The EU-funded H2020 project PROACTIVE led by the UIC Security Division joined forces with three other projects that are active in the field of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and explosive (CBRNe) security: TRANSTUN, eNOTICE and MELODY. This joint symposium took place 29 – 30 September 2021 as a hybrid event, both online and in Brussels. Seventy-five people participated in person and about another 50 joined the event online.
The two-day event began with a warm welcome from the Community for European Research and Innovation for Security (CERIS) of the European Commission. Each project was then briefly introduced by each respective Coordinator, including Grigore Havarneanu from UIC. Then an introductory session focusing on a CBRN scenario was presented by the NATO Joint CBRN Defence Centre of Excellence.
During the first session on Study, Research, and Preliminary Assessments, PROACTIVE partner Andreas Arnold from the German Police University (DHPol) presented the gap analysis between needs of civil society & current practices of CBRNe practitioners. Certain language formats (e.g., braille) are still too rarely used, with civil society only sporadically finding information about CBRN adapted to their needs. However, the study also found that institutional cooperation helps to close these gaps.
The next session focused on Operational Guidelines and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). Alan Gavel from the Population Protection Institute (PPI) of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic shared recommendations stemming from a review of CBRN SOPs, which included that vulnerable people should have knowledge of CBRNe generalities (e.g., disrobing) and that they should also be part of training.
For the session on Training, Testing and Validation of new technological solutions, partner Laura Petersen from UIC demonstrated the PROACTIVE Crisis Communication System, which is composed of a mobile app and web-based platform for civil society and CBRN practitioners.
When it came to discussing Demonstration, Tabletop exercise, and Live-exercise, partner Dominic Kelly from CBRNE Ltd. explained the PROACTIVE IIMARCH methodology and the ambitious goal of including up to 15% of exercise participants from vulnerable groups.
In the last session concerning Networking and Practitioners Engagement, partner Åsa Burlin from Umeå University (UMU) informed about the two PROACTIVE advisory boards: one for practitioners with 87 members & one for civil society with 43 members. These boards are helping us to co-create project outputs in line with their needs, and will be contributing to the three upcoming field exercises.
Discussions with the audience were held throughout the day, with subjects ranging from the role of training in CBRN preparedness and response to questions on standardisation. Going forward, the ENCRICLE dynamic catalogue has a role to play as a one stop shop for all technical solutions CBRN, and all agree that including civil society and infrastructure operators in training are necessary.
The second day focused on the creation of a network of CBRNe stakeholders, which includes railway stakeholders, tunnel operators, security experts and other transport practitioners along with first responders. During the break-out sessions, PROACTIVE and eNOTICE projects used the morning to discuss the three upcoming joint field exercises between their projects.
Overall, the event was not only the TRANSTUN Final Conference but also a very successful collaboration between these four EU-funded projects.