Project SAFE-COMMS, a research project co-funded by DG ENTR under the Security Theme of FP7, has received a special award from the Israeli president in recognition of its success, innovation and importance.
The project is a collaboration between research institutes and universities in Northern Ireland, Spain, Greece, Bulgaria and Germany. It is funded under the first call for proposals for the FP7 Security Research theme, with an EC contribution of 1,088,244 Euro for 24 months.
The President of Israel, Mr Shimon Peres, recently honoured some Israeli researchers and scientists who are leading international research projects funded by the European Union at a special ceremony in Jerusalem. The ceremony was also attended by the Minister of Science, Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, as well as by numerous dignitaries from academia, industry and the high-tech sector.
Dr. Shlomo Shpiro, Deputy Chairman of the Political Studies Department at the Bar Ilan University in Tel-Aviv, was one of the recipients of this award. He is leading the FP7 research project ‘SAFE-COMMS’, which aims at helping public authorities in Europe better react to terror crises by providing effective communication strategies for the aftermath of terror attacks. Such attacks take place when least expected, as terrorists search for vulnerable targets across Europe and seek to spread fear and panic.
A terror attack instantly becomes breaking news in the media throughout the world. Effective recovery from such an attack depends also on a carefully planned and trained communication strategy which would restore public confidence and enable quick return to normality.
In order to effectively deal with the aftermath of terror attacks, public authorities need a counter-terrorism communication strategy comprised of activities aimed at the relevant audiences. This strategy needs to be trained and adapted before an attack takes place and forms an inherent part of crisis management and continuity plans. SAFE-COMMS aims to provide public authorities throughout Europe with an effective and modular communication strategy for terror crises.