Information published on 16 April 2013 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 341.

EU Network of Excellence for more resilient Critical Infrastructures

“CIPRNet” aims at establishing a European Infrastructure Simulation & Analysis Centre (Sankt Augustin, 10 April 2013)

  • Security

The EU-sponsored Critical Infrastructure Preparedness and Resilience Research Network (CIPRNet) project will establish a European Infrastructure Simulation & Analysis Centre. This centre will provide substantial improvements for fast and adequate responses by authorities and critical infrastructure owners to complex emergencies affecting or originating from critical infrastructures. The research network will integrate knowledge and technologies to create added-value decision support capabilities for national and multi-nation emergency management.

On 1 March 2013, the Critical Infrastructure Preparedness and Resilience Research Network (CIPRNet) project commenced. CIPRNet is a Network of Excellence activity in civil security research, co-funded by the European Commission’s 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7). The CIPRNet consortium will make a decisive effort towards providing support from the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) research communities to emergency responders, governmental agencies and policy makers, enhancing their preparedness against service disruptions of Europe’s complex system of interconnected and dependent infrastructures.

CIPRNet comprises six European research institutes (Fraunhofer, ENEA, TNO, CEA, JRC, Deltares), the International Union of Railways (UIC), three European universities (Rome, Cyprus, Bydgoszcz), a Canadian university (UBC in Vancouver) and ACRIS GmbH from Switzerland. The project is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS. The CIPRNet consortium of research organisations, universities and end-users brings together a unique set of knowledge and technology gathered in over sixty previous research projects in the field of CIP. Each partner also functions as a multiplier by connecting to national and international networks and research platforms.

Reaching and maintaining the required level of preparedness requires adequate and fast adaptation to on-going changes of Critical Infrastructures (CI). CIPRNet will implement advanced modelling, simulation and analysis capabilities for supporting more effective responses to disasters and emergencies that affect or originate from multiple CI. In particular, CIPRNet will create added-value decision support capabilities for national and multi-national emergency management. These capabilities will enable decision-makers and operators to analyse the various possible courses of action, perform ‘what if’ analysis, and to learn about short- and long-term consequences of their decisions. The consequence analysis will be based on real-time and statistical data, status information on involved CI, meteorological data, and more. The development of this new decision support capability will build upon pooling and integrating technologies and resources available at CIPRNet’s partners and beyond. As an additional capability, CIPRNet plans to support the security design of Next Generation Infrastructures like Smart Grids.
From the start, CIPRNet will involve its stakeholders in the design of the new capabilities. This will be accomplished both by an International Advisory Board of end-users and other stakeholders, and by targeted workshops and training events. As a field test of the new capabilities, CIPRNet will demonstrate timely, actionable, risk-informed CIP analysis and strategies for authorities (nationally, cross-border, and EU-wide).

For achieving a long-term impact and improvement, the new capabilities need to be consolidated and sustained beyond the duration of the project. For the development and consolidation of the new capabilities, CIPRNet will establish a virtual centre of competence and expertise in Critical Infrastructure Protection (VCCC). The VCCC shall serve as a foundation for a European Infrastructure Simulation & Analysis Centre (EISAC), with the ultimate goal of sustaining the new capabilities and further innovations. A design study of EISAC is available from the former EU project DIESIS and will be employed in CIPRNet.

In CIPRNet UIC is an end-user in the railway infrastructure sector. Additionally, UIC will actively contribute to dissemination activities to its members, within CIPRNet, and more. UIC will also add end-user perspectives from the railway transport domain on the joint research activities, the VCCC, and the definition of realistic scenarios. UIC will host one of the CIPRNet workshops with end-users.

Fraunhofer IAIS will coordinate and manage the CIPRNet project. Its main technical contribution will be the realisation of ‘what if’ analyses as a combination of advanced modelling, simulation and analysis methods and serious gaming techniques.

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For further information please contact Dr.-Ing. Erich Rome: erich.rome@iais.fraunhofer.de (CIPRNet Coordination) and José Pires/Marie Hélène Bonneau, UIC Security Division: pires@uic.org, www.uic.org/security