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Chemicals: intelligence, detection, forensics


Research needs to anticipate and match this challenge by increasing the knowledge about these threats; developing technologies to counter and respond to incidents with them, improving knowledge on these dangerous chemicals and increasing deterrence messaging whilst also recognising the need to minimise the inconvenience that security measures place on operators and users of public spaces.

Proposals have to demonstrate how they will effectively build on relevant previous H2020 projects and build synergies with on-going H2020 projects.

Proposals should address only one of the following aspects:

  • Proposals should focus on the continuation of the work already done on some explosive precursors in previous FP7 and H2020 projects, including; tackling new precursors not yet studied.
  • Proposals should tackle the chemicals and potentially their precursors in the usage other than explosives and explosive precursors covered under the first point, and propose means to decrease the vulnerability of the public to their malevolent or terrorist use, along the full timeline of a potential criminal/terrorist plot (from early intelligence to the actual attack).

The centre of gravity for technology development with actions funded under this topic is expected to be up to TRL 6 to 7 – see General Annex G of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Criminals, including terrorists are constantly seeking new ways to develop, deploy and activate dangerous chemicals (explosives, neurotoxins, new drugs, etc.). The way in which such chemicals can be manufactured and combined evolve continuously, which makes the specialized work of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) and reference laboratories in this area a continuous challenge.

Short term:

  • Improved knowledge of dangerous chemicals and of their combinations;
  • Improved effectiveness of the supporting methods and techniques as well as of combinations of technologies used to prevent their use and to detect them before they are used;
  • Improved mitigation methods, including designing strategies and forensic tools.

Medium/Long term:

  • Contribution to improving public security;
  • Factual scientific contribution to policy-makers in order to allow them to make an informed decision;
  • Stronger involvement of practitioners in the field of counter-terrorist activities in making, assessing and selecting new tools and technologies through reliable management plans.
  • Improving the training of law enforcement officers in this field and the cooperation at local, national and international level.