The European Commission’s fifth annual Security Research call for proposals closed on 23 November. As with previous Security Research calls Europe’s stakeholder community had four months to respond to the research topics in the call.
With an indicative budget of EUR 241.7 million, the call represents the Security Theme's work programme for 2012. One more call will be issued in 2012 to round off the FP7 Security Research effort, which has a total budget of EUR 1.4 billion for its seven-year period. The latter corresponds to the EU’s larger 2007-2013 general research budget known as the Seventh Framework Research programme.
Similar to previous years, the fifth call set out a broad swath of R&D topics, from countering home-made bombs and radicalisation campaigns to boosting supply-chain security. The call’s 50 topics were clustered into seven broad research categories:
One of the items in the societal security category that sparked keen interest across Europe’s research community, for example, was topic SEC-2012.6.1-3, which sought proposals on the “use of new communication/social media in crisis situations”.
Interest in this topic was already strong at the EU’s annual Security Research Conference during 20-21 September in Warsaw and its pre-event “brokerage” sessions where stakeholders presented their research skills and ideas. A number of presentations focused on the interplay between social media and civil security response.
Meanwhile, with the closing of this call, Commission services will now turn to independent evaluators to assess the proposals it received. This will stretch until the end of February, after which a short-list of accepted proposals will be defined, followed by notification of selected versus rejected proposals around mid 2012.
Negotiations with successful project consortia will unfold over the summer and autumn, with the calls’ first batch of research projects getting off the ground by end 2012/ early 2013.