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
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.