Strengthening Europe's CBRN industry
Defending the public against the malicious use of CBRN materials is a vital responsibility for European authorities, but it also represents a significant opportunity for European companies. An EU-funded project is working to promote a more efficient, sustainable and globally competitive European CBRN industry.
© #189016162 | Author: seventyfour, 2018 fotolia.com
Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) materials are a potential threat to the health and well-being of humans and our natural environment. Furthermore, such materials are relatively easily available and are no longer restricted to the military area as was previously the case.
Against this backdrop, CBRN defence and, in recent years, civilian security have become a significant industrial sector which is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years.
The EU-funded ENCIRCLE project is aiming to help strengthen the European CBRN industry. Currently, this industry is somewhat limited and fragmented and, as a result, not as competitive as it might be on the global playing field.
The ENCIRCLE team is working to address this challenge in several ways. First, it is creating a CBRN 'cluster', bringing together various groups working on a number of different EU-funded CBRN projects.
The goal is to achieve a higher level of coordination and complementarity among these projects. ENCIRCLE is disseminating a vision and roadmap for the development of the European CBRN market, to guide members in a common direction, based on practitioner-driven innovation.
Among other things, ENCIRCLE participants are tackling the difficulties experienced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by facilitating the development of new CBRN solutions for the market. Such solutions can be well-suited to addressing very specific niche requirements, but they might also need to be combined and integrated with other solutions to provide greater capability and resilience while better meeting practitioners needs and requirements.
The ENCIRCLE team is facilitating integration with platforms (e.g. systems, tools, services, products) by proposing standardised interfaces and future EU standards to integrate CBRN technologies and innovations.
Finally, an improved understanding of user requirements is being sought through direct dialogue with practitioners and the technological and industrial communities. The innovations resulting from the ENCIRCLE process should find a faster route to wider markets and a more positive response in terms of uptake. All the while, an invigorated European CBRN industry will be helping to keep Europe safe from CBRN attacks and/or similar incidents.