Latest News

Home - Latest News

PRoTECT project final event on the Protection of Public Spaces

14, 15 and 16 June 2021, three online sessions from 2-4pm CET
English – French translation will be provided

After two and a half years, the PRoTECT project is coming to an end. During its implementation,
despite the challenges imposed by the health crisis, the project has developed a number of tools
that will help local authorities and other local actors to better prevent, respond and react to
terrorist threats in public spaces.

This final PRoTECT event has been divided into three sessions:

● The first session will be dedicated to an institutional discussion focusing on the cities’
progress in developing tools to prepare for and counter terrorist threats

● The second session will focus on sharing PRoTECT tools and their applications at the local
level by local authorities.

● The third and final session will offer an opportunity to exchange tools and experiences
between the different projects funded by the European Commission.

Read more on the PRoTECT final event here.


NEXT NEWS ITEM 

PRoTECT Demo Days 2021

During the Request for Information process, the five PRoTECT cities have each chosen five solution providers that created solutions that can help protect public spaces pre, during and after a terrorist threat. In the table below you can see the 25 solutions that were chosen to demonstrate their solution within the PRoTECT Project to a wide public of local authorities and stakeholders. Unfortunately, due to the covid-19 crisis, the demonstrations cannot be demonstrated live in all five cities. Therefore, we are hosting the PRoTECT Demo Days 2021.

During these days, each of the 5 cities are hosting their own demonstrations of the selected solutions by playing out the scenario’s that were developed within the PRoTECT Project. Some cities have chosen to combine a live scenario broadcast with a web conference to make the scenario’s as realistic and interactive as possible.

To register for the different demonstration events, go to the PRoTECT Demo Days 2021 page.


NEXT NEWS ITEM 

Second session of the PRoTECT series of Web Conferences

Given the current context of the terrorist threat, cities are seeking to protect their public spaces by
acquiring technological solutions, however, oftentimes they are confronted with an overwhelming market of technologies that proposes a significant number of solutions. On the 17th of March, EFUS hosted the second session of the PRoTECT Web Conferences in an online event.

This second session of three sessions in total, discussed the challenges local authorities face when they acquire new technologies. How
to evaluate technologies for the protection of public spaces? What are the needs of cities when choosing
a technology? What information needs to be gathered about existing solutions in the market? What
criteria for the evaluation need to be defined?

Read more about the next (and last of this series of Web Conferences) PRoTECT event here or register below. 


NEXT NEWS ITEM 

First session of the PRoTECT series of Web Conferences

On the 17th of February the first of three Web Conferences, organized by EFUS, took place online. During three web conferences, local authorities and stakeholders have been invited to get an answer to the general question of “What is the role of local and regional authorities in the protection of public spaces
and what tools can they use to better respond to terrorist threats?"

During the first web conference, three speakers of DG Home, EFUS and DIGINEXT spoke about assessing vulnerabilities of a potential target. 

Read more about this latest PRoTECT event here


NEXT NEWS ITEM 

Together for Safety: Safe Streets and Public Spaces

On the 4th of February Strong Cities Network (SCN) hosted the webinar “Together for Safety: Safe Streets and Public Spaces”. The theme of this third session was ‘City Responses to Terrorism’. Over the past few years, terrorist attacks have become a major threat to cities across the world. In this session, participants of the session and the other speakers presented tools that have been developed for cities to prepare to this eventuality. They have also considered these ideas in practice, focusing on the case study of Oslo, which had to rebuild following the 2011 terrorist attacks on July 22, conducted by Anders Breivik. Our PRoTECT Project coordinator Peter van de Crommert from the Dutch Institute of Technology, Safety and Security (DITSS), provided a short overview on soft target protection and the use of technology to secure public spaces. He elaborated on the Vulnerability and Technology Assessment Manuals that are being made available or prepared within the PRoTECT project.

Other key points during this session were:

  • Cities face multiple security threats including street crime, gang violence, social unrest and extremism.
  • The acceleration in the use of technologies is both a threat and an opportunity.
  • Experiences on managing protests and mitigating tensions in a polarised society were presented by experts from Bangladesh, Germany, Norway and the United States.


NEXT NEWS ITEM 

What is the role of local and regional authorities in the protection of public spaces and what tools can they use to better respond to terrorist threats?

A series of web conferences

Public spaces are places of exchange, culture, commerce, leisure and political expression… Because of their open nature, their high level of frequentation and their symbolic dimension, they can be subjected to several threats, terrorism being one of them. The protection of public spaces is a complex challenge for local and regional authorities. As stated by the European Commission in the Action Plan to support the protection of public spaces, besides Member States, “local and regional authorities are also important stakeholders in the protection of public space”.

A project to strengthen local and regional authorities’ capabilities in the protection of areas in public space

In this context, PRoTECT –  a project co-funded by the European Union’s ISFP programme – aims to strengthen local authorities’ capabilities in the protection of areas in public space that could potentially be soft targets for terrorism. Soft Targets are locations that are easily accessible to large numbers of people and have limited security or protective measures in place, making them vulnerable to an attack, for instance: sports venues, shopping venues, schools, and transportation systems. By applying an overarching concept where tools, technology, training and field demonstrations will lead to enhanced situational awareness and improvement of a direct response before, during and after a terrorist attack, the PRoTECT project seeks to ultimately strengthen security in public spaces.

In order to promote the exchange of experiences, Efus, in the framework of PRoTECT, is launching  a series of web conferences on the protection of public spaces and soft targets. The aim of these online sessions is to discuss and raise awareness of the role of local and regional authorities in the protection of public spaces, as well as to propose tools to prevent these types of risks.

→ 17 February 2021-2:00 pm CET,  PRoTECT Web conference 1: Vulnerability assessment of a potential target : How can local authorities make informed decisions on the necessary security provisions for public spaces?

Assessing risks and vulnerabilities against a terrorist threat has become a necessary step in the security management cycle for actors in charge of security. Gaining better knowledge on site vulnerabilities can facilitate making informed decisions on the measures to adopt in order to offer safer public spaces.

This session will present the vulnerability assessment tool produced by the Protect project and the role of local and regional authorities.  Who should be in charge of conducting a vulnerability assessment? Which actors need to be involved? What information is key to analyse and how to analyse it? What tools can facilitate the analysis? What challenges might arise for local security actors?

Speakers:

  • Radoslaw Olszewski, DG HOME Terrorism and Radicalisation unit/Protection sector, European Commission.
    EU Vulnerability Assessment Checklist for Public and Security Authorities developed by DG Home as part of the European Commission’s efforts to support Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in the protection of public spaces.
  • Tatiana Morales/Pilar De La Torre, Programme Managers Efus. 
    The PRoTECT Vulnerability Assessment Manual to strengthen municipal staff’s ability by putting in place an overarching concept where tools, technology, training and field demonstrations lead to situational awareness and to an improvement of direct responses to protect public places before, during and after a terrorist threat.
  • Anita Schilling, Technical Project Leader at DIGINEXT.
    Virtual Reality mock-ups of real-world spaces to facilitate the vulnerability assessment of public spaces – STEPWISE Project.

→ 17 March 2021- 2:00 pm CET, PRoTECT Web conference 2: What considerations should cities take into account when considering the adoption of technologies to protect public spaces?

Given the current context of terrorist threat, cities are seeking to protect their public spaces by acquiring technological solutions, however, oftentimes they are confronted with an overwhelming market of technologies that proposes a significant number of solutions.

This session will discuss the challenges local authorities face when they acquire new technologies. How to evaluate technologies for the protection of public spaces?  What are the needs of cities when choosing a technology?  What information needs to be gathered about existing solutions in the market? What criteria for the evaluation need to be defined?

→ 28 April 2021- 2:00 pm CET,  PRoTECT Web conference 3: How can technology  protect  public spaces and soft urban targets?

New technologies offer opportunities to better protect public spaces. These include ICT (for communicating, storing, analysing and protecting information), Sensors (for detection, identification, localisation, tracking), Actuators (for warning, intercepting, eliminating), Physical (for controlling access, impeding an attack, protective materials), etc.

This session will discuss the existing technologies as well as the opportunities and challenges that local authorities face when they decide to adopt them. What are the most widely used technologies for the protection of public spaces? What type of risks do these technologies address? What is the objective of these technologies (prevention, facilitating intervention, etc)?


NEXT NEWS ITEM 

PRoTECT 2nd Workshop results online

Deliverable 5.6 describes the PRoTECT Second European Seminar, that took place in an online setting, due to the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Three sessions of two hours and a half were organised on 15, 16 and 17 July 2020 by Efus and DITSS, and with contribution of consortium partners and with the participation of an audience that consisted of different sectors and countries.

The online seminar had feature exchanges on best practices and technologies that were developed by law enforcement agencies, local authorities, European-funded projects and the private sector. It has given local authorities insights on what criteria to consider when selecting a solution to aid the protection of their public spaces. The web seminar was divided into three sessions, together aiming to provide an overall picture on public spaces at the policy, strategic and practitioners’ level.

The online seminar can be viewed on the PRoTECT Events page.

Read PRoTECT´s Public Deliverables


NEXT NEWS ITEM 

Announcement of the PRoTECT RFI results

The PRoTECT Request for Information (RfI) addressed available solutions oriented in protecting / combating terrorism and its effects as regards to open public spaces. The aim of the process, based on hypothetical scenarios dictated by the municipalities of Brasov (RO), Eindhoven (NL), Larisa (GR), Malaga (ES) and Vilnius (LT) (members of the PRoTECT project consortium), has been to investigate the benefits of potentially exploiting available solutions towards preventing and mitigating terrorist attacks within public spaces (so called “soft targets”).

The submission procedure remained online for a period of 2 months (1st of April until 1st of June 2020) and in total 35 submissions of solutions have been received. Given that each solution could be applied for multiple municipalities, finally, the submissions for each city were:

  • 21 to the municipality of Larissa
  • 26 to the municipality of Eindhoven
  • 24 to the municipality of Malaga
  • 26 to the municipality of Vilnius
  • 22 to the municipality of Brasov

Following independent assessment by the five partner municipalities cities (via local evaluation committees) and aggregation / confirmation of the corresponding results by the project’s General Assembly, 25 Solutions (in total) were selected to be invited for demonstration to the 5 cities, as presented in the following sliding tables:

Solution Provider Name of Solution
Terracom QR-Patrol
NSION Ltd. NSC3 Situational awareness platform
XVR Simulation B.V.
XVR On Scene:
• Joint-agency interdisciplinary exercise
• Situational Awareness and Standard Operating Procedures E-learning
• HMD training on situational awareness, spotting and coordination
Apstec International Trading Ltd. Apstec System’s Human Security Radar
FAST PROTECT GmbH TERRA 4D – Geo Referenced Security & Safety Management

Solution Provider Name of Solution
Northgate Public Services (UK) Limited – part of the NEC Group NEC NeoFace Watch; and NEC Enhanced Video Analytics (EVA)
ViNotion B.V. Monitoring Urban Dynamics for Situational Awareness of Public Safety
Sorama B.V Sorama Listener platform.
ADITESS Advanced Integrated Technology Solutions & Services Ltd adiTASK Incident Reporting and Awareness Tool
First Responder Technologies Inc. WiFi-Based Concealed Weapon Detector

Solution Provider Name of Solution
AEORUM ESPAÑA SL SURVEIRON: Global information and drone operation network
GRADIANT Counter-UAS by Gradiant
INSTALACIONES Y ESTRUCTURAS DE SEGURIDAD URBANA SL BOLARTECH – Mobile Bollard
MC2 TECHNOLOGIES NEROD
MARSHALLS MONO LTD Crash Tested Street Furniture and Steel Bollards

Solution Provider Name of Solution
Herta BioSurveillance NEXT
Smiths Detection Anomaly Detection & Cognitive Intelligence Platform
WEB-IQ B.V. VOYAGER
Level Five Supplies limited SENSR
Chris Butler Associates Ltd SCIMON

Solution Provider Name of Solution
Sabre Global UK First Response Tech, DroneHunter, DroneKiller, Raptor, Centurion
Everis Aeroespacial y Defensa SLU Event Awareness and Security Tool (EAST)
Kromek Ltd Radiation Detection Systems
Pandora Intelligence Pandora Intelligence
Pixpro, UAB PIXPRO photogrammetry based 3D terrain threat prevention

The aforementioned solutions will be invited to provide a demonstration (proof of concept) on selected sites by the relevant partner municipalities. Municipalities hosting the demonstrations will compensate the solution providers for the eligible costs up to a maximum as mentioned in the RFI document and within the limits of the relevant budget available to each of the hosting cities.

In case of solutions which are not selected for reimbursement of their costs, the providers may still contribute with a demonstration of their solution on their own expense and they are most welcome to do so by clearly stating their relevant intention no later than 31st July.

Due to the unforeseeable situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic the exact dates of the demos in most cases have not yet been finalized but every effort is put in this direction. Kindly take note that further logistical details, demonstration needs, and financial procedures will be arranged by the municipality of that will be contacting the selected solution providers during the upcoming period.

For further clarifications on issues regarding the process, please contact the RFI coordination team in rfi.protect@kemea-research.gr


NEXT NEWS ITEM 

SAVE-THE-DATE
PRoTECT online seminar 

“Technological and human-centred solutions to protect public spaces against terrorist threats”

15, 16 and 17 July 2020

The PRoTECT Consortium is organising the 2nd European PRoTECT seminar on the protection of public spaces on 15-17 July. It will include three online sessions of a duration of 1h30 each. 

Event: European online seminar 

Description:

Local and regional authorities in Europe have taken a number of steps to prevent terrorist attacks and protect their citizens. Developing common guidelines and exchanging good practices are key in order to achieve sustainable and effective solutions. In correlation to these considerations, local authorities can play a significant role in improving the protection of public spaces, mainly if they are able to identify the vulnerabilities of such spaces and acquire knowledge about existing solutions, both technological and human-centred, that meet their needs. 

The online seminar will feature exchanges on best practices and technologies developed by law enforcement agencies, local authorities, European-funded projects and the private sector. It will give local authorities insights on what criteria to consider when selecting a solution to protect their public spaces. The project’s five partner cities will share their experience in using the PRoTECT tool and in selecting a solution for demonstration.

Law enforcement agencies, municipal representatives, local security practitioners responsible for the protection of public spaces, and industrial, national and European stakeholders are invited to take part in this event. You can attend either all three or any sessions of your choice. Registration is compulsory for each session and free of charge. 

Session 1 (15 July, 10am CEST) Panel: The protection of public spaces at policy and strategy level 

The EU Action Plan and the working document on Good Practices to Support the Protection of Public Spaces state that the co-production of public space protection is key, particularly in the context of terrorism. Preventing and mitigating terrorist threats require raising awareness among local and regional authorities and training them. Furthermore, it is important they cooperate with each other as well as with the private sector. Increased cooperation is also needed between the local, regional and national levels of governance. What avenues for cooperation exist at the European level regarding the protection of public spaces? How can cities best access funds and training? How can we support peer to peer exchanges among EU cities? How to make such coordination and cooperation effective? What are the challenges for the different actors in operationalising a joint action? 
Session 2 (16 July, 10am CEST) Case studies:  The protection of public spaces at practitioner level


“There is no one single solution available, conversely, multiple methods and techniques can be put in place to guarantee safety and security in public spaces. The techniques range from architectural design in order to rethink the design of public spaces keeping security into account in continuity to emerging technologies such as AI and predictive surveillance. Moreover, whenever new technologies could appear to be expensive in cost and questionable regarding privacy, or when it could be difficult to rethink and re-project public spaces, building an action plan in order to mitigate, prevent and manage crime events would be a viable solution"
(PRoTECT Best Practices and Technologies).

This session will present an overview of the PRoTECT best practices  and case studies implemented by cities for the  protection of  public spaces. 

Session 3 (17 July, 10am CEST): The PRoTECT project’s perspective on the protection of public spaces

Devising hypothetical threat scenarios in specific public spaces that are potential soft targets for a terrorist attack can greatly help municipalities assess existing solutions to prevent or mitigate such attacks. The European Union’s Technology Evaluation Framework (TEF) is a unique tool for evaluating such solutions and/or technologies, which local authorities can tailor to their specific needs and vulnerabilities. This session will present the Request for Information procedure to identify potential solutions to be demonstrated in the five PRoTECT partner cities, the use and application of the TEF, and the technological solutions selected by municipalities. 


NEXT NEWS ITEM 

PRoTECT’s Request for Information – Deadline 1st of June, 2020

The RfI process, based on hypothetical threat scenarios as dictated by the cities of:

  • Brasov (Romania),
  • Eindhoven (Netherlands),
  • Larisa (Greece),
  • Malaga (Spain) and
  • Vilnius (Lithuania);

aims in investigating all benefits of potentially utilizing available solutions towards preventing / mitigating specific types of terrorist attacks within their city boundaries and will be realized through the delivery of live demonstrations of selected solutions. This RfI is open for submitting relevant solutions from 1st April till 18th May 2020.

Announcement: The RfI application submission deadline has been extended to the 1st of June 2020, Monday (10am CEST).

For more information about the submittance of relevant solutions visit our RfI page.


NEXT NEWS ITEM 

1st PRoTECT seminar on the Protection of Public Spaces

Brasov, Romania 17th July 2019

“Identifying vulnerabilities and mitigating the risks of terrorist threats on Public Spaces: Cooperation between all stakeholders”

As part of the PRoTECT project, Efus and the city of Brasov (RO) are organising a seminar on “Identifying vulnerabilities and mitigating the risk of terrorist threats on public spaces: Cooperation between all stakeholders”, on 17 July in Brasov.

A presentation of the tool developed by the European Commission to evaluate the vulnerability of public spaces and its accompanying Manual will be made.

Vulnerable public spaces

Over the years, strategies to protect public spaces against terrorism have evolved and been strengthened, mainly focussing on protecting critical infrastructure. However, terrorist attacks are also evolving and public spaces have turned into an attractive target: these areas, also known as “soft targets”, are crowded public places easily accessible both to the public and terrorists.

Local authorities, who are responsible for the safety and security of their citizens, must be aware of the vulnerabilities of their public spaces in order to be able to adopt appropriate measures to prevent and mitigate terrorist attacks and their consequences.

A tool to evaluate the vulnerabilities of public spaces

In the framework of the European PRoTECT project, Efus and the Dutch organisation for applied research TNO have developed a manual to help local authorities use the “Soft Target Site Assessment” tool developed by the European Union’s Directorate General Home Affairs, which consists of a series of recommendations to assess on site the vulnerabilities of urban public spaces.

PRoTECT is also helping the project’s five partner cities (Brasov, RO; Eindhoven, NL; Larissa, GR; Málaga, ES; Vilnius, LT) to conduct a local vulnerability assessment so they can adopt tailor-made technological solutions and best practices to enhance the protection of their local public spaces.

The 17 July seminar will be an occasion to present the “Soft Target Site Assessment” and the accompanying manual for local authorities, as well as the results from five pilot assessments in the five partner cities. It will also be an opportunity to exchange on the need to strengthen cooperation among all stakeholders involved  in order to respond to new threats against public spaces.

The seminar will gather representatives from local authorities and law enforcement agencies, as well as experts, security practitioners and other stakeholders involved at the national and European level.

PRoTECT: strengthening local authorities’ capacities to secure public spaces

The PRoTECT project seeks to strengthen local authorities’ capacities to secure their public spaces, in particular before, during and after a terrorist threat.

It uses tools, technology, training and field demonstrations that will improve situational awareness and improve direct responses that strengthen the security of public spaces.

1st PRoTECT seminar on the Protection of Public Spaces Presentations:

1. PRoTECT Introduction to 1st Seminar in Brasov

2. Keynote Presentation

3. PRoTECT Vulnerability Assesment Tool & Manual


NEXT NEWS ITEM 




Protecting public spaces against terrorist threats: Take part in the PRoTECT seminar, on 17 July in Brasov

PRoTECT project and the city of Brasov (Romania) are organising a seminar on “Identifying vulnerabilities and mitigating the risk of terrorist threats on public spaces: Cooperation between all stakeholders”, on 17 July in Brasov. The tool developed by the European Commission to evaluate the vulnerability of public spaces and its accompanying handbook will be presented.

 

Vulnerable public spaces

Over the years, strategies to protect public spaces against terrorism have evolved and been strengthened, mainly focusing on protecting critical infrastructure. However, terrorist attacks are also evolving, and public spaces have turned into an attractive target: these areas, also known as “soft targets”, are crowded public places easily accessible both to the public and terrorists.

Local authorities, who are responsible for the safety and security of their citizens, must be aware of the vulnerabilities of their public spaces in order to be able to adopt appropriate measures to prevent and mitigate terrorist attacks and their consequences.

 

A tool to evaluate the vulnerabilities of public spaces

In the framework of the European PRoTECT project, Efus and the Dutch organisation for applied research TNO have developed a manual to help local authorities use the “Soft Target Site Assessment” tool developed by the European Union’s Directorate General Home Affairs, which consists of a series of recommendations to assess on site the vulnerabilities of urban public spaces.

PRoTECT is also helping the project’s five partner cities (Brasov, RO – Eindhoven, NL – Larissa, GR – Málaga, ES – Vilnius, LT) to conduct a local vulnerability assessment so they can adopt tailor-made technological solutions and best practices to enhance the protection of their local public spaces.

 

The 17 July seminar will be an occasion to present the “Soft Target Site Assessment” and the accompanying manual for local authorities, as well as the results from five pilot assessments in the five partner cities. It will also be an opportunity to exchange on the need to strengthen cooperation among all stakeholders involved in order to respond to new threats against public spaces.

 

The seminar will gather representatives from local authorities and law enforcement agencies, as well as experts, security practitioners and other stakeholders involved at the national and European level.

 

PRoTECT: strengthening local authorities’ capacities to secure public spaces

 

The PRoTECT project seeks to strengthen local authorities’ capacities to secure their public spaces, before, during and after a terrorist threat.

 

It uses tools, technology, training and field demonstrations that will improve situational awareness and improve direct responses that strengthen the security of public spaces.





NEXT NEWS ITEM 

PRoTECT 1st Newsletter, April 2019

PRoTECT 1st Newsletter is released! Click here to read and download the project Newsletter to find out the latest News and Activities!


NEXT NEWS ITEM 

Paris, France, March 2019

The partners in the PROTECT project (“Public Resilience Using Technology to Counter Terrorism”) for the protection of urban public spaces against terrorist threats met for the project’s second meeting on 28 February and 1 March, in Paris. The manual developed by the Dutch Organisation for Applied Scientific Research TNO, a partner in the project, and Efus was presented to the partners. Its objective is to help local authorities use the tool developed by the European Union’s Directorate General Home Affairs to assess the vulnerabilities of urban public spaces.

Learning to identify vulnerabilities

Titled Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VAT), this tool can be used on site to evaluate a public space. Areas identified by the VAT tool as potential targets of a terrorist attack are those where the public comes regularly for an activity, for example transport hubs, squares, shopping areas, places of worship, and cultural, business and institutional venues. They are targets because attacking them can help terrorist organisations reach their goals, for instance threatening the safety of the public, the values of democratic states or citizen rights and freedoms.

The role of local authorities

As stated by the European Commission in its Action plan to support the protection of public spaces, “local and regional authorities are important stakeholders” and as such, the Commission promotes dialogue and exchange between national, regional and local authorities as well as support the development of operational projects such as PRoTECT.
As part of the PROTECT project, the manual and the VAT tool will be tested in five European cities with the support of Efus: Brasov (RO), Eindhoven (NL), Larissa (GR), Malaga (SP), and Vilnius (LT).


NEXT NEWS ITEM 

‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, December 2018

The partners of the PRoTECT project (“Public Resilience Using Technology to Counter Terrorism”) for the protection of urban public spaces against terrorist threats met during the Kick-off meeting on the 10th and 11th of December 2018, at the premises of Stichting DITSS in the Netherlands.

During the two-day meeting an analysis was made on the main goals of the project, the management procedures and the way ahead for the next six months with a focus on the Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VAT) and the processes that had to be followed for the organization of the five Workshops that would be conducted in Netherlands (EINDHOVEN), Greece (LARISA), Spain (MALAGA), Lithuania (VILNIAUS) and Romania (BRASOV).




This project was funded by the European Union's Internal Security Fund - Police.
Under Grant Agreement nº 815356.

example@example.com

1234-123-123

3481 Melrose Place, Beverly Hills CA 90210