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TOPIC : Detection techniques on explosives: Countering an explosive threat, across the timeline of a plot

Topic identifier: SEC-11-FCT-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
15 March 2016
Deadline: 25 August 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Extensive research has developed, in recent years, methods and techniques to enhance support to those involved in countering explosive threats, including efforts to counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and Home-Made Explosives (HMEs). But up until now, no comprehensive research has assessed the effectiveness, the efficiency and the cost of the combination of these methods and techniques (including those developed outside of these civilian sphere) to stop the threat at some point in time before the attack.


Innovative approaches are required to: assess the effectiveness of the methods and techniques used to counter a threat at certain point in time of the plot, against credible scenarios based on real cases; assess how to best combine methods and techniques along the timeline of a plot; identify methods and techniques able to fill in existing gaps.

Methods and techniques to be considered include:

  • Intelligence to spot those preparing for an attack;
  • The inhibition of precursors;
  • Detection of specific chemicals, bomb factories, and/or IED;
  • Neutralization of IED;
  • Identification of weakness of the current defences against IED, and possible improvements.

Scenarios should take into account the type of explosive (e.g. home-made, conventional) and the means of transit and deployment (e.g. person-borne, vehicle-borne, left baggage), as both factors influence how effective a given combination of methods or technologies can be. No technological development is foreseen, but rather operational research undertaken in close cooperation with practitioners and building, among others, upon the work of relevant FP7 projects, of the European Network on the Detection of Explosives (NDE), and of successive activities. The results of the action should serve as a basis for the future development of new and innovative detection techniques on explosives to create a step change from current methods and technologies.

Whereas activities will have an exclusive focus on civil applications, coordination with the activities of the European Defence Agency (EDA) may be considered with possible synergies being established with projects funded by the EDA programmes. The complementarity of such synergies should be described comprehensively. On-going cooperation should be taken into account.

Indicative budget: The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of € 5 million would allow for this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Short term:

  • Better knowledge of the effectiveness of the supporting methods and techniques and of the combination of technologies used to detect and locate an explosive and to counter the terrorist use of an explosive threat.
  • Better understanding of the weakness of current defences against IED.

Medium/Long term:

  • Stronger involvement of practitioners in the field of counter-terrorist activities (e.g. Law Enforcement Agencies, bomb disposal units, Security & Intelligence Agencies, and Government Laboratories) in making assessing and selecting new tools and technologies through reliable management plans.
Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme, with the following exceptions: Practitioners in the field of counter-terrorist activities from at least 3 EU Member States or Associated Countries must be beneficiaries of the grant agreement and should be directly involved in the carrying out of the tasks foreseen in the grant.

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

  8. Additional documents

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Innovation in SMEs
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Fast Track to Innovation Pilot
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


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