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Towards reducing the cost of technologies in land border security applications
Deadline: Aug 25, 2016  

 Human Resources
 IT Applications
 Horizon Europe
 European Union

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Border management in European Union context means first and foremost the enforcement of the common policies and implementation of the common rules. As international travel flows continue to rise, there is growing pressure to process large volumes of people at border crossing points without delays. At the same time, the smuggling of people across the borders is growing. However, the external land borders of the European Union (and border crossing points) present a wide range of challenges, ranging from those relevant to Nordic Countries, to those in the Mediterranean.

The European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) is establishing a mechanism for Member States' authorities carrying out activities at the European Union external border to share operational and situational information and pictures. But without investments in technology and information systems, it is simply not feasible to manage borders and border crossing points. Whilst technology offers great potential to meet the dual objective of enhancing border security while facilitating cross-border travel, its costs are often prohibitive, especially in the light of the current national budgets. Furthermore, the broad variety of heterogeneous IT applications and systems deployed for land border security makes their management increasingly complex and costly. Innovative, cost-efficient technologies are needed, or existing ones need to become more affordable, to meet border authorities and practitioners’ requirements, and budgetary constraints.


The cost of a broad variety of technologies could be made more affordable, in priority those used at border crossing points bearing the heaviest burden (based on the analysis of flows of people and of smuggling methods, associated risks, and bottlenecks in surveillance and/or control.)

The relevant border authorities are in the best position to identify the most relevant portions of the EU land borders that could benefit from more cost-effective solutions.

Cost reduction may result from: merging several advanced technologies into novel border security solutions; trade-off against performance; optimizing the use of technologies where they are most effective at mitigating risks further to specific risk analysis; achieving greater interoperability among systems; enabling the early provision of data in advance to the time of crossing.

The availability or scarcity of human resources and of space, the need for portable and versatile solutions are other parameters to be taken into account when considering the added value and cost of novel technologies solutions, including in terms of societal and ethical value and cost. In particular, the design of more homogeneous IT platforms, sharing an interface common to all operational databases and border security applications, is desirable to make their management less resource intensive.

Overlap with the work being undertaken by border surveillance authorities in the context of the EWISA project[[]] should be avoided, whilst compatibility with previous results from FP7 or H2020 projects is encouraged.

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) 6; please see part G of the General Annexes.

Indicative budget: The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of € 5million 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/Medium term:

  • Novel technologies, tools and systems (higher TRLs) demonstrating very substantial cost-reduction compared to existing technologies, tools and systems.
  • Cost-reduction shall be assessed through the comparative testing of technologies, tools and systems in quasi-operational scenarios. Cost vs. benefit analysis must take account of functional needs, conditions of use, maintenance costs, performance and quality, impact on operating procedures, impact on travellers, training requirements for new skills, etc.

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