News archive - FP7 Topic Highlight: Topics on border security (external EU/Schengen Area borders)Back
In the WBC-INCO.NET Calls section (http://wbc-inco.net/object/call/open) we provide information and links on all open calls, including those in FP7. ALL CALLS and ALL TOPICS are open for participation of researchers from the Western Balkans. Nevertheless, in our news area we would like to higlight some topics which are of specific relevance to the region. Don't miss the particular chances of participation!
Two topics in the Security workprogramme are interesting here.
The first topic "Increased border security - passport breeder document security" (SEC-2013.3.4-2) calls for a supporting action with the same deadline (22.11.2012) to improve the structural dialogue between the passport issuance community and the border control community, to identify security gaps, research the current state of passport breeder document requirements and issuing practices.
The other one "Pre-operational validation on land borders" (SEC-2013.3.2-1) with the deadline 22.11.2012 involves the operational and technical framework that increases the capability of surveillance of the external EU/Schengen Area borders with a decentralised approach to increase capabilities to provide early warning - in agreement with neighbouring countries.
Topic SEC-2013.3.4-2 Extended border security - passport breeder document security
Coordination and Support Action (Supporting Action)
Description of topic:
A recent study by Frontex on the Operational and Technical security of E-passports (http://www.frontex.europa.eu/gfx/frontex/files/frontex_study_on_operational_and_technical_security_of_electronic_pasports_public.pdf) identified that the reliability of the e-passport issuance process is vital for EU/Schengen border control. Indeed, since every Member State has in essence the role of a “back-door” into its Schengen neighbours, it is important to ensure that each external border maintains a minimum equivalent level of security and that variations in the e-Passport issuance process are minimised.
If legitimate documents are being issued on the basis of unreliable ones, then border control cannot address this problem. The Frontex report therefore recommended that “structural information exchange between the issuance community and the border control community on e-passport security matters” and that “training (and possibly tool provisioning) for the verification of breeder documents by issuance officers” be provided.
The proposal should investigate:
• the current state of passport breeder document requirements and issuing practice in Member States/Associated Countries;
• identify key common security gaps;
• recommend possible solutions; and
• include feasible and cost-effective training and communication methods.
Funding schemes: Coordination and Support Action (Supporting Action)
The impact of the project will be assessed in terms of:
• its potential to contribute (credibly and substantially) to the improvement of the reliability of the process of e-passport issuance, redressing security gaps, and its harmonization at the EU/Schengen level;
• the value of its outputs for intensified training of both passport issuance officers, on how to detect falsified breeder documents (such as birth certificates), and of border guards, on the specifics of e-Passports inspection.
Topic SEC-2013.3.2-1 Pre-Operational Validation (POV) on land borders
Description of topic:
The Security Research Theme aims to promote further cooperation between public authorities (end-users) developing new solutions to improve the quality and efficiency of public services related to security on topics of common European interest, through the pre-operational validation (POV) of solutions related to such services. Pre-operational validation guided by potential end-users allows a tangible assessment of the performance levels offered by
innovative technologies in a realistic user-defined operational scenario, where a trade off between efficiency, effectiveness and cost can be aligned with actual needs. Moreover, pre-operational validation allows not only the assessment of a stand-alone technology, but also the assessment of the integration into current surveillance infrastructure of the new capabilities provided.
The close link between end-users and industry, especially in those cases where there is a fuzzy perception of the real needs of the user for a particular technology in daily practice, is expected to extend the benefits of pre-operational validation beyond technical development.
The identification of innovative applications, business models and procurement strategies is also expected to reverberate in the integration of innovative solutions as a fully operational tool. By acting as technologically knowledgeable validator of new R&D, the public demand side can drive innovation.
The validation of innovative solutions in real operational environments requires a notable effort by end-users at all levels, including technical, organisational, operational and budgetary. Keeping in mind the necessity to directly involve public bodies in charge of border surveillance, the Pre-Operational Validation (POV) concept has been chosen as a way to assess the performance levels offered by innovative technologies in a realistic end-user defined scenario, where a trade-off between efficiency, effectiveness and cost can be aligned with actual needs.
Last but not least, the activities carried out under POV make it possible to integrate and validate at the EU level, in an experimental framework, the achievements of previous initiatives that have explored and studied the different dimensions of components and systems, from their pure technological development to the features of their exploitation.
This topic is presented for proposals to enhance the use by the concerned civilian authorities of innovative technology for border surveillance. The specific objective of this topic is to address solutions for the pre-operational validation of "Common Application of Surveillance Tools at EU level".
The overall objective is to provide the EU with an operational and technical framework that would increase situational awareness and improve the reaction capability of authorities surveying the external borders of the EU/Schengen area. Only selected elements of a European approach to Border Surveillance are to be done at European level, in line with the principle of Subsidiarity. A decentralised approach with national authorities is to be followed in implementation so as to:
• allow the highest possible level of integration with current surveillance systems and infrastructure,
• make use of the existing and future communication channels that facilitate the generation of a Europe wide situational picture and a full operational awareness at the external borders.
The EU Sea Border is currently sufficiently covered by ongoing FP7 activities. On the other hand there is a deficit of land border initiatives. POV research activities are proposed to be oriented to the validation of an adaptive and knowledge-aided multi-sensor infrastructure providing an integrated system.
Indeed, the EU/Schengen land border requires continuous day/night detection and assessment capabilities to provide early warning on unauthorised intrusion across the border by smugglers, irregular immigrants, or people involved in any other illegal activity. At official border crossing points (BCP) there is a continuous prevention and protection against these threats that may affect the security of the European Union. However, actual irregular border crossings are being increasingly performed on foot or with the help of light vehicles outside the BCPs, taking advantage of the terrain and of poor visibility to avoid detection. In remote areas of land borders, where it is relatively easy to irregularly trespass the frontier undetected, the cost of providing and maintaining effective physical barriers is excessive.
Technology has been a trustable ally, but current capability demand requires progress beyond the current state of the art. Tools and systems need to be aligned with current threats, overcoming existing limitations and provide cost-effective solutions in line with the end-users’ needs. The evaluation of cost efficient platform/sensor combinations and of systems matching data exploitation is a research priority for Border Guard communities. A POV on land border surveillance should, hence, investigate and evaluate such technologies in live tests carried out under operational conditions defined by border surveillance authorities.
New security solutions to be validated under this action should take into account any aspect of border security that could threaten human rights or break international law. When necessary and appropriate, alternative solutions should be explored. Capabilities intended to provide “early warning” or “detect” observations from EU/Schengen neighbouring countries should be developed in agreement with neighbouring countries.
The topic is to be implemented via the CP-CSA funding instrument, which involves a combination of the collaborative project and coordination and support action funding schemes. It enables therefore the financing, under the same grant agreement, of research, coordination and support activities.
Its aim is both to enable public authorities in charge of border surveillance to innovate faster in the provision of their institutional services, making them more efficient and effective, and to increase the research capacity and innovation performance of European companies and research institutions, creating new opportunities to take international leadership in new markets.
This CP-CSA for POV will combine two components with synergistic effects:
a. Networking and coordination activities: for public bodies in Europe to cooperate in the innovation of their public services through a strategy that includes POV.
b. Joint research activities: related to validating the POV strategy jointly defined by the public bodies participating in the action. This would include the exploration of possible solutions for the targeted improvements in border surveillance services, and the testing of these solutions against a set of jointly defined concepts of operations and performance criteria.
The nature and the objectives of this indirect action are such that it should ideally involve at least three independent public authorities in charge of border surveillance (at local, regional, national or supra-national levels), each established in a different EU Member State or Associated Country. Other stakeholders may participate in addition, if their participation is well justified and adds value to the action, for example (but not limited to) if:
a. they represent an authority or a regulatory body with responsibility in some area affected by the use of a particular technology,
b. their support is required in order to facilitate the technical, administrative, financial or managerial procedures for which national authorities are limited by their respective national regulation.
SCOPE of the CP-CSA (Collaborative Project and Coordination and Support Action)
In the context of European Border Surveillance, this CP-CSA is to conduct pre-operational validation of common applications of tools for the surveillance of land borders at EU level via the competitive testing and assessment of potential solutions. Tools to be tested may include a variety of platform types deploying sensors for surveillance purposes.
The information acquired by each platform type should be correlated with other available intelligence sources (i.e. airborne or satellite imagery, sensor data or open source information) to provide the relevant national and European Agencies with surveillance information on their external borders and the EU pre-frontier area on a frequent, reliable and cost-efficient basis.
The specific objective of the competitive testing will be to assess:
• the demonstration that there are existing innovative solutions which provide the required additional capabilities;
• the identification of technological solutions for the achievement of a set of user-defined operational objectives;
• the technical feasibility of options for the Common Applications of different types of surveillance tools;
• the feasibility of the integration of these technologies taking into consideration the limitations imposed by the existing surveillance deployments;
• the comparative performance of proposed options, while deployed in daily operations in real scenarios;
• the identification and documentation, as appropriate, of the infrastructure, capabilities and skills required for the acquisition and operation of these systems under user-defined safety and security conditions;
• the cost-benefit ratio of each of the options tested;
• the identification of the maturity level showed by solutions in order to promote short/mid-term utilisation;
• the definition of innovative applications, business models and procurement schemes that can facilitate the migration to these new solutions from the existing traditional tools;
• the evaluation of the experimentation results promoting their widening to future solutions.
As part of the project activities, the industry shall be called to provide solutions to be tested and validated according to the concept developed by the consortium participants. In order to guarantee an independent and reliable validation process of the proposed solutions, a mechanism has to be enabled that supports the activity of the different actors throughout a series of steps.
The overall validation action CP-CSA is to be divided in the following three phases.
1) Initial Definition Phase (CSA):
The definition phase should be based on the latest relevant requirements for European Border Surveillance. Participating border surveillance authorities are expected to present their cooperative plan for definition of the later phases, in coordination with other relevant EU organisations (if appropriate).
In this phase a strategy shall be put in place for:
- identification of elements requiring new R&D that could be tested and validated in cooperation,
- definition of an action plan, setting scenarios and issues for concrete implementation of activities,
- establishment of good practice procedures for POV evaluation and monitoring (common evaluation criteria and implementation methods),
- drafting a preliminary IPR strategy for the (expected) outcome of the Call for Tender in phase 2, taking into account the provisions set out in the Appendix,
- allocation and training of additional resources for implementation (if appropriate),
- building cooperation with other stakeholders (if appropriate).
The outcome is expected to be a Needs Analysis Document and a Validation Strategy Document, including a practical Exercise Plan for the actual testing phase, to be used for the definition of the specifications of a joint POV Call for Tender for the subsequent execution phase, setting the rules for participation, the criteria to evaluate competitive tenders, and for selection/award of the tender. Such call shall be defined in such a way that it respects the
Treaty principles and the specific requirements in Appendix.
2) Preparatory Work and Execution Phase (CP):
This phase will implement the strategy and action plan as prescribed by the participating authorities, in Phase 1 (in particular the Call for Tender for the implementation of testing).
In this phase the providers of solutions to be tested will execute the testing of their systems according to the prescription of the action plan, working under the supervision of the concerned national Border Authorities.
3) Final Ex-post Assessment Phase (CSA):
In this phase, which will conclude the overall validation, participating national Border Authorities, in coordination with other relevant EU organizations, will conduct a thorough assessment of the solution performances as demonstrated in the testing exercises of phase 2, against the set of jointly defined performance criteria, in order to verify fitness for purpose, with a view to a potential conversion into permanent services of the systems tested. This phase should confirm as appropriate the IPR strategy and include dissemination of results to standardisation bodies (if appropriate).
PLEASE CHECK THE WORKPROGRAMME FOR FURTHER TEXT!
This CSA-CP is expected to significantly contribute to the implementation of an EU approach to Border Surveillance, thus enabling national and other relevant authorities to more effectively carry out their border surveillance activities, collaborating at tactical, operational and strategic levels, in order to:
– increase internal security of the EU by preventing cross-border crime; and – reduce the number of irregular migrants across the external EU borders.
At the end of the project, the participating public bodies in charge of border surveillance (also potential purchasers) should have obtained clear evidence of the cost-efficiency of (alternative) surveillance systems, which could later be deployed as common EU level surveillance applications.
The project is also expected to promote increased opportunities for market uptake and economies of scale for the supply side by forming critical mass on the public demand side, and contribute to standardisation of jointly defined public sector requirements specifications.
Through the execution of the project, the adaptation of existing technologies and the research and development of new technologies, participants are expected to verify and optimise their technological choices. Technology providers will increase their understanding of modern operational requirements thus increasing their competitiveness. The project has the potential to create important market opportunities for European industry and establish a clear leadership in this area.
PLEASE CHECK THE WORKPROGRAMME FOR FURTHER TEXT!
- Call: FP7 Security 2013 Call
Entry created by Elke Dall on August 8, 2012
Modified on August 8, 2012