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Pan-European networks of practitioners and other actors in the field of security

Practitioners are invited to associate in 4 different categories of networks in the field security:

a. [2019-2020] Practitioners (end-users) in the same discipline and from across Europe are invited to get together: 1) to monitor research and innovation projects with a view to recommending the uptake or the industrialisation of results, 2) to express common requirements as regards innovations that could fill capability and other gaps and improve their future performance, and 3) to indicate priorities as regards areas requiring more standardisation. Opinions expressed and reported by the networks of practitioners should be checked against what can be reasonably expected, and according to which timetable, from providers of innovative solutions. In 2019, proposals are invited in two specific areas of specialisation: the protection of public figures; the handling of hybrid threats[[The proposal should reflect the joint communication Joint Framework on countering hybrid threats – a European Union response (JOIN(2016) 18 final, 6 April 2016), while keeping in mind the Guidance note — Research with an exclusive focus on civil applications:]].

b. [2018] Innovation clusters from around Europe (established at national, regional or local level), especially those managing demonstration sites, testing workbenches, and training facilities (including those providing simulators, serious gaming platforms, testing of PPDR applications on broadband networks) are invited to establish one network 1) to establish and maintain a roster of capabilities and facilities, 2) to organise to share expertise, 3) plan to pool and share resources with a view to facilitating access to their respective facilities among collective membership when this would constitute an economy of scale and allow a more intensive use of expensive equipment, and 4) to coordinate future developments and workbenches' acquisition.

c. [2018] Procurement agencies, or departments, active at budgeting and implementing the acquisition of security solutions at European, national, regional or local level can get together: 1) to share investment plans, 2) to compare procurement techniques and rules, and 3) to plan for common procurements of research services as well as of innovative, off-the-shelf products.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of:

  • about EUR 3.5 million per action for a duration of 5 years (recommended duration) for Parts a) and b);
  • about EUR 1.5 million per action for a duration of 5 years (recommended duration) for Part c)

would allow for this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

In Europe, practitioners interested in the uptake of security research and innovation are dedicated to performing their duty and are focused on their tasks. In general, however, practitioner organisations have little scope to free workforces from daily operations in order to allocate time and resources to monitor innovation and research that could be useful to them. They have few opportunities to interact with academia or with industry on such issues. All stakeholders – public services, industry, academia – including those who participate in the Security Advisory Group, recognize this as an issue.

Medium term:

  • Common understanding of innovation potential, more widely accepted understanding, expression of common innovation and standardization needs among practitioners in the same discipline.
  • Greater involvement from public procurement bodies upstream in the innovation cycle.
  • More efficient use of investments made across Europe in demonstration, testing, and training facilities.

Long term:

  • Synergies with already established European, national and sub-national networks of practitioners, even if these networks are for the time being only dedicated to aspects of practitioners' work unrelated to research and innovation (in general, to the coordination of their operations).