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Communication technologies and interoperability topic 2: Next generation emergency services


Specific challenge:

The manner in which emergency calls are being made today is changing and the change of pace has legal ramifications for our citizens. Society is using internet-based tools for every day activities but, for instance, making an emergency call using Voice over IP is not possible. Smartphone penetration is growing rapidly and whilst society benefits from this digital world, the future of how we make emergency calls is not so clear. In this context, there is a need to identify the main requirements of emergency services (the demand side) on the basis of existing research information and to identify research gaps. There is also a need to improve the security of citizens, including those with disabilities or special needs, by creating the environment and infrastructure to allow technology and solution providers (the supply side), in particular SMEs, to test their Internet Protocol-based 112 emergency communication end-to-end against such requirements with each other and with the emergency services.


The proposal should contribute to the development of a testing regime for Next Generation 112 products (simultaneous use of voice, data, video and text communications using 112 over the internet) in a controlled-environment. It should also build a validation-focused programme/framework  using existing standards and protocols, with consideration of e.g. call location and routing, video calling to assist people with disabilities, security, integration of social media channels Next Generation eCall, messaging and early warning systemsetc. The proposal should gather European technology providers, emergency services organisations, research and development laboratories, telecommunication network providers, Voice Over IP providers, and software providers to build on the expertise in a collaborative fashion.

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 (similar to the Seventh Framework Programme Capability Projects described in the general introduction). Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

A greater efficiency from emergency service organisations will have obvious societal benefits for all citizens, with a direct positive impact for those citizens with disabilities. This proposal shall contribute to the implementation of a common standard of emergency call services throughout Europe, ensuring, that the future media for daily communication can also be used for emergency calling. It shall facilitate the interoperability of the many involved technologies and services and their vendors and providers.

The action is expected to proactively target the needs and requirements of public bodies and law enforcement.

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

Type of action:Research & Innovation Actions