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EU Security Research Projects Awarded (17/01/2017)


OHS – On Human Shielding
The dramatic intensification of urban warfare during the last decades and the growing “weaponization” of human bodies in contemporary warfare inevitably entail that civilians are increasingly caught in the front lines of the fighting, while the traditional distinction between civilians and combatants in international law is constantly blurred. Accusations of using civilians as human shields and thus as illegitimate instruments of military protection, coercion or deterrence have recently multiplied.

OHS will investigate how human shielding is transforming the category of civilian in war by pursuing two major objectives: 1) offer a historical-legal investigation of human shielding; and 2) identify and theorize the various forms of human shielding utilized in current theatres of violence.

The project  will identify, map and theorize the various forms of human shielding in order to improve our understanding of the diverse situations in which human shielding practices appeared in recent conflict zones—for instance Syria, Ukraine, Israel/Palestine, Nigeria—and the way they shape our understanding of war and contemporary political violence. OHS will produce innovative knowledge on contemporary conflicts and contribute to the EU’s understanding of its IHL and human rights obligations.

Start date: 2017-01-09
End date: 2019-08-31
Total cost: EUR 195 454,80
EU Contribution: EUR 195 454,80
Project Coordinator: The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

I-MUST – A handheld, ultra-sensitive device for rapid contactless explosive vapour detection in open air, based on Ion Mobility Universal Sensor Technology
Easy to acquire and difficult to detect, explosives represent a big security challenge. Recommended procedures for explosive detection are inherently unsafe: due to current technological limitations, EU regulations only prescribe screenings on a variable percentage of randomly chosen passengers. Being not portable, such devices can only be installed at screening lines.

But at Brussels’s Zaventum Airport in 2016, explosions happened before the lines were reached. Moreover, existing devices allow only the analysis of swabbed points instead of a passenger’s whole body. Those procedures are slow (up to 30 seconds per passenger) and intrusive, requiring physical contact (swabbing) – two major drawbacks, considering airports compete for the best passenger experience.

Eye on Air developed I-MUST, a handheld disruptive device based on a proprietary, ultra-thin and high sensitive Ion Mobility Spectrometry sensor. Embedded into I-MUST, it ensures the most secure detection of explosives, with a sensitivity 500 times higher than its competitors (0.1 ppb) and the detection of more than 150 compounds, i.e. 3 to 5 times more compounds than currently used technology. I-MUST can be used not only at screening lines, but everywhere in public places, allowing “distributed security” and, thanks to the brief time of analysis (2 s), 100% passengers can be scanned.

During Phase 1 of the project, Eye on Air will assess a scale-up industrialization plan and will evaluate a sound go-to-market strategy to ensure successful commercialization of the I-MUST device for airport explosive detection.

Start date: 2016-12-01
End date: 2017-03-31
Total cost: EUR 71.429
EU Contribution: EUR 50.000
Project Coordinator: Eye on Air BV, The Netherlands

NESPINT – NEutron Spectrometry to Prevent Illicit Nuclear Trafficking
The project aims at developing an innovative detector capable of playing a fundamental role in detecting the illicit trafficking of nuclear materials across international borders. This detector, called NESPINT (Neutron Spectrometry to Prevent Illicit Nuclear Trafficking), will be constituted by a neutron spectrometer that passively examines items in the framework of port, airport and border security screening procedures. The project is expected to develop an industrialised version of NESPINT, tested in operational workplaces and ready for the market, to be implemented in different systems employed for security screenings.

Start date: 2017-01-01
End date: 2017-06-30
Total cost: EUR 71.429
EU Contribution: EUR 50.000
Project Coordinator: ELSE Nuclear SRL, Italy

EU-SEC – The European Security Certification Framework
In recent years the ICT market has evolved toward a cloud-based approach. This shift together with the rapidly changing legal and regulatory landscape has heavily impacted security assurance, governance and compliance. Information security market players have tried to provide suitable solutions to cope with issues such as

i) lack of means to provide higher level of assurance (e.g continuous monitoring and auditing)
ii) privacy not adequately taken into account
iii) limited transparency
iv) a lack of means to streamline risk management and compliance.

In the certification space this has resulted in the creation of several schemas creating an additional problem, i.e. the proliferation of certification schemes. The project EU-SEC will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of existing approaches for assurance and compliance. The EU-SEC aims to create a framework under which existing, certification and assurance approaches can co-exist.

Start date: 2017-01-01
End date: 2019-12-31
Total cost: EUR 4 162 511,25
EU Contribution: EUR 2 997 812,50
Project Coordinator: Fraunhofer-Gesellshaft, Germany

ALFA – Advanced Low Flying Aircrafts Detection and Tracking
The last decades witnessed the ever-growing effectiveness of Europe-subsidized border protection projects like SIVE and SIVICC. As maritime smuggling from Morocco towards the European borders of Portugal and Spain was combatted more effectively, the criminal modus operandi changed drastically, approaching air routes with cheap and small planes. New drone technology opens opportunities for both manned and unmanned airborne drug transports. Launched from any location and moving at low altitude and speed to mask their presence, drones can autonomously reach any landing site under nearly all circumstances.

The ALFA system bridges this detection capability gap by drastically improving the situational awareness through the detection of LSS (Low, Small and Slow) manned and unmanned aircraft. ALFA is future-ready as technologies for drone detection will be a part of the system, which will use heterogeneous, easy-to-deploy mobile sensors based on several novel technologies.

All sensor data, augmented by other existing sources of information, will be combined using evolved data fusion, providing accurate positional data for targets including eventual indication of the air vehicle type and reliable prediction of its landing site. This information will be communicated to the regional law enforcement units using a secure communication link and mobile device application, drastically improving the reaction time.

Start date: 2017-01-01
End date: 2019-12-31
Total cost: EUR 4 613 831,25
EU Contribution: EUR 4 613 831,25
Project Coordinator: TECHNIKON Forschungs, Austria

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