Facts and Figures

Topic: SU-DRS02-2018-2019-2020 – Technologies for first responders

Call for proposal: H2020-SU-SEC-2019
Grant agreement ID: 882897
Total budget: € 7.890.585
Funding Scheme: RIA – Research and Innovation Action
Project’s starting date: 1 July 2020
Project’s end date: 30 June 2023


Apart from earthquakes that usually result to catastrophic structural collapses, with many people entrapped or killed (e.g. Indonesia 2018, Japan 2011, Haiti 2010, Italy 2009, Greece 1999), there are also other causes that may result into a building’s collapse, such as an accidental explosion or a terrorist attack (e.g. 9/11) in public areas or critical infrastructures (airports etc.). Moreover, natural disasters like earthquakes may trigger technological disasters, such as industrial chemical release or even fires; this dynamic or “domino effect”, as it is called may pose tremendous risks to the countries and communities and hence it is a great challenge to cope with by the first responders and relevant organizations of civil protection. First responders and rescuers need specialized instrumentations, available to all times, easily accessible that meet stringent requirements in terms of detection accuracy, quick localization, and reduction of false alarms. 

The S&R project will design, implement and test through a series of large scale pilot scenarios a highly interoperable, modular open architecture platform for first responders’ capitalising on expertise and technological infrastructure from both COncORDE and IMPRESS FP7 projects. The governance model of S&R will be designed to operate more effectively and its architectural structure will allow to easily incorporate next generation R&D and COTS solutions which will be possibly adopted in the future disaster management systems. The Model will also support a unified vision of the EU role and will provide a common framework to assess needs and integrate responses. The framework will enable supportive approach using a wider range of decisional support features and monitoring systems and will also give to first responders an effective and unified vision of (a) the dynamic changes going on during event’s lifetime and (b) the capabilities and resources currently deployed in the field.


The key objective of S&R is to develop and promote the underlying framework (interoperability amogst systems and equipment, training and awareness) so that responders at all levels of command have access, familiarise and evaluate how to deploy innovative solutions. Research and development will continue to produce innovative products, which have to respond to ever growing threats in a globalised environment, and the S&R approach is how to optimally integrate them as on-demand tools in a holistic governance model. The major challenge addressed is to link approaches, technical solutions, procedures, standards etc. for the protection of the European citizen as defined in the European Internal Security Strategy thus allowing for a faster and more appropriate response to natural, technological and man-made threats in EU countries and if needed abroad. The S&R project aspires to demonstrate a consistent Crisis Governance model, naturally supported by the toolbox concept, covering the role that Europe intends to adopt subsequent to the implementation of the new Lisbon Treaty and also considers a stronger civil-military mutual support (technologies, operations) and public private coordination. Emergency responders from multiple entities organise themselves “on the field”, according to existing procedures, different training means and unsorted equipment at local or national level when they are in place. These procedures, training means or equipment are not standardised, homogeneous and or supplied between the various organisations and nations, and no system vision exists to bring coherency, efficiency and perfect-control. Some crucial gaps in crisis environment response have been identified by the EC [e.g. COM(2011)696, COM(2010)600, COM(2009)82], as well as lessons learnt from past emergencies, and it is at this level that S&R aspires to make a difference using state of the art technological solutions.

Expected Impact

The impact of S&R towards the international crisis management community will be related to disseminating a new governance concept, which combined with the technological solutions that will be presented by the consortium is related to: 

  • Production of smaller, lighter rescue tools with increased effectiveness in confined spaces; early detection of toxic environments for the first responders and K-9s 
  • Response time; it is the most critical parameter in the recovery of live victims in collapsed building environments.
  • Planning time; it will be reduced by engaging reliable, adaptable technologies for disaster scene fast overview, wide-area situation awareness and imaging (e.g. UAVs, thermal cameras etc.); 
  • Lowering the incidence rate of injuries for victims; fast extrication providing with medical support based on on-site noninvasive methods. 
  • Next generation garments; totally textile sensors embedded on first responders’ SMART uniform and first aid for kids device for situational awareness, as well as health and safety of the first responders. 
  • The enduring impact of S&R on citizen safety and security, which will be maximised because the science and technology is informed and driven by end users, who will run the pilots in order to assess the added value of S&R solutions
  • Re-introduce the citizen as a very important active element in the crisis environment
  • Enhancement of the culture of preparedness and readiness capability upon disaster risks for the population; inclusion of all people in the disaster management cycle
  • Ensure that the crisis management community has full access to the S&R project, in terms of contributing to the considered governance model and eventually participating to the innovative implementation of the toolbox concept, in order for the project results to have a lasting impact on European society
  • Share the information collected and the knowledge developed within the project with civil protection and security actors in the EU
  • Provide a comprehensive test-bed organisation, in terms of full scale exercises and demonstrations of simulated complex crisis management situations, that EU bodies and national organisations may use for testing diverse response frameworks allowing for better operational and societal adaptation to rapidly evolving threats, 
  • Education of end users in the developed S&R toolbox and holistic approach to European crisis management (impact to policies).