EU project seeks to drive innovation in crisis management for resilience

Published:  13 August, 2014

Demonstration programme DRIVER (DRiving InnoVation in crisis management for European Resilience) brings together 37 organisations from civil protection, emergency management, research and industry for jointly developing solutions for improved crisis management.

DRIVER is the largest crisis management research and innovation project in Europe, if not the world. And with its ultimate goal to enhance European resilience in the face of crisis situations and ascertain sustainable innovation in crisis management it will remain so for the foreseeable future, even after the end of the project.

Over the next four and a half years, the consortium will work on the development of a pan-European test bed for virtually-connected exercise facilities and crisis laboratories where users, providers, researchers, policy makers and citizens can work jointly and continuously on new approaches and solutions for emerging crisis management issues. This will facilitate capability development through the provision of appropriate methodologies and infrastructures.

The DRIVER test bed will help develop a portfolio of crisis management tools to strengthen crisis management capabilities on a member state and EU level. The two key dimensions of DRIVER – the test bed and the portfolio of tools – are complemented by a third dimension: sharing a common understanding of crisis management across Europe.

Crisis management practitioners, policy makers, technology suppliers and the citizens will be invited to join the DRIVER community. This constantly evolving community will enable an intensive collaboration with and between crisis management stakeholders concerned by societal and technological innovation in crisis management and its up-take. The development of the DRIVER portfolio of tools and the set-up of European test bed facilities will produce a set of new capabilities for more effective European crisis management. It is expected that the long-term sustainability of the test bed, processes and tools will enhance European resilience and crisis management capabilities beyond the duration of the project.

Frequentis taking a lead

Control systems’ manufacturer Frequentis is taking the lead for the topic ‘situation assessment’ within the DRIVER project. ‘Control centre solutions are used by our customers for controlling safety critical missions such as guiding airplanes in the sky, dispatching firefighters to incidents or managing railway incidents. We believe that the fundamental benefit we have to give our customers is confidence of action in such safety critical missions – especially when the unexpected happens’, says Christian Flachberger, responsible for security research at Frequentis headquarters in Vienna.

According Frequentis, DRIVER gives it the opportunity to test and improve its control centre solutions together with expert teams from end-users in order to further increase the customer value.

Another working package where Frequentis is leading involves the management of volunteers during crises and disasters. While unguided spontaneous volunteers can become an additional hazard during disaster relief operations, volunteers are still the biggest unused available potential in a resilient society. Together with partners Austrian Red Cross and Austrian Institute of Technology, Frequentis is developing new concepts and tools for guiding volunteers and making them a partner of the professionals during the disaster relief effort.

The DRIVER Consortium

  • Industry – Atos, Thales, Edisoft, Frequentis, GMV, Isdefe, Ecorys
  • End-Users – Red Cross (DE, AT, DK, UK), MDA, SDIS13, THW, MSB, City of Hague, Irish Defence Force
  • EU Bodies – EU Satellite Centre, JRC
  • SMEs – ARTTIC, CIES, ITTI, E-Semble, HKV Consultance, Q4 PR, Disaster Waste Recovery
  • RTOs – Fraunhofer, FOI, TNO, PRIO, DLR, AIT, Armines CRC
  • Academia – United Nations University, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.
  • Other – Pole Risque (FR competitiveness cluster on Civil Protection) , Public Safety Communications Europe (PSCE), DIN (German Standardisation Body), CITET (Transport & Logistics Org)

The timeline for the project is: 54 months, beginning in May 2014.

Picture: consortium partners at the first meeting of the project.

  • Operation Florian

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