Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Disaster risks (natural, accidental, or intentional) should be addressed in the context of:

  • the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (Decision 1313/2013), which paves the way for reinforced cooperation in civil protection assistance interventions for the protection primarily of people, and also of the environment and property in the event of natural and man-made disasters, emergency situations in case of mass events, acts of terrorism and technological, chemical, biological, radiological or environmental accidents;
  • the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change COM(2012)497] recommendations in relation to extreme climatic events;
  • the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction at international level. [http://www.wcdrr.org/uploads/Sendai_Framework_for_Disaster_Risk_Reduction_2015-2030.pdf]

Response to emergency situations resulting from the materialisation of such risks requires inter-organisational coordination among many actors, and efficient coordination requires improved response planning and scenario building. This can only be achieved through the integration of support tools that can be used operationally by a large variety of decision-makers, back-office experts, and first responders. Such tools can build upon previous and ongoing FP7 projects and preliminary results from H2020 actions to avoid duplication, and should be demonstrated in representative and realistic environments and situations involving firefighting units, medical emergency services, police departments, and civil protection units.

The participation of SMEs is strongly encouraged.

In line with the EU's strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change COM(2012)497] international cooperation is encouraged, and in particular with international research partners involved in ongoing discussions and workshops, with the European Commission. Legal entities established in countries not listed in General Annex A and international organisations will be eligible for funding only when the Commission deems participation of the entity essential for carrying out the action.

The outcome of the proposal is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 or 8; please see part G of the General Annexes.

Indicative budget: The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of € 8million would allow for this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

At present, the wide range of sectors, disciplines and actors involved in disaster risk management are not sufficiently interlinked, which prevents efficient response planning and the building of realistic multidisciplinary scenarios. Integrated tools need to be developed to support such actions. Stronger partnerships among research, policy, (research or monitoring) institutes, industry/SMEs communities and practitioners, in particular first responders, are required for better preparedness of societies to cope with complex crisis situations.

Short term

  • More efficient response capacity of the EU and between neighbouring countries in particular in the frame of the "request for assistance" mechanism
  • Improved strategy for response planning and scenario building in the EU and beyond (in particular in the context of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction)

Medium term

  • Enhanced autonomy, mobility (i.e. long range, quick deployment) and resilience of rescue and first aid organisations in case of natural or man-made disasters, including in remote regions or in case of emergency situations during mass events
  • Updated knowledge of existing relevant capabilities, and of best practices and lessons learned from similar, past incidents
  • Enhanced understanding of human factors in relation with events affecting critical infrastructure
  • Development of new tools, and adaptive networking of existing technologies (e.g. self-deploying infrastructure and autonomous sensors including passive sensors early warning systems, satellite-based integrated monitoring, system networks for recovery) that are useful for response planning and scenario building, including e.g. modular concepts and systems based on renewable energies, robust and flexible autonomous systems for transport and rescue missions, electric vehicles, emergency aircraft load planning optimisation, mobile power systems, new resilient electrical energy storage systems, mobile laboratories, autonomous system entities (land- and air-based) etc. using data exchange standards, demonstrating a high level degree of interoperability, the ability to be used in all-hazards approaches (man-made and natural disasters, and their combination), and compliant with EU guidelines and recommendations
  • Development of scenarios developed in specific geographical areas with the direct involvement of local authorities and end-users
  • Development of novel visual interfaces and user-friendly tools enhancing stakeholders and population awareness and involvement
  • Consolidation of the methodology for cross-border (regional and Pan European) single and multi-risk scenario-building.
  • Enhanced cooperation between autonomous systems entities: satellite-, sea-, land- and air-based systems, including but not limited to the Copernicus, Galileo and EGNOS systems, from different agencies and of a large variety of capabilities, and costs
  • Assessment of the societal acceptance of such tools, also from an ethical point of view.
  • Greater cooperation among actors involved in crisis management
  • Stronger involvement of practitioners (e.g. first responders and monitoring institutes) in validating and testing of tools, concepts and methodologies
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