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Are you an end user in security R&D projects?

security R&D projects
Jorge Lorente

Jorge Lorente

Senior Consultant

End users in security R&D projects embrace different types of entities that are grouped in Law Enforcement Agencies, First Responders or even Second Responders. However, the definitions of these terms may be overlapping and somewhat confusing.

Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) is any agency which is appointed to operatively enforce the law, such as a local, state or special police or international organization such as Europol or Interpol. However, LEAs may include as well other types of entities as the Customs Authorities and Border or Coastal Guards although, depending on the specificity of the call (e.g. for Border Management-related topics), these can also be identified as a separate category (see FRONTEX definition).

On the other hand, a first responder is a person with specialized training who is among the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency, such as an accident, natural disaster, or terrorism. Therefore, the term First Responders (FR) include LEA officers but also emergency and paramedical teams, firefighters or even search and rescue personnel among others.

Finally, a Second Responder (SR) is a worker who supports FRs in security events. They are involved in preparing, managing, returning services, and cleaning up sites during and after an event requiring FRs. These types of services may include utility services (shutdown or reinstatement of electrical, gas, sewage, and/or water services), wireless or wireline communication services, hazardous waste clean-up, road clearing, crowd control, first aid, social services and sanitation among others.

Then, Horizon Europe is a great opportunity for you

Although much mutual value can be generated by the collaboration between end-users and security specialist, end-user typically have short margin to free their workforce to interact with academia or with industry in R&D activities as well as to monitor R&D outputs that may be useful for their daily operations.

On the other hand, since no emergency is standard, FRs capabilities should be strengthened in daily operations and in response to critical incidents, catastrophic events and modern criminal investigations. This is why Horizon Europe offers the necessary collaborative framework and funding for helping end-user organisations to collaborate and cooperate with academia, research organisations and industry in the sharing of knowledge, technology, experience, expertise, and mutual learning.

Concretely, Cluster 3 of Horizon Europe called “Civil Security for Society” is a great opportunity that will devote 1.6 bn euros to face the challenges arising from persistent security threats, including organised crime and cybercrime, border management, resilient infrastructures as well as natural and man-made disasters.

Particularly, within the cluster 3 framework for the years 2021-22, different calls are foreseen offering a diverse range of opportunities for those end-users interested in developing new technologies, methodologies, products, processes and services that may help them in their daily operations. Most of the topics of cluster 3 calls are specifically requiring the involvement of different types of end-users in the consortium, which means that your participation as end-user is not a plus for a given consortium, it is MANDATORY to be eligible.

For example, the topic “CL3-2021-FCT-01-05” requires the active involvement, as beneficiaries, of at least 2 Police Authorities and at least 2 forensic institutes, while the topic “CL3-2021-DRS-01-01” requires the active involvement, as beneficiaries, of at least 3 organisations representing citizens or local communities, practitioners (first and/or second responders).

Which role may I tackle?

Although Europe is producing innovative security solutions, many of them never reach the market. This is where end-users should come in and act as a catalyst for innovation, shaping the security market and enabling it to respond to needs and challenges they are concretely facing in their operations.

In this context, end user’s basic role is to let academia and industry know their main gaps to improve their performance, indicate priorities in the form of standards and technology or suggest areas requiring more standardisation. However, besides this individual participation to express requirements, R&D projects can set up a collaborative framework where you can work together with other FRs to ensuring interoperability of the different technologies used by FRs, improving connectivity and communication capabilities, enhance data and information sharing during daily emergency or joint operations or even promote and sustain FR partnerships. Finally, end users may have a key role in piloting developed technologies and giving a view to recommending the uptake or the industrialisation of main project results.

Why not being an active part in the development of future technologies that will shape the security sector?

Whatever role and security area you are interested in, at ZABALA Innovation we can help you to identify relevant European funding opportunities, define specific use cases tailored to sectoral needs and challenges, and guide you in understanding how to access such opportunities.

Use our tool Kaila to search for main funding opportunities, projects or innovators in the security sector or reach out to us to discover more!


Expert person

Jorge Lorente
Jorge Lorente

Valencia Office

Senior Consultant

It's not about the sector, it's the about project

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