Brussels, 13 October 2006
PASR 2006: 15 new security research projects to combat terrorism
More information can be found on: http:///europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/sec urity/index_en.htm
Recent terrorist events in the UK and Germany have once again drawn our attention to the threats posed to European transport systems. To improve the security of EU citizens, the European Commission has decided to fund a research project to improve the detection of explosives, including liquids, at airports. This is one of 15 new security research projects for which the Commission is allocating € 15 million. The aim of this activity is also to strengthen the European industrial base. Another selected project will aim at improving the protection of the drinking water supply against bio/chemical terrorism. Other projects selected include: the development of an information management tool to improve security of humanitarian operations and rescue tasks in support of the external policies of the EU, the urgently needed interoperability and standards for border security and new methods against money laundering / financing of terrorist organisation. For the full list of 8 technological projects and 7 supporting activities, see the MEMO/06/375 .
Vice-President Günter Verheugen responsible for enterprise and industry policies, said: "The Commission is determined to do its part to better protect our citizens and fund EU wide targeted research efforts. A strong European security research programme will also enhance Europe's competitive edge in many areas."
The 15 selected proposals aim to define both the required technological solutions and the supporting operational concepts. The new projects/supporting activities are selected under the third and last year of the 'Preparatory Action for Security Research' (PASR); this brings the total amount awarded under this 2004-2006 scheme to € 45 million as awarded to 39 projects and studies addressing a variety of issues to improve civil population security.
Responding to the increasing security concerns, security research will now become an integral part of the 7th RTD Framework programme (FP7) where it will receive an average annual budget of € 200 million.
To prepare this larger programme, in April 2005, the European Commission assembled the "European Security Research Advisory Board" (ESRAB). Composed of private and public security stakeholders (e.g. industry, academia, police forces, border guards and crisis management teams / first responders) the group advises the Commission on how FP7 research should contribute efficiently to citizen's security. While the development and demonstration of new technologies and systems are to be sponsored, FP7 security research activities also include societal topics such as acceptability of security solutions or respect of civil liberties and privacy.