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Brussels, 11th September 2007

Security research to better combat terrorism

With the first security research call for proposals in the EU's Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7), the Commission will contribute € 156 million to 44 projects, ten times more than the € 15 million of the annual call of the precursor preparatory action. While addressing the development of critical technologies and knowledge to ensure the security of citizens, it will stimulate the cooperation of the providers and the users of civil security solutions. Investing in research, it will improve the competitiveness of the European security industry.

Examples of forthcoming research projects

1. Mobile device to localise the “home manufacturing” of explosives

Terrorists might be better detected when preparing their attacks: One project attempts to develop a mobile device to localise the “home manufacturing” of threatening substances like explosives or drugs from rather common precursor substances in an urban environment.

2. Water distribution systems

The Commission will fund one research project to enhance the protection of the water network by developing automatic surveillance systems and setting up reaction plans in case of contamination.

3. Integrated, mobile security kit for large scale public event

The development of a complete mobile solution for the protection of major events is the aim of another project. It will combine technology developments for the detection and the protection against CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosives) agents with tracking of goods and individual in a delimited area.

4. European Ballistic database

Ballistic data are commonly used for investigation by police forces. The aims of the project are to develop a secure, cost effective and innovative tool to analyse and store ballistic information but as well to allow sharing of information across Europeans police forces. The consortium includes industrial partners, SMEs, and university research centres and is supported by Europol.

Security Research in FP7

The Security theme addresses four security missions of high political relevance:

  • Security of citizens
  • Security of infrastructures and utilities
  • Intelligent surveillance and border security
  • Restoring security and safety in case of crisis

To support such action, three domains of cross-cutting interest were selected:

  • Security systems integration, interconnectivity and interoperability
  • Security and society
  • Security Research coordination and structuring

Results of the 1st call for proposals

The coordinators of 44 selected proposals are about to be invited to prepare the contracts with the Commission services, among them 8 large scale integration projects, 24 smaller research projects and 12 supporting actions. More than 400 companies, universities or public bodies are involved in the retained projects. They come from all the EU Members states but as well from 11 other countries such as the USA, Norway, Turkey or Israel. The participation of SME is good as they represent 27% of participants in retained projects.

The large scale integration projects cover:

  • Wide maritime areas surveillance
  • Software Defined Radio
  • Crisis Management support systems
  • Security checkpoints
  • Security of urban environment
  • Protection of large event against terrorists
  • Land border protection

The capability projects cover topics like:

  • Explosives detections (e.g. airport portals)
  • Security of drinking water networks
  • European network of ballistics databases
  • Video detection of abnormal behaviours in crowds (e.g. large sport events),
  • but also human science topics like
  • Perception of security
  • Public authorities crisis communication
  • Economy of security

Detailed descriptions of the selected projects will be made available on the following website soon.

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