Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


INTACT Report Summary

Project ID: 606799
Funded under: FP7-SECURITY
Country: Netherlands

Periodic Report Summary 1 - INTACT (On the Impact of Extreme Weather on Critical Infrastructures)

Project Context and Objectives:
Summary description of project context and objectives
Resilience of Critical Infrastructure (CI) to Extreme Weather Events (EWE) is one of the most demanding challenges for both government and society. CI are especially sensitive to EWE. The economic and societal relevance of the dependability and resilience of CI is obvious: infrastructure malfunctioning and outages can have far reaching consequences and impacts.

Extreme Weather (EW) is a key phenomenon that can cause severe threats to the well-functioning of CI. Future Extreme Weather has to be taken into account when considering protective measures, mitigation measures and adaption measures to reflect actual and predicted instances of CI failures.

The effects of various levels of EW on CI will vary throughout Europe. These effects are witnessed through changes in seasonal means and extreme value frequencies of regional extreme temperatures (high and low), humidity (high and low), extreme or prolonged precipitation (rain, fog, snow, ice, etc.) or prolonged lack thereof (drought), extreme wind or lack of wind, and thunderstorms. The increased frequency and intensity of EW can cause Induced Hazards (IH) such as flooding, drought, ice formation, wild fires etc. which present a range of complex challenges to the operational resilience of CI.

Moreover, besides direct effect of EWE and/or IH on CI, this operational resilience of CI is challenged further by indirect, cascading, effects of failure of one type of CI due to EWE and/or IH on another type of CI. This context of the INTACT project is reflected in Figure 0.1.

Figure 0.1. INTACT context

This context serves as basis for the overall objective of the INTACT project, which is “to offer Decision Support to CI operators & policy makers regarding Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) against changing EWE risks caused by climate change”.

The decision support is the crucial to enhance the aspect of business continuity, or, sustained resilience, in order to allow societies and economies to function unimpaired. This overall objective concerns to:

• Assess regionally differentiated risk throughout Europe associated with extreme weather;
• Identify and classify on a Europe wide basis CI and to assess the resilience of such CI to the impact of EWE;
• Raise awareness of decision-makers and CI operators about the challenges EW conditions may pose to their CI;
• Identify potential measures and technologies to consider and implement;

Central is the identification of which components and elements of CI are most critical, and how resilient they are to stochastic and transient EWE and patterns. A major obstacle to resilience planning is the unknown nature of the next major EWE. Careful assessment of potential risk and informed analysis of dependencies between CI can contribute significantly to effective investment in planning and design and inform preparedness actions in the event of failure.

As a consequence there is an obligation to revisit and reassesses the risk posed to existing CI and to develop practical (evidence based) responses to inform adaptation and resilience enhancement. To facilitate this there is a need to reach consensus on the climate parameters, to address gaps in climate projections alongside other agreed risk-based techniques and to develop a set of validated tools and datasets tailored to practical needs premised on robust cost-benefit typologies which depict the level of the risk and the severity of impact (social, economic, environmental, etc.) that would result in CI failure.

The INTACT project addresses these challenges and brings together innovative and cutting edge knowledge and experience in Europe in order to develop and demonstrate best practices in protective measures, mitigation measures and adaption measures, as well as crisis response and recovery capabilities.

Project Results:
Description of work performed
In the first 18 Months of the INTACT project, progress has been made on all of the INTACT main activities:

a) Collect and analyse trends, patterns and tendencies in Extreme Weather: based on recent historical trends and data, extrapolations and future scenarios for various climate/EW types will be evaluated;
b) Assess the risk and vulnerability of CI due to Extreme Weather: based on historical incidents (worldwide) for various CI an assessment will be made of future vulnerabilities due to EWE;
c) Develop a methodology and tools for risk management: bring together models and tools to support decision-making for long term planning and design, and/or for crisis management, preparation, crisis response and recovery;
d) Collect, assess, augment, and disseminate best practices and measures to reduce risk: based on recent experiences and applications while identifying current innovative and/or new technology;
e) Bring together the stakeholders from the various domains: climate researchers, meteorologists, engineers, first responders and crisis response organisations with CI owners and operators convene in workshops and case studies;
f) Apply and demonstrate to stakeholders the potential of the INTACT methodology for a selected set of case studies: throughout Europe and for different regional settings and EW conditions;
g) Develop the INTACT Reference Guide (IRG): in the form of a publicly accessible WIKI, based on generalised/ specific datasets, scenarios and simulations integrated within the different activities of the project;

Besides these main activities, the first 18 months of the INTACT were dedicated to establishing the overarching conceptual and technical foundation of the INTACT results, and to gathering data and knowledge from the Critical Infrastructure Protection domain, and from our case studies. Figure 0.2 depicts the 5 case studies within the INTACT project.

Figure 0.2 INTACT case studies

A key element of our vision is that the INTACT findings should truly serve decision making in the field of CIP on the impact of extreme weather. However, amongst other, terms like Climate change, Extreme Weather, Induced Hazards, Critical Infrastructure, Vulnerability assessment, and Risk Management, are already very broad concepts with numerous possible interpretations. Therefore, a major part of the effort in the first half of the project was to structure, connect and align the domains of Meteorology and Extreme Weather, CI and data/modelling to analyse vulnerabilities to EW, and assessment of added value of proposed protection measures and new technologies. These efforts resulted in a common understanding of not solely terminology, but also of “What INTACT will deliver to stakeholders” (in terms of the INTACT suite of results), ànd of required subsequent interaction between WPs (in terms of input, output, format, etc.).

On the aspect of gathering data and knowledge, significant progress has been made with acquiring vulnerability assessment/ risk management information from external stakeholders. Interviews and questionnaires have been conducted to acquire stakeholder data on vulnerability assessment, risk management, and data/tools used in these domains. Moreover, case study coordinators from the consortium have been in interaction with local stakeholders to perform problem exploration (regarding EW impact on CI), and to reflect on the INTACT methodology.

In the first 18 months, we have established these clear and common understandings between the various domains, between the WPs and the INTACT case studies, and a common understanding of the INTACT results (/end-products).

Potential Impact:
Final results and their impact and use
The INTACT final results include:
• A repository on valuable background information and knowledge about climate change, EWE, CI, with examples, illustrations and references;
• Data on
· climate change for the medium-term period (2021–2050) and the long-term period (2071–2100);
· changes in frequency and strength of EWEs specified by EU region;
· changes in Induced Hazards (IH) (-where possible-);
· specific vulnerabilities for EWE for specific CI;
• Step-by-step method on how to use this data by specific stakeholders to determine the future EWE risks to their CI
· using their own familiar current tools;
· supporting mitigation strategies and techniques;
· including best practices on protection for common vulnerabilities, innovative strategies, basic data for performing cost-benefit analysis (where available);

All INTACT results will be made available through the INTACT Reference Guide (IRG), in the form of a publicly accessible WIKI,

The INTACT project offers a new quality in understanding of the vulnerability and risk of CI to future EWE due to climate change. INTACT’s developments and approaches help to protect the CI and/or to take care for crisis response and recovery. INTACT will bring value added for:

• (Public and Private) Policy planners and infrastructure designers/engineers: to improve their decision-making when taking measures to protect CI against current and future EW conditions;
• CI Owners/ Operators: to improve their awareness, response and recovery options for future EW conditions and the potential impact to their CI;
• Scientists: to stimulate multidisciplinary approach and to create new approaches and technologies to reduce the vulnerability of CI and to mitigate effects in case of crises;
• Society: to improve both the decision-making in where and how to reduce vulnerabilities and so to further safeguard the security of Europe’s citizens and Europe’s economy;

Through its approach, INTACT encourages the dialogue between security providers and research institutes between public and private sector from the beginning until the end of the project and beyond. The relevant actors from different fields of expertise and interest will have an active role in the consortium and to promote the project’s activities from the outset.

Committed stakeholders participate in workshops with the consortium and play an active role in defining and developing the INTACT Case studies (WP 5) and to provide feedback on the role and application on the IRG. Based on this interaction with experts and stakeholders, the focus of INTACT deliverables is premised on developing the legacy of the project. The dissemination strategy aims to be as open and transparent as possible.

Address of the public website INTACT project website:;

All information developed within the INTACT project will be made available through the INTACT Reference Guide (IRG), in the form of a publicly accessible WIKI:;

List of Websites:

Related information


Peter Petiet, (Project leader Societal Safety)
Tel.: +31 888664006
Fax: +31 888666574


Record Number: 182331 / Last updated on: 2016-05-23
Information source: SESAM