Brussels, 20 Jul 2004
The European Commission has declared the response to the first call for proposals under the Preparatory Action for security research as 'a strong signal of the strong support for a European coordinated action in the field of security research, by all stakeholders in the field.'
The Preparatory Action, with a budget of 15 million euro for 2004, will help prepare the way for a security research programme, as was recommended by a high level group of personalities in a report presented to Commission President Romano Prodi in March.
The first call for proposals closed at the end of June following the submission of around 175 proposals. The proposals request funding of 200 million euro in total, although only 14 million is available for the call.
Just over 70 per cent of the proposals relate to technical mission-related research projects. They address a wide range of security topics and address all of the call's priorities: situation awareness; protection of networked systems; protecting against terrorism; crisis management and interoperability.
The remaining proposals relate to supporting activities, and include, for example, studies on security research road maps, identification of critical areas and understanding human factors, as well as technical feasibility studies, awareness and best practice activities.
The proposals were submitted from a variety of sources. Large industry is represented (including the aeronautics, information and communications technology (ICT), system integrators and defence sectors). Various specialised security companies also participated, many of which are small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Public authorities and other users, as well as universities and other research institutions, also submitted proposals. Most proposals originate from the EU-15, but the Commission also points to 'important participation' from the newer Member States.
'The massive and broad response proves the importance that industry and users attach to the development of a European Security Research Programme. In particular the high number of participating police and other emergency organisations indicates the urgency that is felt in the field to develop state of the art technology for the protection of EU citizens,' states the Commission.
The evaluation will take place in July and the results will be known by the participants at the beginning of September. It is foreseen that contracts will be signed with successful consortia in October and November.
For further information on the Commission's security research activities, please visit: