To strengthen the fight against climate change and be better protected against terrorist attacks or natural disasters, two calls for proposals were published on 20 July 2011 in the area of space and security research.
The main aim of the space call is to support Europe's ability to gather and utilise data gathered by satellites for the benefit of European citizens and European industry to better understand and monitor climate change. Space and Security will cover the prevention of cross-border crime and irregular migration, and improve the security of citizens by protecting them against natural and man-made disasters. The security call will address the fight against terrorism and organised crime and industrial accidents. European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "Our security and space research projects demonstrate the added value of European investments in high-end technology. In space research we are only at the beginning, as it offers endless and fascinating perspectives. This type of research opens up new fields of industrial activity and is moreover a means of dealing more effectively with today’s major challenges. For example, if our satellite data can be understood and exploited internationally, we will be able to better address climate change.”
Space research projects will support the development of Europe's Global Monitoring system for Environment and Security (GMES) which provides essential data needed for policy making to combat climate change. The aim is to make best possible use of existing and future European climate and Earth-observation data from multiple sources so that they become key for climate change decision making at a global level. The contribution of GMES to the European external border surveillance system (EUROSUR) will also be stepped up by financing projects to improve the tracking of vessels on the high seas, enable punctual monitoring of selected third-country ports and coasts and allow monitoring of pre-frontier land areas. The call will also support research to develop breakthrough technologies to improve Europe's capacity to operate in space and observe the Earth, the solar system and the universe from space.
The call budget this year is € 84 million.
Security research actively seeks to improve the security of the European population through the development of innovative technologies. This year’s Work Programme includes some 50 topics aimed at improving the security of citizens, detecting and preventing terrorist attacks and helping rescue teams in crisis situations amongst which a large scale demonstration programme for CBRN (chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear material). A special emphasis will be given to the area of aviation security, where three dedicated topics have been launched (i.e. air traffic management, air cargo security and improved passenger flows). This year's security call will also addresses an issue of crucial importance across the globe: the control of large scale fires (i.e. industrial fires, forest fires and urban fires). The security theme has also initiated an innovative topic for border authorities on pre-operational validation of maritime border surveillance tools. The security call budget this year is € 242 million.