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Integration of detection capabilities and data fusion with utility providers’ networks
Deadline: Aug 24, 2017  

 Urban Development
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Research undertaken in recent years has proposed innovative approaches for the detection of precursors of explosives, drugs, and more generally speaking substances threatening the security of the citizens. Such approaches often require the installation of networks of sensors throughout urban areas. Utility networks, which are well developed in such areas, could be both sources of information through the analysis of the substance that they transport/provide (e.g. energy consumption, characteristics of used waters) or of their environment (e.g. quality of air, etc.). They can constitute networked (mobile) platforms for sensors, but this potential remains largely untapped.


Proposals should address the deployment of detection systems in large and medium cities, in existing networks, or a combination of such networks, for instance for the detection of explosive precursors and illegal chemicals (drugs). Proposals shall address sewage networks and quality of air monitoring networks, and may address other networks. The experiment should last a significant period of time (at least two years).

Proposals should also provide for a mobile platform equipped to ascertain the composition and location of suspicious measurements, once data have been provided by the networked detection systems.

Proposals should provide for the prototype of a system controlling the detection systems and capable of fusing data provided by a variety of such networks, and of interfacing with other networks, pay particular attention to ethical issues raised when using such systems, and address the sustainability of such systems.

Whereas activities will have an exclusive focus on civil applications, coordination with the activities of the European Defence Agency (EDA) may be considered with possible synergies being established with projects funded by the EDA programmes. The complementarity of such synergies should be described comprehensively. On-going cooperation should be taken into account.

Proposers for this topic should look for an enhanced SME participation.

The outcome of the proposal is expected to lead to development up to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 to 8 for the sensors deployed; 6 for the control and information system, and the mobile platform; please see part G of the General Annexes.

Indicative budget: The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of € 8million would allow for this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Short term:

  • Real-life demonstrations of the combination of systems detecting precursors of explosives, and drugs, installed on at least two utility networks, and making use of a prototype of information systems fusing the data provided by these networks;
  • Better understanding of the effectiveness of the combination of technologies used to detect and locate a bomb factory or a drug lab/drug consumption/traffic;

Medium/Long term:

  • Provision of a higher level of information/intelligence to those involved in counter-terrorist and countering drugs activities (e.g. Law Enforcement Agencies, Security & Intelligence Agencies, and Government Laboratories)

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