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19 February 2016

EU security research project on future agenda for land transport R&D concludes its work and final conference

BRUSSELS – The EU-funded security project CARONTE (“Creating an Agenda for Research On Transportation sEcurity”) held its final conference here on 16 February to outline the results of its 18-month effort to identify research priorities for the sector.

“Any attack or disturbance against land freight or passenger transport would have a huge impact on Europe’s economic growth, territorial cohesion and social development,” Joachim Kochsiek, CARONTE project coordinator and researcher at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute, told his 50-strong audience of researchers, policy makers and representatives from land transport end-users, operators and industry. “Unfortunately, there are weaknesses in Europe’s land transport security, so these issues must be addressed by the EU’s future security research. This calls for continues and coordinated efforts, plus investments.”

Keynote speaker Eva-Maria Engdahl, counter-terrorism policy officer at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, said the terrorist events that hit Europe in 2015 “has raised many more policy challenges for us. Terrorists are innovating. They are developing their modus operandi, and using new technologies. We cannot trail this.”

CARONTE was tasked to come up with a “strategic research agenda” to cover existing and emerging threats – including cyber-crime – regarding all land transport modes.

The high priority research topics identified by CARONTE include the need to maintain operations in the event of a major cyber-incident; the provision of timely and efficient threat detection capabilities (for both road and rail); and to address the special security problems surrounding railways as “open” systems. Its medium priority issues comprise:

  • a balancing of security requirements against privacy demands of passengers,
  • maintaining security awareness among transport personnel and customers
  • protecting autonomous vehicles against cyber-attacks

The project will present its detailed EU-restricted research agenda to the Commission with CARONTE’s formal termination on 28 February.

Officially launched in Brussels on 22 September, CARONTE brings together researchers from universities, national technical institutes and specialised networks – all involved in land transport issues. Its research consortium consists of 11 members* from eight EU countries, and will rely on a high-level advisory board of public and private transport operators for guidance. SECURITY EUROPE’s publisher, SecEUR sprl, is also a member of the research consortium, with responsibility for dissemination activities.

CARONTE is funded from the EU’s previous 2007-2013 general research budget known as the Seventh Framework Programme, which has now been replaced by today’s “Horizon 2020” (2014-2020) research programme. The project has a total EU research budget of EUR 1.25 Mil.

For additional information, please contact us at:
SecEUR sprl
235 Rue de la Loi; box 27
1040 Brussels, Belgium
Tel : (32) 2 230-1162

Or get in touch with CARONTE’s coordinator Joachim Kochsiek at:
Fraunhofer-Institute for Material Flow and Logistics
Joseph-von-Fraunhofer-Strasse 2-4
44227 Dortmund, Germany

* Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e. V. (Germany); AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (Austria); IRKS-Research GesmbH (Austria); Loughborough University (United Kingdom); SecEUR sprl (Belgium); Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Spain); Szechenyi Istvan University (Hungary); Institut Français des Sciences et Technologies des Transports, de l’Aménagement et des Réseaux (France); Instituto Tecnologico del Embalaje, Transporte y Logistica (Spain); The University of Security Management (Slovakia); Eurnex E.V. (Germany)