A combined application platform for the protection and promotion of cultural and tourist sites
Tourism is a key agent driving economic growth in Greece. Thus, it deserves maximum attention and investment of effort for offering a high class tourist product to visitors, who need to feel safe and relaxed during their visit or stay in tourist areas. A positive experience for tourists starts with the characteristics of the site they are visiting, be it archeological, cultural, environmentally unique, entertaining, etc. However, provision of good information on the elements of the site that are of interest to them and a feeling that they are safe. The importance of safety for tourism can be easily documented in the ease with which tourist destinations are changing in response to appearing threats, a commonplace in recent years. Natural hazards are a significant element of risk and as such they need to be addressed in the effort for safe tourism. The negative publicity received by the country’s tourist industry in 2007, when the archaeological site of Olympia was seriously damaged by one of the megafires of that August, is only one of the examples.
The proposed project, called XENIOS, aims at the development of services for short, medium and long term prediction of extreme natural phenomena and disasters, in sites of special tourist and cultural interest which are at the same time vulnerable to natural hazards, contributing to more effective risk management there. Furthermore, the project aims to combine the improvement of safety with enhancement of the tourist product of such sites through provision of better information to the visitors through a mobile application that will serve a double purpose. XENIOS will propose solutions for: i) providing timely and accurate information to related management bodies, and ii) assisting risk management and enhancing protection measures for both visitors and the surrounding areas from natural disasters.
Early-warning services will be provided, depending on the type of information, in the form of easy-to-understand maps, alarms or short reports, via web-based and mobile phone applications, specifically designed to meet the users’ needs. The proposed combined platform, that will host the specific services, will interactively operate at all levels of risk management from local to regional, exchanging information material and updating with status reports and real-time information. For the development of the services, satellite, meteorological, aerial and ground truth data will be collected, processed and analyzed in order to assist multi-scale, spatial and temporal, risk mapping.
The current consortium, consisting of research bodies and small enterprises, has the required experience and ‘know-how’, in order to ensure the timely development and seamless implementation of the services and the final platform. At the same time, all the prerequisites for commercial exploitation of the final results will be investigated in detail through the composition of an integrated business plan.
Enhancement of Law Enforcement Agencies to Identify and Counter Radicalisation and Extremism
Over recent years, the process of radicalisation leading to violent extremism has reached critical dimensions. Inspirational ideologies for extremist groups in Europe and throughout the world are continually expanding, now including religiously motivated extremism and various forms of ideological incitement to violence (left-wing, anarchist, far-right, nationalist and separatist ideologies). The result of these processes and developments is that terrorist and extremist actions are becoming more and more difficult to detect and foresee by law enforcement authorities, thus rendering traditional practices of prevention and repression eventually unable to address these emerging threats. These vulnerabilities make it clear that there is a need to address the root causes of the problem through an effective approach, aimed at the timely identification, prevention and intervention of a wide range of agents and society itself. In the age of “asymmetric threats” and risks, our adaptation to a modern policing philosophy based on early recognition and prevention, is an answer to everyday causes of insecurity and to all sources of threats for citizens. To address these challenges, the EU assigns an important role to front-line practitioners and especially Law Enforcement Institutions, by designing and financing actions for education, raising awareness, networking and, in general, empowerment of Law Enforcement Officials.
In this context, the Center for Security Studies (KEMEA), as scientific and research organization, in its effort to study and countering the phenomenon of radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism, undertook the implementation of the Action entitled: “Enhancement of Law Enforcement Agencies to identify and counter radicalisation and extremism”. The project is part of the European Homeland Security / Police Cooperation Program (2014-2020) and is co-funded 75% from EU funds and 25% from national resources, starting on 1-7-2018 and ending on 15-9-2020.
The Action aims to raise awareness, to empower and strengthen the staff of Law Enforcement Agencies, preparing them for early recognition and prevention of any escalation of violence, and support the fight against radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism. The actions of the program include the identification of the needs of Law Enforcement Agencies in order to recognize and assess the threat of radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism, the preparation and implementation of workshops for the staff of Law Enforcement, the creation of a specific methodological framework for risk assessment, the creation of a simulation game, the preparation of specific identification indicators and questionnaires on indexing techniques, the preparation and conduction of training and the organization of awareness campaigns.
Advanced Coordination CenteR Information Technologies & Applications for Border Surveillance (ACRITAS)
The ACRITAS project aspires to develop an integrated and common border management system, applied to land and sea border control. It will provide rapid deployment to harsh and isolated environments providing multifunctional surveillance capabilities, intelligent data products and innovative services to regional and national authorities. ACRITAS could function as a stand-alone fully functional regional command and control (RCC) centre and/or in cooperation with the National coordination centre (NCC).
The ACRITAS solution is designed to incorporate functionalities and operational features of a regional mobile command and control centre providing common situational picture (CSP) and incident management applications to multiple agencies. Another unique feature is the ability to operate both on land and maritime missions, building upon the integration of on-demand sensors (electro-optics, radars, CBRN, acoustic etc) operated in real time. The system will be fully modular combining the advantages of mobility (C&C Centre, Mini- UAVs) and transportability for high operational value areas deployment. This is in contrast to the conventional Border Guard concept where fixed facilities installed along the entire length of the border, requiring huge infrastructure expenses and a large number of operators.
Other main specific objectives include:
- A solution adaptable to local geographical requirements: border length and complex topography,
- Provide a mobile command and control solution equipped with advanced telecoms,
- Collect, process and integrate data from existing heterogeneous data sources (radars, electro-optical, CBRN sensors, etc.) mounted on UAVs and ground stations, operated by multiple federal agencies and by using state-of-the-art fusion techniques and developing innovative algorithms
- Provide an advanced solution for common situational picture and incident management allowing,
- Provide field tests of the derived products in a land and maritime scenario.
The project is funded by General Secretariat for Research and Technology, and is expected to start in autumn 2013.
Duration: The project’s duration is 24 months.
Fire Event Remote Management Information System (FERMIS)
FERMIS -Fire Event Remote Management Information System’s main objective is the design, development and demonstration of an integrated solution for the early detection, prediction, prevention, and monitoring fires, utilizing vehicle monitoring networks, aerial measuring sensors (atmospheric gases, humidity, wind speed, etc.), geo-reporting visual detection, high definition ortho-photography maps, and terrestrial data image processing and analysis systems.
FERMIS aims to fulfill the expectations and needs of the market for the next generation of Airborne sensors, by providing a complete set of tools and sensors that from one hand will improve current supported UAV features and will further expand them into "multi-sensing flying platforms".
KEMEA is responsible for identifying end users’ needs, and functional requirements as well as to convert the latter into system requirements. These requirements will be based on real scenarios, factual reports, and emergencies (e.g. Major Wild Fires in Greece during 2007, 2009, and 2012). KE.ME.A will play an important role in the design and analysis of the scenarios in use as well as the organization of a pilot and trial in Greece. At a later stage of the project, KE.ME.A will participate in the testing and evaluation phase of the project, providing feedback to the other members of the consortium. Finally KE.ME.A will participate in activities concerning the dissemination of the project results.
Duration: The project's duration is 15 months.
Safe and revocable bio-metric ID cards for usage in Ambient Intelligence Environments (BIO-IDENTITY)
Bio – Identity project aims at optimizing information systems by collecting information about the user’s biometric profile, even those not directly related to the security level that they cover. For example, as far as it concerns e-safety, it has been planned within the framework of the project to use biometric characteristics such as facial features as a prerequisite biometric feature for the user’s authentication to websites. Making full use of multiple biometric signals will actually speed up the process of identification and authentication of the user. Threats at places and networks may be created in minimum time and a policy of individual authentication using multiple signals may deliver effective solutions. The project is funded by General Secretariat for Research and Technology.
The role of KEMEA: KEMEA is responsible for recording the requirements of end users and the development of system specifications.
Duration: The project’s duration is 36 months.