Reaching Out: Demonstration of EU effective large scale threat and crisis management outside the EU

October 1st 2016 marked the start of the more that 3-year (38 months) European project Reaching Out, which is characterized by a highly innovative and comprehensive approach to empower an effective EU support to large external crises, linking end-users, researchers and industrial experts from across the EU. This project is supported by different Associated Partners from the demonstration countries outside the EU.

The project demonstration outputs will aim to allow capabilities to be shared among multi-national and intercontinental stakeholders, which is paramount in cross-border incident/crises management and over time will allow for a build-up of common capability not only across European boundaries but International boundaries as well.

The recent catastrophes involving huge earthquakes in many places (e.g. Italy, Nepal) around the world; nuclear disaster in Fukushima; large evacuation and humanitarian support in Tunisia; Ebola epidemic in West Africa – require strict international cooperation in both the prevention and response phase.

Reaching Out will address a wide spectrum of users from professional responders to the public (inside and outside of the EU), optimize the EU external crisis management activities at all levels and maximize the innovation success on the market. This approach takes into account the main needs and gaps identified in previous projects such as the EDEN CBRN demonstration project; the UNOCHA World Humanitarian Summit ongoing consultation; interviews; review of existing EU systems, procedures, policies, etc.

Reaching Out will provide innovative solutions to improve crisis resilience and allow enhanced interoperability and effectiveness between EU and others crisis operators from different continents. This project will increase the technical maturity and performances of distributed situation awareness, monitoring and decision support systems.

The “Reaching Out” concept will offer end users a collaborative and innovative approach to improve the efficiency of EU external crises and disasters management. Reaching Out’s ambition is to help meet the most immediate needs of the users inside and outside the EU in an external crisis management situation and harness the possibilities of bringing science, technology and industry together that can result in innovative and cost efficient functional services and tools.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under Grant Agreement no 700151

The Reaching Out (Demonstration of EU effective large scale threat and crisis management outside the EU) Project, funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Framework Secure Societies topic DRS-03-2015 “Crisis management topic 3: Demonstration activity on large scale disasters and crisis management and resilience of EU external assets against major identified threats or causes of crisis” – represents the next step (after EDEN project) of one of the largest research efforts ever made in the Crisis Management area within the European Union.

Reaching Out comprises a consortium of twenty-seven members across fourteen different countries in the EU and Israel (including six Associated Partners from demonstration countries outside the EU: Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Bangladesh, China and Island of Taiwan) coordinated by Airbus Defence and Space SAS. The consortium includes main categories of Crisis management actors: end-users, industry (system integrators) and solution providers, SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) with innovative solutions, universities and RTOs (Research and Technology Organisation).

This project, with a total investment close to 19 M€, marks an unprecedented effort from the European Commission to support R&D on the international Crisis management theme.

With this project the European Commission intends to bring to a higher level of maturity the crisis resilience capacity between the EU and external countries when it comes to crisis events. The project will build on the results and successful completion of previous EU FP7 projects (EDEN, PRACTICE, DECOTESSC1) and is finalized to test in the field, with key demonstrations to take place outside EU. The demonstrations will involve local associated partners and users from the Local Authorities, Operators and research institutes in Regional Platforms. This will enlarge End User participation, links with the international science community, the supplier base and the possible market.

The results of the project will be made public through a Business Day and final Reaching Out Forum scheduled at the end of the project in 2019.

Information about Reaching Out can be followed through a dedicated website at http://www.reaching- out.eu (under construction) which will be fully operational in the first quarter of 2017.

Coordinator Contact Point: Suzanne Baltay (suzanne.baltay@airbus.com) Dissemination Activity Leader: Tomasz Grzegory (tomasz.grzegory@astripolska.pl)