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Fight against terrorism : €15 million for new security research

Brussels, 2 August 2005

Terrorist attacks using explosives or chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear substances on mainline or metropolitan railway systems pose a clear and present danger to EU citizens. This is why the European Commission has decided to fund a research project to design and demonstrate an anti-terrorist security system architecture to better detect these terrorist threats and hence better protect railway passengers. The project will combine information from combine information from sensors, remote control or autonomous cameras, ground penetrating radars and line scanners. This is one of 13 projects selected under the ‘Preparatory Action for Security Research’ to improve the security of EU citizens and strengthen the European industrial base. The eight technology projects and five supporting activities selected will receive EU funding of €15 million. Given the increasing importance of security research, the Commission proposed to substantially increase the yearly budget from €15 million to roughly €250 million a year from 2007.

Vice-President Günter Verheugen said: “The recent events in London show how vulnerable public transport systems are to terrorist attacks. The Commission is determined to do its part to better protect our citizens and fund EU wide targeted research efforts.”

Vice-President Franco Frattini, responsible for the coordination of the fight against terrorism, said: “The findings of the research projects will constitute yet another small but important step in strengthening the EU’s capacity to prevent and counter terrorism.”

Other selected projects will look at improving surveillance of European harbours and coastlines and at integrated protection systems of the complete air transportation system, including aircraft, ground infrastructure and information networks against terrorist attacks, as well as attacks by Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS).

Another project aims to detect earlier suspicious activities by robustly securing computers linked to networks. It addresses the interoperability of intelligence services in order to enable information analysis and consolidation from different sources

The projects aim to define both the required technological solutions and the supporting operational concepts. Commission services are now preparing the third and last call for proposals of the Preparatory Action for Security Research, planned for publication in early February 2006.

To prepare for the new financial period starting in 2007, in April 2005, a European Security Research Advisory Board (ESRAB), composed of private and public security stakeholders, was created and is in the process of advising the Commission on the content and the implementation of security research within the 7th RTD Framework Programme (2007-2013).

For the full list of 13 projects, see MEMO/05/277
For more information on security research see MEMO/05/116 and

For more information on the Commission’s activities in the fight against terrorism see MEMO/05/272