The EU is also holding its annual security research conference this month, from 22-24 September in Ostend, see conference website.

SCR ’10 is focussed on the EU’s R&D programme (the security research component of FP7) and includes plenary sessions on “Halfway through FP7″,  “After Lisbon: The continuum of internal and external security” and “Security as a pre-requisite for prosperity”.

In addition, there are dedicated sessions on Maritime Security, Standardisation, CBRN, Cybersecurity, Transport Security, Security of the Citizens (sic), Security of Infrastructures, Restoring Security, Improving Security, Security and Society and the coordination of EU Security Research.

As with the Berlin security research conference, “ethics and justice” are squeezed into a single session (on Security and Society). The words privacy, human rights, governance and accountability do not appear anywhere in the conference programme.

The conference also includes a “brokerage event” and exhibition to “facilitate networking between companies, scientific experts, operators and policy makers”. More than one thousand participants are expected.

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) and the European Commission are co-organising a one and a half-day briefing tackling the “current state of play on security research, its challenges and its opportunities in the future”.

ESRIF Final Report

The final report of the European Security Research and Innovation Forum (ESRIF) was published in December 2009. At 324 pages it’s going to take us some time to digest. A 3 page Executive Summary is also available. Expect many similarities with the volumes below.

www.SecurityCommunit.eu‘s “in the corridors” reports:

“That DG Enterprise will have to loose some of its big portfolio under a new Commission is an open secret. Now, rumors have it that security research will be transferred to DG Justice Freedom and Security. Or more specifically to DG Freedom and Security, as the old DG may well be split into one for  Justice and one for “internal” policy matters. That would set a different tone for security research in FP7 and its prospective cooperation with the EDA…”

My guess is still that some kind of new defence industry-oriented body will be set-up to oversee the EU security research programme, and ensure cooperation with EDA…

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The call for proposals for the third round of ESRP funding (2009/10) was released in July – 210.59 million Euros are up for grabs.

The call includes 35 separate activities split across six themes: security (6 activities), critical infrastructure protection (6), intelligent surveillance and border control (2),  crisis management (7), security and society (9) and the coordination and structuring of EU security research.

The security themes are focused upon innovative technologies to combat organised crime, forensic technologies and chemical “precursors”.

Critical infrastructure protection includes the security/surveillance of mass transport systems (see Commission workshop on this topic), risk assessments for energy security, and:

SEC-2010.2.3-1 Planning, (re)design, and (re)engineering
of urban areas to make them less vulnerable and more
resilient to security threats
Collaborative Project
SEC-2010.2.3-3 Automatic detection and recognition of
threats to critical assets in large unpredictable environment

SEC-2010.2.3-1 Planning, (re)design, and (re)engineering of urban areas to make them less vulnerable and more resilient to security threats

SEC-2010.2.3-3 Automatic detection and recognition of threats to critical assets in large unpredictable environment

“Intelligent surveillance and border control” will provide substantial funds for the development of a “European-wide integrated maritime border control system – phase II”, allowing industry to continue to set the agenda for the EU’s policy ambitions in this area.

Crisis management includes  “Interoperability of data, systems, tools and equipment” and more air- and space-based surveillance:

SEC-2010.4.2-3 Information acquisition using dedicated platforms, including UAV, aerostatic platforms(balloons) and satellites

Security and society includes research on “signs of ‘early warning’ to detect trends and weak signals in social polarisation, radicalisation, development and segregation”, several activities in the ‘new academic discipline’ of security economics, data sharing and privacy rules, and security research to meet future EU policy demands and a review of codes of conduct on ethical research, which should be completed just as the seven year security research programme draws to a close.

Finally, the European Commission will continue the process of outsourcing the governance of the EU security research programme, with calls for projects  on a network of excellence, a feasibility study for “high-level multi-organisational and trans-boundary interoperable field labs and test centres” (EU security  research centres?), and the coordination of national security research programmes.

See full call for proposals and CORDIS website for applicants.

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