A European Crisis and Disaster Management Project Focuses on Resilience (8/13/14)
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 | Comments

Driving Innovation in Crisis Management for European Resilience (DRIVER) is a large crisis management research and innovation project in Europe, which aims to enhance European resilience in the face of crisis situations and ascertain sustainable innovation in crisis management. The demonstration program, which receives funding from the European Security Research Programme FP7-SEC, was launched in May 2014 and brings together 37 organizations from civil protection, emergency management, research and industry for jointly developing solutions for improved crisis management.

Over the next four and a half years, the consortium will work on the development of a pan-European test bed for virtually connected exercise facilities and crisis laboratories where users, providers, researchers, policy makers and citizens can work jointly and continuously on new approaches and solutions for emerging crisis management issues. This will facilitate capability development through the provision of appropriate methodologies and infrastructures. The DRIVER test bed will help develop a portfolio of tools to strengthen capabilities on a member state and European Union (EU) level.

The two key dimensions of DRIVER — the test bed and the portfolio of tools — are complemented by a third dimension — sharing a common understanding of crisis management across Europe. Crisis management practitioners, policy makers, technology suppliers and the citizens will be invited to join the DRIVER community. The constantly evolving community will enable an intensive collaboration with and between stakeholders concerned by societal and technological innovation in crisis management and its up-take. The development of the portfolio of tools and the set-up of European test bed facilities will produce a set of new capabilities for more effective European crisis management. The long-term sustainability of the test bed, processes and tools will enhance European resilience and crisis management capabilities beyond the duration of the project.

Frequentis, a control center company, released a press release about its leadership role, specifically for the topic “situation assessment” within the project. The company stated that the project is important because there is an increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters and the societal vulnerabilities that come from depending on vital infrastructures such as power supply, telecommunications and logistics call for the development of capabilities to cope better with natural or man-made disasters.

“Control center solutions are used by our customers for controlling safety critical missions such as guiding airplanes in the sky, dispatching firefighters to incidents or managing railway incidents,” said Christian Flachberger, responsible for security research at Frequentis headquarters in Vienna. “We believe that the fundamental benefit we have to give our customers is confidence of action in such safety critical missions — especially when the unexpected happens.”

Disaster relief activities are extremely complex and demanding, the release said. A research project like DRIVER gives companies the possibility to test and improve solutions together with expert teams from end users in order to further increase the customer value, Frequentis said.

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