Austrian Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology
“Security Research Event 2018”
co-organised by the European Commission and the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology
5-6 December 2018 – Brussels, Belgium
The Security Research Event is the annual meeting where industry, governments and knowledge institutions come together to discuss the state of play and current challenges for security research in Europe, and where EU funded security-related projects were displayed in a large exhibition area.
The 2018 Security Research Event (SRE 2018), jointly organised by the European Commission and the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, took place on 5th and 6th of December in Brussels at the Square Meeting Centre.
SRE 2018 gathered 800 participants representing a wide range of security stakeholders: researchers, industry representatives, public security providers and practitioners (i.e. fire departments, police, border guards, intelligence agencies, etc.), as well as a wide number of policymakers from across Europe.
The European Commission aimed at highlighting the role of security research to foster the implementation of EU Policies and address crucial societal challenges. Therefore SRE 2018 demonstrated the strength and inspiring results of security related research and innovation activities, under the theme "Making Europe a safer place - demonstrating the impact of EU-funded security research”. Dissemination and outreach of projects were the cornerstone of the conference's discussions, as these activities were among the main enablers of market uptake and were identified as a major challenge for security research by all relevant stakeholders.
The event foresaw in an exhibition area, a conference and several thematic discussions.
The Conference was opened by the Austrian Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology Norbert Hofer and by Commissioner Julian King in charge of the Security Union.
The different aspects of the theme “demonstrating the impact of EU-funded security research” were discussed at the SRE 2018 Conference during two high-level panels taking place on the 5th of December:
"Making Europe a safer place: demonstrating the impact of security research – Challenges and barriers". The debate in the first panel, was focused on the challenges of communicating, disseminating and exploiting security research outcomes: How can research address the policy requirement and/or the functional need expressed by the practitioners? How to enable the establishment of appropriate synergies among different research initiatives? And how to engage with public and private investors in view of further uptake?
"Projects Afterlife: From the lab to real life". This second panel looked at the potential mechanisms to optimise the uptake and re-use of security research results, including other EU funding programmes (ISF, IBMF, EFSI etc.), the possible instruments to track commercialised project spin-offs, as well as the role of the EU Agencies in supporting direct and indirect uptake of project outcomes.
On the 6th of December, eight thematic panels focused on specific issues such as addressing multi-country disaster situations, citizens awareness in the context of security research, management of dematerialised borders, cybercrime, maritime security, protection of public spaces, radicalisation and response to terrorist attacks.
The exhibition has concretely supported the SRE 2018' theme. In relation to previous editions, SRE 2018 gave greater emphasis to the exhibition area with around 50 projects showcasing their results. Attendees had the possibility of testing with hand the products and services stemming from the different European funding schemes including the Internal Security Fund (ISF), and the Austrian Security Research Programme (KIRAS). The agenda of the event was designed accordingly to allow participants enough time to fully explore and take advantage of the exhibition area. On this occasion the SRE was closely tied with two other events, the Meeting of the International Forum to Advance First Responder Innovation (IFAFRI) chaired by the European Commission, and the events of the Community of Users on Secure, Safe and Resilient Societies.