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On the look-out for security technology developments

Security experts are likely to find it easier to keep up to date with the latest news from their sector, thanks to the work of European researchers. They have come up with technology to monitor developments in the security field and pass the information to the right people at the right time.

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The aim of the 'Security technology active watch' (STRAW) project, which recently ended, was to give European civil security a boost by facilitating cooperation between different groups, namely researchers, technology providers and end-users. The project's main outcome is a proof of concept for a tool to power what the partners call a 'European security technology active watch'. This would monitor the security domain and detect relevant and applicable technology developments, knowledge, experience and stakeholders, and then deliver this information to people who are in a position to make use of it at that time. The tool is supported by a technology watch portal, a semantic search engine and a wiki ('STRAWiki'), which can be accessed by people who have registered on the project website. Another important outcome is a report summarising the project's findings and setting out recommendations for the future. Topics covered by the report include crisis management, ensuring law and order, border surveillance, and critical infrastructure protection. Among other things, the report points out that further work is needed to strengthen cross-border links between security stakeholders. The report also calls for the creation of a European security network which could identify and define common objectives for future security research. According to the report, this network should link together all the stakeholders involved in the security research domain, including European and national authorities, key decision-makers, scientific institutions, academia and the security industry. Looking to the future, the project's sustainability plan paves the way for further joint activities.

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