JRC News

  1. 19 Oct 2007

    The first 'virtual path' based on an innovative application of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology opened today in Laveno - Italy. Passive transponders buried in the pavement and a dedicated electronic walking cane safely guide the visually impaired person along the path. The prototype, developed by the JRC Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) is the result of the SESAMONET (SEcure and SAfe MObility NETwork) project.

  2. 27 Nov 2007

    The 2007 “Batefuegos de Oro” Award in the International Category was given to the JRC Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) in acknowledgement of its relevant work in the area of environment, and specifically on forest fires.

  3. 5 Mar 2008

    The European Commission has adopted a Communication on reinforcing the Union's Disaster Response capacity. In order to respond to the growing challenges posed by natural and man-made disasters, the communication proposes that the European Union strengthens its abilities at home and abroad to provide civil protection and humanitarian assistance. The Commission has undertaken a screening exercise of all its existing resources and puts forward as a first step an action plan of specific measures to be implemented before the end of 2008. As a concrete example, the communication includes a specific focus on how to improve the Union's response to forest fires.

    The JRC is supporting the EU's disaster response and civil protection activities in many areas. The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) is one of the cornerstones of this action plan. EFFIS, managed by the JRC Institute for Environment ans Sustainability (IES), provides the fire danger forecast (currently up to 6 days forecast) during the fire season helping in improving preparedness for forest fire fighting. In addition, EFFIS monitors the forest fire situation in Europe through the provision of information of active fires (hot spots) and the rapid assessment of forest fire damages in the countries. This information is critical for the Member States and the Commission in cases of catastrophic fire events (e.g. Portugal 2003 or Greece 2007) and facilitates the work of the Union's Monitoring and Information Center in is work of coordination of forest fire fighting.

    The JRC IES also develops the European Flood Alert System (EFAS), that will be capable of providing medium-range flood simulations across Europe with a lead-time (time between the detection and the arrival of the flood) of between 3 to 10 days.

    With its expertise in satellite images analysis and information technologies, the JRC Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) is conducting several activities to provide scientific and technical support in crisis situations. IPSC's work supports different phases, from crisis preparedness to damage assessment, including also early warning, alerting and situational monitoring. Some recent examples of IPSC's activities in support to Crisis Management are:

  4. 18 Apr 2008

    As the southern shores of Europe warm up, the risk of forest fires increases. The European Commission and Member States are working closely together to prepare for the coming forest fire season, building on the lessons learnt from the tragic experiences of 2007. Five Member States and the European Commission's disaster Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) are involved in a large-scale simulation exercise in Sardinia that runs from 16 to 19 April. The exercise, SARDINIA 2008, forms part of a larger pilot project co-financed by the European Commission, which aims at developing the notion of a rapid European intervention force for disasters.

  5. 5 Aug 2008

    Widespread flooding in Moldova, Ukraine and Romania has triggered a rapid response from the European Commission and EU Member States, who have offered vital assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The assistance includes the provision of boats, pumps, generators, water purification and emergency equipment, while the Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) has dispatched experts to facilitate the coordination of the relief effort on the ground in Moldova and Ukraine.

  6. 1 Apr 2009

    On 30 March the European Commission launched a policy initiative on the protection of Critical Information Infrastructures (CIIs) such as telephone lines, fibre-optic cables and computer networks.

  7. 28 Apr 2009

    Following the earthquake of 6 April 2009 near L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region of Italy, the European Commission-operated Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) has been closely following the situation on the ground in an effort to support management of the disaster.

    In the first phases of the event, maps and situation reports produced by the JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) have been used in order to give an overall assessment to the MIC and to all civil protection agencies in Europe.

    Two JRC experts also participated, along with an international team of engineers, in a post-earthquake field reconnaissance mission to survey damage to buildings and lifelines and examine geotechnical failures with a view to improving design and retrofitting. By sharing assessment techniques and methods, the presence of international experts contributes to the effectivness of operations. European experts from France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and the JRC collaborated with engineers of the Italian Civil Protection in the damage assessment to private buildings, as well as to buildings of historic and artistic value.

    Closely supported by JRC-IPSC, the MIC is the operational heart of the Community Mechanism for Civil Protection. It serves as a communications hub at the centre of emergency relief operations, disseminates information on civil protection preparedness and supports co-ordination, facilitating the provision of European assistance through the Mechanism.

    The core mission of IPSC's European Laboratory for Structural Assessment is to carry out research on structural behaviour of buildings and performs vulnerability assessment of civil infrastructures. 

    Further IPSC scientific and technical crisis management tools include the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS), providing a platform for stakeholders in international disaster response to exchange disaster-related information and automated analysis of satellite images for the processing, interpretation and analysis of geo-spatial data, which helps to quantify damages following conflicts or humanitarian and natural disasters.

  8. 26 Jun 2009

    The European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (ELSA) at the JRC Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) in Ispra has been granted the status of "Large Research Infrastructure" within the Capacities Programme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7).

  9. 26 Jun 2009

    Exchanging and analysing aviation safety data is key to the improvement of transport safety. This is the overall objective of the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 17 June 2009 by the JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) and the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’Aviation Civile (BEA), formalising and further expanding co-operation between the two organisations in the field of aviation safety.

  10. 10 Jul 2009

    Following the spread of major forest fires in Corsica earlier this month, French authorities made a request for additional fire fighting aircraft through the European Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC), based in Brussels. The MIC responded by providing European reserve fire-fighting aircraft within three hours of the request.