Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Smart firearm safety (Project iP9 Smart firearm safetyIntroduction of the first smart firearm safety to the institutional market (police))
Reporting period: 2015-04-01 to 2015-09-30
The misuse of firearms, be it legally-owned civilian weapons or civilian or military weapons which have been illicitly manufactured or obtained, is a serious threat to the EU's security from both an internal and an external perspective . There hasn’t been any major evolution within the last 100 years in the development of firearms.
Initiatives within the EU (i. e. Firearms and the internal security of the EU: protecting citizens and disrupting illegal trafficking,) and the UN (Programme of action on small arms) fight the misuse and illicit trade of small arms. Therefore the new state of the art technology is exactly in line with the proposed priorities of the European Commission (1. Safeguarding the licit market for civilian firearms, 2. Licit to illicit: reducing diversion of firearms into criminal hands) to fight these challenges. It is therefore assessed that the new technology serving these security requirement will become standardized at least in the EU within the next decade.
The implementation of ICT applications means the next and more than necessary step for the weapon industry into a sophisticated and state of the art future. The overarching aim of this technology is to limit the use of a firearm exclusively to the legitimate user, preventing any diversion of a legally used firearm into the illegal market as well as to help tracking illicit firearms. This has the potential to revolutionize the small arms market.
The project focuses only on civilian applications with the general aim to improve the safety in handling of weapons for law enforcement bodies and civilian end-users.
The ultimate objective of this feasibility study was to assess the viability of this project under the existing framework in order to clarify the detailed circumstances and to explore possible caveats for the successful completion of this project.
Besides that the development of the electronic and software as well as the firmware testing of the project have been ongoing.
Armatix has the potential and the capabilities to develop the project smart firearm safety to the level of market maturity within the next 18 months in order to introduce the new product into the institutional and civilian market with potential business partners for fabrication, marketing and sales from mid-2017 on and to contribute to the beneficial commercial development of Armatix.
Armatix focuses within the next 18 months mainly on the further development (from TRL 6 to TRL 9) and finally the market introduction of the small firearm safety.
There have been no major risks estimated so far. The remaining risk of lack of acceptance of integrated semi-conducted technology in firearms by the customers and gun owners might be solved through various initiatives by the international community and organisations(EU and UN) and has to be especially taken into account and dealt with in the marketing and sales strategy. Furthermore a similar development like typewriter to laptop or telephone to smartphone is expected also in firearms within the next couple of years. In addition there is already evidence of implementing the new technology in the legislation in different countries in the US.
The cultural approach and the financial resources for security issues as well as the affinity for technology will influence the market significantly. This applies mainly to the US, Europe and partly the Arabian Peninsula while in less developed regions the business opportunities might be lower. Currently there are no real competitive systems available on the market.
In this context, Armatix is going to participate again with a proposal in the Horizon 2020 SME instrument phase 2 programme in order to get further support for the market introduction of this smart firearm safety.