In case of a CBRN-E incident, it is of outmost importance that personnel involved in handling the situation, i.e. rescue services and polices, are well educated and trained and that they are using equipment and tools that are reliable with validated capabilities. It can be the difference between a well-functioning management and a disaster. To achieve a more robust and consistent opportunity to practice, test and evaluate CBRN-E tools and technologies (resulting from research actions and/or standard developments) within Europe and beyond, it is necessary to strengthen networking of existing training and testing facilities and centres and to extend it to relevant CBRN Centres of Excellence located in non-EU countries. An assessment of such facilities can identify gaps where training and testing opportunities are lacking but can also be a possibility to highlight weaknesses in that there may be dependencies on one or a few actors. This will indicate what type of facilities are ready to be used for specific training / validation needs and which developments are required to strengthen the testing end exercise capabilities to be better prepared in the event of a CBRN-E incident. It will also give the existing centres a possibility to cooperate to compare, enhance, develop and extend the range of tests, exercises and training to achieve a robustness that will benefit the whole European CBRN-E community. Along validation / testing actions, training exercises should consider societal aspects (vulnerable groups, human factors) in combination of CBRN technological response in case of an incident. It should be considered whether the Commission stockpiled items, aiming to respond to medical and CBRN emergencies, could be a part of training and validation exercises.
The work would build on the results achieved from past H2020 and ISF actions in this area, focusing on further development of tools, tests and training methods.
This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities. The involvement of citizens, civil society and other societal stakeholders in co-design and co-creation should be promoted.
In order to achieve the expected outcomes, international cooperation is required, in particular with countries belonging to the CBRN Centres of Excellence network.