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Migration and Home Affairs
News article6 February 2023Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs

CERIS DRS annual event – state of play of disaster-resilient societies research

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On 8-10 November 2022, DG HOME held a CERIS event on the State of Play in the area of Disaster Resilient Societies. The event was gathering more than 30 projects funded by Horizon 2020 and the Internal Security Fund in the areas of societal resilience, CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear), health risks, and technologies for first responders and standardisation. The event was in a hybrid format, mixing virtual attendance of around 550 people with the physical participation of about 160 persons, including company representatives, industries, EU policy-makers, scientists and first responders. The event was complemented by a workshop on Disaster Resilience and Insurance organised by ETH Zurich.

Discussions focussed on societal resilience issues, in particular the involvement of local communities in disaster risk management (RESILOC project) and local resilience strategies, addressing different scenarios and providing corresponding recommendations. Other issues were discussed such the use of social media and crowdsourcing in disaster risk management (LINKS project), community engagement (ENGAGE project) and enhanced collaboration between citizens and civil protection agencies to increase resilience (RiskPACC project).

The CBRN session covered a wide range of themes, such as

  • The establishment of validated procedures for the detection and identification of biological toxins (EuroBioTox project);
  • The detection of bio-threats in the field (HolozCan project);
  • Common approaches between European safety and security practitioners, in particular between Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and CBRNe First Responders (PROACTIVE project);
  • Development of a common framework to standardize access to CBRN facilities (INCLUDING project) and Making CBRN Standards relevant to first responders using worked examples (PEERS project); and
  • The detection of multiple threats, such as CBRN threats or pandemic viruses (NEST project).

The development and deployment of a harmonised CBRN training curriculum for first responders and medical staff was also described (MELODY project) and simulation of CBRN defence training was presented (VERTIgO project), with a close link to the European Network of CBRN Training Centers (E-Notice project).

Health-related threats were discussed in a dedicated session, looking into

  • Research supporting preparedness for future pandemics through innovation in training and capacity building between EU Member States (PANDEM-2 project);
  • The coordination capability of the first responders in handling waterborne pathogen contamination events (PathoCERT project).

Medical emergency responses were also subject to in-depth discussions from a technological viewpoint, namely in relation to triage and pre-hospitalisation services for emergency medical response (NIGHTINGALE project), with networking facilitated e.g. through a pan-European network of emergency medical care practitioners, suppliers, decision and policy makers (NO-FEAR project) and on training (MED1stMR project).

Technologies for first and second responders were debated around a range of innovative solutions, such as toolkits for collaborative response, which are increasing protection and augmenting operational capacity(INGENIOUS project) as well as technology toolkits empowering and enhancing the operational capacity of First Responders(RESCUER project).

Challenges associated with the protection of first responders in hazardous environments were also discussed (FASTER project) as well as assessments of new technologies in operations (TeamAware project). The session also discussed technologies uptake (FIRE-IN project), technologies to protect and help First Responders during the mitigation of large disasters (ASSISTANCE project), interoperability amongst systems and equipment, training and awareness for responders(Search & Rescue project), as well as enhanced interactions between First Responders and research centres(RESPOND-A project) and field validation of innovative technologies (INTREPID project).

Research in support of security-related standardisation was also discussed as a major topic, including

  • Ensuring first responders’ safety and empowering their operational capacity through standardisation that may support next generation solutions and procedures, and ensuring an effective and efficient collaborative response to crises (STRATEGY project);
  • The harmonisation and pre-standardisation of equipment, training and tactical coordinated procedures for First Aid vehicles deployment on European multi-victim disasters(VALKYRIES project);
  • Enhanced standardisation strategies to integrate innovative technologies for safety and security in existing water networks (Aqua3S project); and
  • Developments into a new approach to support cost-effectiveness resilience (PEERS project).

The event was attended by representatives of different Directorates-General of the European Commission, namely HOME, ECHO, ENV and HERA. The event strengthened the links among different actors in the field and opened the way for the proactive engagement of project clusters in 2023.

All presentations made during the three-day event are available.



Publication date
6 February 2023
Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs