of the European capability for the provision of geospatial data (including meteorological data) considering supply agencies, industrial organizations and end-users.
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