Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge:

Border authorities are facing new challenges to secure land borders of the EU/Schengen areas, while the recent trends show a significant increase of travellers’ flows. In the meantime, travellers are requiring fast and convenient border crossing, therefore pushing authorities to implement novel approaches in order to maintain and even improve the throughput at the crossing points.

Infrastructure for land border checks is not very flexible. As a consequence, improved solutions are required. They could rely on the development of mobility concepts along with traveller programmes that are extensively being developed in order to facilitate border crossing. Moreover, the current wide-spread use of mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets provide potentially exploitable means that could (or could not) be combined with border authorities dedicated mobile equipment to perform identity checking for border security.

A general challenge is to make the technical equipment affordable enough to be widely employed.


Studies show that, in the long term perspective, the task of border management to facilitate legitimate border crossings, while detecting and preventing illicit activities, will remain a critical capability, given the expected rising cross-border flows of people (and goods). Border control is likely to face increasing demands for efficiency, which implies a need for technical systems that are user friendly and reliable in operational conditions. The approach to use technology from adjacent markets such as mobile or satellite telecommunications, where the volumes of production are very high, could help the costs of processing down to a minimum. In particular, the use of passengers' personal mobile devices is expected to enable efficient and reliable identity checks through the application of biometric technology.

The ability to automatically and rapidly detect document forgeries is also expected to be further improved. Projects should therefore aim at proposing novel concepts relying on the use of traveller’s personal mobile devices, and/or border authorities’ specific mobile equipment, for high security level passengers’ identity control. What is needed is to perform biometric identification of travellers inside vehicles (cars, bus, trains) as well as pedestrians. R&D could propose novel technological solutions, as well as procedures to manage relevant associated workflows (to be validated by border guards in a realistic operational scenario). An appropriate portable (and, if considered necessary, fixed) ABC gate for land borders could be developed (if portable, this gate should be movable so that it could be used at lanes outside the terminal). In this research legal, ethical or social implications must be taken into account appropriately.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between €2m and €5m would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

Research should lead to novel mobility concepts for land border security enabling authorities to achieve higher throughput at the crossing points whilst guaranteeing high security level, enabling fast processing of passengers within vehicles or pedestrians, and improving the efficiency of passengers flow management. Harmonization of requirements across Member States and Associated Countries (and standardization) is expected to also automatically greatly improve affordability. The outcome of the research should be assessed in terms of contribution to meeting such challenges.

The outcome of the proposal is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5; please see part G of the General Annexes.

Type of action: Research & Innovation Actions

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