Call: Improved preparedness on attacks to public spaces
|Type of Fund||Direct Management|
|Description of programme |
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 3 - Destination 1: Better protect the EU and its citizens against Crime and Terrorism"
One of the main purposes of this Destination is to contribute significantly to the implementation of the Security Union Strategy [[COM(2020) 605 final.]], i.e. to include Research and Innovation as one of the key building blocks enabling the achievement of the overall policy objectives. As such, the topics in this Destination aim at fully addressing all the key issues underlined in the Strategy. In addition, this Destination touches upon the Counter-Terrorism Agenda [[COM(2020) 795 final.]] as well as the security dimension of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum [[COM(2020) 609 final.]], notably the issues related to criminal networks. More specifically, this Destination includes research topics aiming at fighting crime and terrorism more effectively, particularly through better prevention of crime and enhanced investigation capabilities concerning both traditional crime and cybercrime, as well as at better protection of citizens from violent attacks in public spaces, through more effective prevention, preparedness and response while preserving the open nature of such spaces. This Destination will develop the knowledge and technologies to be taken up by the Internal Security Fund, as a complementary instrument that will enable exploitation of research results and final delivery of the required tools to security practitioners.
The goal of this Destination is to bring improved prevention, investigation and mitigation of impacts of crime, including of new/emerging criminal modi operandi (such as those exploiting digitisation and other technologies). Such an approach needs to be based on a deeper knowledge of human and social aspects of relevant societal challenges, such as child sexual exploitation, violent radicalisation, trafficking of human beings, disinformation and fake news, corruption and cyber criminality, including support to victims. Research can further help to transpose such knowledge into the operational activities of Police Authorities [[In the context of this Destination, ‘Police Authorities’ means public authorities explicitly designated by national law, or other entities legally mandated by the competent national authority, for the prevention, detection and/or investigation of terrorist offences or other criminal offences, specifically excluding police academies, forensic institutes, training facilities as well as border and customs authorities.]], as well as civil society organisations.
Research and innovation will support Police Authorities and, when applicable, other relevant end-users in better tackling crime, including cybercrime, and terrorism as well as different forms of serious and organised crime (such as smuggling, money laundering, identity theft, counterfeiting of products, trafficking of illicit drugs and of falsified/substandard medicines, environmental crime or illicit trafficking of cultural goods) by developing new technologies, tools and systems (including digital tools, e.g. artificial intelligence, interoperability solutions, etc.). This support refers especially to capabilities to analyse in near-real-time large volumes of data to forestall criminal activities, or to combat disinformation and fake news with implications for security.
In addition to improved knowledge, preparedness, prevention and response, projects within this Destination will deliver operational tools for enhanced criminal investigation capabilities for Police Authorities and, when applicable, other relevant end-users. Thus, this Destination covers a broad range of activities from forensics, big data management to the investigation of cybercriminal activities, improved cross-border cooperation and exchange of evidence.
With regards to CBRN-E (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives) threats, research and innovation within this Destination allows, among others, to generate knowledge for counter-terrorism on the continuously evolving methods related to dangerous chemicals, contaminants and unknown substances, and the development of technologies to counter and respond to related incidents.
Furthermore, this Destination aims at improved security of public spaces and public safety, while at the same time preserving the open nature of urban public spaces. All measures to be explored by research and innovation in this area should ensure that citizens can continue their daily lives without major intrusions. To achieve higher security for public space, research in this Destination will identify concepts for prevention, preparedness and response of urban actors (city authorities, Police Authorities, public/private service providers, first responders and citizens) in response to threats of terrorist attacks in public spaces. Innovations can be used to design/improve public spaces to be more secure, also with the help of advanced vulnerability assessments. They can increase the capacity to protect spaces against attacks with manned or unmanned vehicles and can help to detect firearms and other weapons, as well as CBRN-E materials being brought into public spaces. In case attacks cannot be prevented, enhanced effectiveness of mitigation measures including through strategies to reduce vulnerability and strengthening the resilience of possible targets have the potential to reduce the potential impacts of such attacks. Advanced data analysis in real time can critically reduce the time-to-react for first responders.
This Destination will also promote, whenever appropriate and applicable, the proposals with:
The Destination will also create opportunities for collaboration on research and innovation among different communities of practitioners operating in the area of fighting crime and terrorism, such as Police Authorities, border and coast guard authorities, and customs authorities. International cooperation is also encouraged where appropriate and relevant.
Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to the following expected impact of the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan 2021-2024: “Crime and terrorism are more effectively tackled, while respecting fundamental rights, […] thanks to more powerful prevention, preparedness and response, a better understanding of related human, societal and technological aspects, and the development of cutting-edge capabilities for police authorities […] including measures against cybercrime.”
More specifically, proposals should contribute to the achievement of one or more of the following impacts:
Furthermore, in order to accomplish the objectives of this Destination, additional eligibility conditions have been defined. They refer to the active involvement of relevant security practitioners or end-users.
Proposals involving earth observation are encouraged to primarily make use of Copernicus data, services and technologies.
Projects funded under this Destination are invited to closely cooperate with other EC-chaired or funded initiatives in the relevant domains, such as the Networks of Practitioners projects funded under H2020 Secure Societies work programmes, the Knowledge Networks for Security Research & Innovation funded under the Horizon Europe Cluster 3 Work Programme (”Strengthened Security Research and Innovation” Destination), or the Community of Users for Secure, Safe and Resilient Societies (future CERIS –Community of European Research and Innovation for Security).
|Link||Link to Programme|
Improved preparedness on attacks to public spaces
|Description of call |
"Improved preparedness on attacks to public spaces"
Projects’ results are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:
Public spaces such as squares, sport venues, shopping districts, places of worship or touristic attractions have been the target of numerous terrorist and other violent attacks causing significant loss of lives and causing societal insecurity as well as economic losses. The means to carry out such attacks from one or several attackers range from sophisticated and well-planned scenarios including several attackers using explosives and firearms, up to so called low-cost attacks making use of everyday goods such as cars, axes and kitchen knives. Such attacks have proven to be very difficult to prevent and quick-reaction and preparedness to respond are the crucial elements in reducing their impact.
The EU and its Member States have reacted to this challenge in the framework of the Action plan to support the protection of public spaces and the respective staff working document "Good practices to support the protection of public spaces". Vulnerability Assessments (VA) are an established tool for example in the area of the protection of critical infrastructures. Their aim is to identify the inherent vulnerabilities of a specific target and thus to be able to put in place appropriate mitigation measures. Such assessments are used in public spaces already by Police Authorities in case of large-scale events, official visits or as part of forward-looking city planning activities. The impact on the quality and openness of public spaces should however be minimised as much as possible. This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities. The full involvement of citizens and civil society organisations is crucial to achieve solutions that meet the requirement of having a balanced approach between security and openness of public spaces. Fundamental rights (including privacy) aspects should also be taken into account.
What is missing so far is a capability for security managers (public security authorities and/or private security organisations) and local authorities to conduct VA with the help of most advanced technological means. Tools for large-scale urban VA should be able to simulate realistic scenarios in any public space of different urban areas and give the users the possibility to test different prevention and response measures. They should further give the possibility for cooperation of the main public and private actors (e. g., crisis management and civil protection authorities, fire brigades, regulatory agencies, emergency health services, private security managers, etc.), and the development of tailor-made trainings. Continuing updates of the tools with the data of new urban areas, new modes of attacks and different scenarios would ensure that such capability is of long-term use and able to adapt to new developments. For that reason, it is encouraged to use the expertise and the community of the Joint Research Centre to disseminate the developed VA solutions to the stakeholders and to adapt it for long-term use. The Joint Research Centre might also support with its simulation capabilities concerning blast and vehicle ramming. At the same time, such platforms could provide support in planning processes of public spaces in case of new constructions, or re-design in order to avoid creating vulnerabilities and supporting a security-by-design approach, similar to what exist already for safety.
Responsible Research and Innovation could be a relevant approach for the involvement of diverse stakeholders, launching debates, and co-developing or even implementing solutions.
In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content should be addressed only if the consortium deems it relevant in relation to the objectives of the research effort.
|Link||Link to Call|
|Thematic Focus||Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Administration & Governance, Health, Social Affairs, Sports, Justice, Safety & Security, Urban development|
|Funding area|| EU Member
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
|Origin of Applicant||
EU Member States |
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
|Eligible applicants||Research Institution, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Education and Training Centres, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, Association, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, National Government|
|Applicant details|| |
eligible non-EU countries:
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.
Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.
|Project Partner Details|| |
Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:
|Further info|| |
Proposal page limits and layout:
The application form will have two parts:
Page limit - Part B: 45 pages
|Type of Funding||Grants|
|Financial details|| |
This topic requires the active involvement, as beneficiaries, of at least 2 Police Authorities and at least 2 First Responder organisations (non-Police Authorities), from at least 3 different EU Member States or Associated countries. For these participants, applicants must fill in the table “Eligibility information about practitioners” in the application form with all the requested information, following the template provided in the submission IT tool.
Some activities, resulting from this topic, may involve using classified background and/or producing of security sensitive results (EUCI and SEN). Please refer to the related provisions in section B Security — EU classified and sensitive information of the General Annexes.
Activities are expected to achieve TRL 6-7 by the end of the project.
|Submission||Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.|