MADRID – The Commission’s Security Research programme saw lively debates on the future of security R&D while displaying a diverse range of EU-funded security projects at Spain’s “HOMSEC2013” security trade fair in Madrid during 12-15 March.
This follows the Commission’s first-time participation at Germany’s pre-eminent security trade fair in Essen last year – an industry/research combination that offers pragmatic synergies for both sides.
“At a time when the economic crisis is affecting us all, it is more necessary than ever to have coordinated industrial research programmes in the EU to regain lost ground and re-take the lead in strategic technological areas,” Ignacio Dancausa, HOMSEC’s director, told the opening session of the Commission’s 12-13 March Security Research Event in Madrid. “We are waiting to see how EU research will meet the needs of industry in Horizon 2020,” he said, referring to the EU’s next 2014-2020 general research budget.
Fellow speaker Juan Carlos Cortes, director of the Center for Industrial Technological Development at the Spanish Ministry of Economy, agreed. “RTD [research and technology development] will play a crucial role in restoring Europe’s economic credibility and strength. RTD solutions [in security] must drive economic recovery and help keep it sustainable,” he said.
Noting that EU funding represents up to 40 percent of total security research spent in Europe, Marco Malacarne, head of unit for Security Research and Industry at the Commission, told the participants that “this has certainly contributed to maintaining the sector’s technological competitiveness. The overarching problem, however, is that we still face a [security sector] divided into 27 national markets which don’t enjoy interoperability or common standards. This cripples the strength of the European sector as a whole. Let me assure you that we in Brussels intend to tackle many of these problems.”
The remainder of the two-day Security Research Event discussion was divided into six panel debates. These cover such topics as future EU security industrial policy actions, cyber-crime research, dual-use synergies with the defence sector and how to use regional support initiatives such as technology “clusters” to bring security and defence innovation closer together.
Also on offer during the HOMSEC exhibition was a special section of the fair devoted to the Commission’s Security Research programme where eight on-going projects displayed their technologies currently under development.
To see the Commission’s agenda of panel debates during HOMSEC, click here.
More information about the eight exhibiting projects:
More information about the outcomes of this event: