1. BORDER MANAGEMENT (BM)
The objective of security research and innovation in the field of EU Border Management (BM) is to promote the European integrated border management, which includes border control, risk analysis, information exchange, interagency cooperation, the use of state-of-the-art technology including large-scale information systems and the compliance with fundamental rights, among others.
This includes investing in research and innovation that can lead to improved capabilities for checks of persons and for the flow of goods at the external borders that prevent and address cross-border crime, terrorism and illegal activities, while at the same time facilitating the travels of legitimate passengers. It also includes developing technologies for improved border surveillance, improved travel document security, improved detection of risks and operational response to incidents at borders, and improved maritime security.
The results of research and innovation should support the capabilities of the European Border and Coast Guard, consisting of Member States’ national authorities responsible for border management and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), European customs, and the European maritime operators, as well as support the interoperability of future relevant IT systems. All innovations should embed and promote the respect of fundamental rights and potential vulnerabilities of groups and individuals.
The CERIS EU Border Management (BM) provides a platform bringing together different stakeholders, technical experts and policymakers working on innovation in the area of border management. Events create a space to share information, discuss challenges and opportunities from different ongoing EU projects, and build synergies with other relevant innovation coming from within or beyond the EU. They are also useful for bringing together different interested parties on innovation for border management and/or those working in related areas such as customs, supply chains, and maritime subject matters. In addition, the platform offers the opportunity to gather information from training, demonstration or capacity building initiatives in this area. It comprises policymakers, scientists, practitioners, SMEs/industry, and civil society, and enables discussion on horizontally operational, technical, and societal aspects – including on how innovation can improve the safeguarding of fundamental rights in the border management context.
2. DISASTER RESILIENT SOCIETIES (DRS)
In a context of growing risks from anthropogenic and natural hazards faced by our society, the objective of the EU Disaster Resilient Society for Europe (DRS) security research activities is to support disaster risk management and governance through enhanced capacities, technologies for first responders and overall societal resilience. In this respect, new technologies, tools and methods are required to tackle different types of risks such as extreme weather events (floods, heat waves, storms, forest fires), geological hazards (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions) and slow-onset hazards (sea-level rise), as well as industrial accidents and intentional man-made threats, in particular those related to CBRN-E (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive). Research outputs will contribute to reducing disaster risks that are regulated by numerous international, EU and national policies and strategies covering various sectors (civil protection, environment, climate change, health and security) and include features such as awareness raising, prevention, preparedness, monitoring and detection, response, and recovery.
To this end, the CERIS DRS platform will help to link different (international and EU) Disaster Risk Reduction policies while strengthening opportunities for transdisciplinary and transboundary joint efforts to organise and structure, with all the relevant actors (policymakers, scientists, practitioners, SMEs/industry, civil society). A new paradigm shift from managing ‘disasters’ to managing ‘risks’ needs to be supported by research and innovation actions. CERIS DRS events enable the exchange of information about innovative methods and solutions addressed to decision-makers and society in general (highlighting the citizen dimension), as well as information about technologies and tools to support first responders’ operations. These events improve synergies between research, capacity-building, demonstration and training projects as well as industrial developments in a cross-sectorial/disciplinary fashion. They cover the overall disaster risk management cycle (from prevention, preparedness to response and recovery) from local to international levels.
3. FIGHTING CRIME AND TERRORISM (FCT), INCL. INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION
The activities of the EU Fight against Crime and Terrorism (FCT) security research aim to support prevention of crime-and/or terrorism-related incidents, their detection or mitigation of their potential consequences. This also includes the protection of infrastructures against physical and cyberattacks, covering a wide range of sectors (such as transport, energy, healthcare, smart communities, finance, water or supply chains).
To accomplish this, new technologies and capabilities are required. They address the fight against and the prevention of crime, notably various forms of organised crime and cybercrime, illegal trafficking and terrorism, along with understanding and tackling terrorist ideas and beliefs. Indeed, human and societal aspects of crime, namely radicalisation, child sexual abuse and domestic violence are equally important, whilst respecting fundamental rights, including privacy, protection of personal data and the free movement of persons. Horizontal issues are also tackled, such as forensics, research data, platforms, involvement of practitioners, and the uptake of project results.
To this end, the CERIS FCT provides a platform to share information related to research and innovation in the area of FCT, including the protection of infrastructures, across the Member States. It brings together the latest policy and research developments in an easily accessible format and supports those responsible for countering the various crime and terrorism threats facing our society. In practical terms, regular CERIS FCT events serve as a forum for tackling key challenges in on-going FCT projects as well as for information exchanges between various actors of EU-funded FCT security research: researchers, policy makers, practitioners, industry and citizens. As such, these events often result in the identification of gaps and needs that could, among others, represent an input to future EU FCT security research requirements, directions and priorities. CERIS FCT events lead to the improvement of synergies between research, capacity-building, demonstration and training projects as well as industrial developments.
4. STRENGTHENED SECURITY RESEARCH AND INNOVATION (SSRI)
EU R&I funding has contributed substantially to knowledge and value creation in the field of civil security and to the consolidation of an ecosystem better equipped to capitalise on research and innovation to support the EU’s security priorities. However, a key challenge remains in improving the uptake of innovation.
There are factors that limit the impact of EU security R&I by hindering the uptake of its outcomes. They include market fragmentation, cultural barriers, analytical weaknesses, ethical, legal and societal considerations and a lack of synergies between funding instruments, among others. Such factors equally affect the various security domains and complex relationships between them are difficult to disentangle.
The aim of the Strengthened Security Research and Innovation (SSRI) area is to create a favourable environment to generate the knowledge required to tackle the abovementioned factors.
The CERIS SSRI working group will be the designated platform to foster a more structured dialogue between all relevant market actors. It will allow for the exchange of knowledge to enable increased innovation uptake that reverberates on a more competitive and resilient EU security technology and industrial base, hence contributing to increasing the security of supply of EU-products in critical security areas.
The SSRI platform will address the industrial dimension of security R&I across all security domains and will touch upon matters such as innovation procurement, standardisation, valorisation of research outcomes and the exploitation of synergies within and beyond security. It will also address cross-cutting R&I matters with the aim to reduce sector-specific bias and break thematic silos that impede the proliferation of common EU solutions. Finally, the SSRI working group will foster the exchange of knowledge and good practice for a more impactful security R&I investment, including by sharing results from relevant studies and fostering the debate around tools, methods and techniques to measure the progress and performance of security R&I.